Common Myths about Frozen Meat
Some people live with the ‘fresh is better than frozen’ ideology, and they suffer needlessly for it! They lose opportunities to pre-make their favorite meals (thus enjoying delicious dinners even on busy nights), it forces multiple trips to the grocery store every week, and worst of all, they miss out on some of the best beef on the market.
Although the word “fresh” is often used to mean “not frozen,” whether or not its been frozen has nothing to do with how fresh the product actually is. In fact, freshness gets locked in during the freezing process and is used to facilitate the dry aging process (which is used to increase flavor and tenderness).
We have nothing against freezing and thawing our beef, which is always fresh off the farm. Freezing it locks in that freshness so you can store it in your own freezer after purchasing for as long as you like. Here are some of the most common ‘frozen food’ myths we have encountered.
Myth #1: You can’t freeze and refreeze thawed meat
This is one of the most common misconceptions we hear. Although refreezing may result in a little bit of lost flavor and possibly a slight change in texture, as long as it was thawed in a cold environment that was below 40 degrees (such as a refrigerator), safety is not a concern. This isn’t just speaking from experience; the USDA agrees.
Myth #2: Frozen meats and foods have fewer nutrients than fresh meats and foods
If a food is frozen shortly after it is harvested or produced, it actually keeps more of the nutrients in tact than it’s fresh counterparts that have been allowed to sit, unfrozen, for longer periods of time. Typically, frozen foods are frozen right away, which means more of the good stuff is fresher and gets locked in during the freezing process. And then stays preserved for as long as the food is frozen, up until it’s consumed. “Freezing meat does not affect the nutritional value,” claims Cici Williamson (a food safety expert with the USDA) in this article.
Myth #3: You can’t refreeze cooked meats
Much like uncooked meats and other foods, as long as it was kept at safe temperatures, it is still safe to consume after refreezing. Again, some of the flavor could be lost in the refreezing process, due to loss of moisture… but it’s safe to eat and it’s awfully convenient to have a stock of pre-made meals! So go ahead: freeze, thaw, and refreeze with confidence.
For more debunked myths about frozen foods, check out goodranchers.com.
For tips from the ranchers on how to thaw
while preserving the flavor of our top grade beef, along with our cooking guide, Beyond the Grill,
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Alicia Perry, PhD, Owner/Operator and all around Hay Maven (see my blog post on the time I fell off a haystack...). I share industry insights, tips & tricks on grilling great beef, and my personal journey into the ranching world.