can you defrost and refreeze beef

Yes, you can refreeze thawed steak and other cuts of beef if: It has been kept refrigerator-cold — at 40 degrees or colder — for less than the refrigeration times listed above and. It has not been warmer than 40 degrees for more than 2 hours (1 hour in 90+ degree temperatures)

Freezing meat is something Ree Drummond loves to do (she lives way out on the ranch, after all!). Buying chicken, steak, or ground beef in bulk and freezing it can save you so much money, plus extra trips to the grocery store. But it has happened to the best of us: You thawed some steak you intended to use for a delicious steak dinner recipe, then you didnt get a chance to cook it and now youre wondering: Can you refreeze meat? Is it OK to just pop it back in the freezer for another time?

Just like freezing cheese, the answer is a little complicated and depends on a few factors. Keep reading to find out if you can refreeze meat and the best ways to do it. Also, a quick tip: Its a good idea to check your freezer temperature—it should be at 0˚ or below for safe freezing.

Can you refreeze meat after thawing?

According to the USDA, meat should be thawed in the refrigerator and never at room temperature. If you didnt thaw your meat in the fridge, you should toss it and not refreeze it. If you did thaw it in the fridge, then you can refreeze the meat as long as it hasnt been sitting in the fridge for too long after it thawed (the longer the thawed meat sits, the longer bacteria has to form on it). If the meat has thawed and has been sitting in your fridge longer than 36 hours, we dont recommend refreezing it.

Why is it bad to freeze meat twice?

If the meat is raw, then follow the guidelines above. If the meat is already cooked, you will lose a lot of the texture and flavor if you thaw and refreeze it again, so we do not recommend refreezing cooked meat. You should also not freeze (or refreeze) any meats that have been sitting at room temperature for longer than 2 hours or at a 90˚ or higher for more than 1 hour.

If you purchase previously frozen meat, poultry or fish at a retail store, you can refreeze if it has been handled properly, according to USDA.

Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Do not refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.

Safety will depend on whether the raw product was handled properly before it was frozen, refrozen shortly after it was thawed, cooked to a safe temperature when it is eaten and handled safely if there are any leftovers.

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Freezing and Food Safety: Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), United States Department of Agriculture

Yes, you can refreeze thawed steak and other cuts of beef if: It has been kept refrigerator-cold — at 40 degrees or colder — for less than the refrigeration times listed above and. It has not been warmer than 40 degrees for more than 2 hours (1 hour in 90+ degree temperatures)

FAQ

Can I refreeze beef after defrosting?

As long as the meat has been stored properly and thawed slowly in the refrigerator, it can be refrozen safely multiple times. If done correctly, refreezing meat does not pose any health risks.

How many times can you thaw and refreeze ground beef?

How many times can you thaw and refreeze ground beef? If you froze ground beef and thawed if safely (in the refrigerator), then you can refreeze it. We do not recommend doing this more than once, as it will cause freezer burn and a loss of taste and texture when you cook the meat.

Why should you not refreeze after thawing?

The short answer is no, the flavor and texture will be affected when food is refrozen. Cells within the food expand and often burst when food is frozen. They often become mushy and less flavorful.

How long can frozen meat sit out?

Two hours is the limit for keeping food safe outside the refrigerator or freezer; one hour if the outside temperature is 90 °F ( 32.2 °C) or above. Frozen food can thaw if it is exposed to the sun’s rays even when the temperature is very cold.

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