Double Freezing meat

  • Is it a no no to buy meat on sale and then freeze it until you have time to process it? Then thaw it out, process it by grinding, seasoning and bagging it, and then refreeze it. In other words is there a downside to double freezing meat?

  • Walton's Employee

    @Newbe There might be some breaking down of the meat but this shouldnt cause you too many issues. I have bought pork butts fresh, then froze them then processed and froze the product again. The taste might not be the BEST possible but it certainly wont be bad.

  • I do it all the time. Still remember my mom saying it’s not a good idea. I’m sure if you are buying a nice steak and intend it eat it as a grilled T-bone you might notice some flesh cell break down (texture change). If you are going to use it in sausage you will not notice any difference. Made brats last night. Once frozen pork and elk. Refroze the brats. I do it time and time again.

  • @newbe … Afternoon… Keep the meat BELOW 40 degrees F… Bacteria is growing while the meat is warming up… then again when cooling down… The LAST thing you want or need is a batch of meat that has been warm for an hour or longer… One good way to do that is double bowl the meat… Ice in the larger bowl and the smaller bowl, with the meat in it, on ice… You don’t want your family to get food poisoning… Dave

  • Walton's Employee

    @daveomak makes a good point, sometimes we forget to point out how important food safety is! The last thing any of us want is to make someone sick and that goes double for a family member!

  • I work with food all day and the only time meat is recommended to refreeze is after it is cooked otherwise you run the risk of Salmonella poisoning and it is not a fun thing to have. I had it twice from seafood and once from eggs

  • @newbe I don’t think @daveomak understood what you are saying. I do it all the time. Heck I am guessing 90% of butchers have to to that when deer meat is brought in. I haven’t had a problem or a different taste from it at all

  • I do quite a bit of wild game and smoked products and as such to help build up product to smoke we will freeze and sometimes refreeze meat to get larger batches. There really is no super negative outcome if your grinding the meat and adding any blood that rendered out to the meat. If you freeze whole muscle then cut into steaks after unthawing you run a little risk of losing moisture. But if you start unthawing your meat then cut into whatever you want while the meat is still partially frozen is your best bet. Honestly you can freeze and unfreeze a couple times with no real ill effects just dont leave the meat unthawed for too many days

  • Walton's Employee

    @Newbe One other thing for anyone looking at this thread, ice crystals form right around the temp meat freezes, so around 28°. If you keep moving that temp just above and just below that you do run the risk of freezer burn. This is why a freezer that runs an auto-defrost cycle isnt always the best thing for long term storage of meat.

  • Power User

    This was a big topic of conversation because we do freeze/thaw/process/refreeze venison and pork, never an issue. As a former restaurateur and certified food handler here is what Dept of Agriculture has to say. I’ll defer to the experts:
    Author: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN

    The U. S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) advises:

    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.

    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.

    DO NOT thaw meat at room temperature, such as on the kitchen counter.

    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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  • D

    Hey y’all checking in from Greensboro, NC. I have been making kielbasa and summer sausage for about 24 years and smoking of course. Just built a curing chamber and am always looking for new things to make! Canning ,pickling, curing, smoking, you name it!

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    Thanks for all the help. I am very pleased with the products. I had a source I used for years that went out of business. Glad I have found you guys wish I had found you a long time ago.

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  • @Tim-Salois Yes, brining and pickling are used in the same way even though they do not mean the same thing even though they have slightly different actual definitions.

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  • S

    @lamurscrappy thanks for all the help. I will let you know how the next batch turns out.

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  • @scottwaltner i personally think we found your problem. After the ice bath you need to hang them at room temp for at least an hour. That helps to bloom the product and help set the casing as well. I think thats your issue.

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