Freezing meat is the best and easiest way to increase its shelf-life and duration. This method is used by almost everyone and it cannot go wrong. We will discuss here on cooking frozen meat.
Almost all types of meats can be frozen to last for many months, some types will last up to a year. The defrost process is normally easy to do.
But, sometimes, you may need to use some of the meat that is frozen and do not have the time to let it thaw overnight in the fridge. So cooking with frozen meat is completely possible and we will show you how.
If you follow the right steps and take the necessary precaution when buying and freezing the meat. Adding it directly into your recipe without defrosting will not be a problem.
If you find yourself in one of those days that the dinner needs to be done quickly, but the meat is still frozen, then this article is for you.
Before cooking it be careful with the freezing process
Make sure to only purchase meats with the package 100% sealed with the government approval in it. Take a good look on how the meat is looking – especially chicken. If you see that the color or smell is not as it should be, do not buy it.
Then, freeze the meat with the original package 100% vacuum sealed with all the air squeezed out of it. If possible, add a layer of aluminum foil to the package before storing it in the freezer.
Also, it is important to freeze the meat in individual or smaller portions. This way, you will only defrost exactly what will be consumed.
And although freezing the meat increases its duration, it does not prevent it from going bad. So, make sure to consume it while is still good. Most types of meats will last for months. The recommendation is to write down the date you bought and frozen the meat to avoid food waste later.
Some safety measures
- If you have enough time in your hands, the safest and most recommended way to defrost meat is by leaving it overnight in the fridge– if you have even more time. Leaving it for around 24 hours sitting in the fridge will guarantee that the meat is 100% defrosted.
By leaving in the fridge the meat portion will defrost evenly and slowly. Which will leave it with a better texture and taste. The fridge will keep the meat away from the higher temperatures that make it easier for bacteria to grow (around 40 F and 140 F).
- Do not cook the frozen meat in a slow cooker or crockpot. By using this method. The meat will spend too much time in the perfect temperature for the bacteria to develop in it.
- Never defrost the meat in room temperate. If left in room temperature in contact with the oxygen for a long period of time. The meat will be the perfect place to bacteria growth, which will lead to food poisoning later.
- The freezing and defrosting or cooking process should only be done once. After you took the meat from the freezer it should never be frozen again.
How to cook with frozen meat
There is a wrong conception about cooking with frozen meat. Most people tend to think that the meat will not taste as good as fresh or will not have the same texture. if done right, the frozen meat will be delicious, and impossible to notice that it was frozen in the first place.
Chicken is probably the trickiest meat to cook while frozen. The key to cook is to start the recipe knowing that will take twice as much time to cook it in the first place with lower temperatures.
Do not grill or sauté frozen chicken. It will not work well!
Cooking frozen pork is almost the same as the cooking with frozen chicken, but in this case, you can grill it or oven it.
The best way is to cook it in a lower temperature for twice as long. This way it will be completely defrosted and then completely cooked.
it is recommended to run the steak over some cold water before removing it from the package. After you remove it, season it with pepper and salt in both sides and place it in a pan that was previously heated.
Steak is the easiest meat to cook while frozen. Just make sure that the meat was defrosted evenly and then cooked in its entirety.
You will also need to adjust the cooking time, but will not take twice as much time, probably only a few more minutes, just enough time for the steak to defrost completely and then start cooking.
Cooking with frozen meat is possible and more common than you may think. It is a common misconception that the meat that was previously frozen will not taste good or have the same texture, but as mentioned above, this is not correct.
If you follow all the right recommendations and necessary safety measures, the meat of your choice will taste just as fresh as the newly bought.
Of course, as explained in the article, the best way to defrost it to guarantee the best flavor is by letting it thaw in the fridge for at least 12 hours, but cooking with the frozen meal is completely possible and will also taste the same as fresh.
Steak, chicken, and pork can all be cooked while still frozen – you just need to pay attention to the best method to each type of meat. Steak is usually the best and easiest one, while chicken is the type of meat that you need to be most careful with.
Let us know if the methods and tips mentioned above were helpful to you in any way. If you have any other recommendation or way to cook with frozen meat, please, get in touch!