Refreezing Thawed Meat
Generally, refreezing thawed meat is not recommended. This is because the quality of the meat will be reduced in this process. Also, if the meat was not thawed in the fridge, there is a strong likelihood that bacteria has started to grow on the meat.
- Food Safety - According to the USDA, as long as the meat has been thawed in the fridge, the meat can be refrozen. If it was thawed on the counter, the meat is not considered safe to refreeze.
- Food Quality - When meat is refrozen not only is there moisture loss, that contributes to dry and tough meat, but each refreeze actually changes the structure of the proteins. In this article from Cooks Illustrated
we learn that when we freeze the water inside of the protein cells, soluble salts are released which causes some of the proteins to shorten, causing tougher meat.
It is best practice to cook the thawed meat, then freeze it.
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