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How to Properly Freeze and Defrost Meat

We’re sure you’re aware of the benefits of freezing meat, as well as the disadvantages and possible risks that come with trying to defrost meat. But do you know all the things you should or shouldn’t be doing when freezing and defrosting meat? We’ve written a useful guide if you’re not sure. It will hopefully help you safely freeze and defrost poultry products.

Freezing meat can be handy, especially if you’ve got a few offcuts of meat you’d like to save for next week. Putting them in the freezer will help them last that little bit longer without the risk of it going off. Freezing food works by freezing the water that’s in the product, and slowing down the yeast and bacteria growth in the food. When done correctly, meat is safe to freeze due to its high water content.

Defrost Meat

Although freezing meat doesn’t remove any nutrients; it does remove some of the great natural flavours. As a result, although defrosting meat is by no means a crime, we don’t freeze our products. This is because we believe that fresh meat is always the best.

But of course, we understand that from time to time you might want to save a cut of meat from going off too soon. You shouldn’t have a problem with doing it, just stick to these tips.

As with all food that you’re defrosting, the number one rule is to make sure is that it’s within the ‘Use By’ date before you freeze it; a freezer isn’t magic, and if it’s already off, it won’t get better!

Do: Package and Seal

Use a sealed air-tight container to store meat in when you’re freezing it. This is to prevent freezer burn from damaging the meat. Freezer burn occurs when meat or food products are exposed to the cold air in the freezer. The cold air removes the moisture in the meat which makes it drier or discoloured when defrosted.

Defrost Meat

Do: Separate Raw & Cooked Meat

You need to store raw and cooked meat in separate containers. This prevents the bad bacterias that are in raw meat from being transferred into the cooked items.

To prevent any juices from leaking out of raw meat, you should also try and store it towards the bottom of the freezer.

Don’t: Keep it Forever

Whilst freezing your poultry does help it to last longer, it doesn’t last forever. According to the NHS, you should keep meat frozen for no longer than 6 months

A good tip to make sure you don’t keep meat in the freezer for long periods is to write the dates on the food when you put it in the freezer.

Defrost Meat

Don’t: Cook from Frozen

You must always defrost meat so that all the bad bacteria can be removed when it’s cooked. If any bad bacteria is still in the meat when you eat it, it can make you ill.

It’s best to plan ahead when you want to cook frozen meat. Take it out and put it in the fridge at least 24 hours before you want to cook it. That way it has plenty of time to thaw properly.

Do: Defrost Meat Thoroughly

There’s quite a lot of different tips that discuss how you should defrost meat safely. In worst-case scenarios, cooking frozen meat can cause serious illness, so you need to make sure you’re doing it properly.

There are a number of ways you can safely defrost meat and you should stick to depending on how much time you have to defrost the meat;

Defrost Meat

When using any of these processes, the meat should be properly thawed before you cook it. Frozen meat will still feel very rigid and brittle to touch.

If you need any more help with freezing and defrosting food, you can go to the NHS website, which provides a guide on how to safely do this.

Want to Stick to Fresh Meat?

As we mentioned, we don’t freeze any of our meat, to keep it from losing that beautiful fresh taste. As one of the South coast’s leading catering butchers; we are dedicated to providing the best quality produce.

So if you’re interested in getting your meats from us, then get in touch!


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