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Can You Refreeze Chicken?

Can You Refreeze Chicken?

There are times you have to put meat in the freezer. One reason this might happen is you cooked too much at the time and want to have it for leftovers.

Another is because you don’t want to waste the food. Hey, these days, food is awfully expensive!

Refreezing meat sounds simple, but some questions still pop up regarding freezing your meat. For one, can you refreeze cooked meat?

What about raw meat that has been thawed first?

We are going to answer these exact questions in this article! By the end, you’ll know exactly what to do with refreezing chicken.

Is It Possible to Refreeze Chicken?

It is possible to refreeze chicken. This includes cooked chicken that was previously frozen and then thawed, as well as raw chicken that went through the same process.

We will go into why it’s possible to refreeze both types of chicken because there are little differences to keep in mind.

Refreezing Cooked Chicken

Refreezing cooked chicken has fewer conditions than it does with refreezing its raw form. This is because the chicken has already been cooked to a safe temperature.

The chicken needs to be refrozen within 3 to four days of thawing. If you don’t do this, then you need to either cook it or throw it away.

If it has an odd smell, you’ll know that it is bad. Also, please never thaw cooked chicken on the counter.

We will go into the safe ways to thaw chicken later, but doing it on the counter is always a big no-no.

Once the chicken is thawed and you place it on the counter, you should time it.

The reason for this is that if you decide, for some reason, you don’t want to eat it yet, then you need to put it back in the freezer within 2 hours.

If the temperature is above 90 degrees, then the period drops to one hour.

Bacteria flourishes at room temperature, so this is why it is important to keep track of the time.

Refreezing Raw Chicken

With refreezing raw chicken, some of the same rules with cooked chicken apply.

For one, you shouldn’t thaw it on the counter under any circumstances and if you have left it out for more than an hour or two (depending on the temperature).

However, with raw chicken, there are some additional things to keep in mind.

If you plan to refreeze your raw chicken, it’s best to do this in the fridge. There are other methods, but if you use any other method of thawing other than the fridge, then the chicken has to be cooked.

Pesky bacteria is the reason for this. They thrive at room temperature and to keep those little buggers from hurting you.

Everyone wants to avoid bacteria. This is just a given!

How to Safely Thaw Chicken

There are about three proven methods of thawing raw chicken. They include:

  • The best way, hands down, to thaw your chicken is by putting it directly in the fridge. This way is admittedly the longest and can take up to 2 days to completely thaw. Once this is done, you have about 2 days to either cook or refreeze the raw chicken. For cooked chicken, you have 3 to 4 days to decide whether to eat it or put it back in the freezer.
  • Second way you can thaw chicken is by using some cold water. First thing is to make sure the chicken is covered by something that is leakproof. Nothing can get in, and nothing can get out. The next step requires you to just put the chicken in the cold water, changing it around every 30 minutes.
  • The third and final way to thaw chicken that is frozen is through the microwave. This is the quickest way. All it involves is putting the chicken in a microwave-safe dish and then pressing the defrost setting on your microwave. Once the timer goes off, then your chicken will be fully thawed!

Remember, if the raw chicken is being defrosted in the microwave or cold water, it needs to be cooked afterward because of the annoying bacteria that could grow in it. If you consume that, then you’ll end up putting your health at risk.

Could it kill you? Maybe not, but who wants to be ill?

How to Safely Freeze Chicken

Like with safely thawing chicken, there are ways to safely freeze and refreeze it as well. This includes:

  • Before considering refreezing your chicken, make sure it hasn’t been left out at room temperature for a long time! We’ve mentioned this a lot, but it’s something especially important to remember! One word: bacteria.
  • A great way to ensure that your meat will stay fresh and not be cursed by the dreaded condition known as freezer burn is by wrapping it properly. This can be done by using foil, a freezer-safe bag, a container, or foil. This goes for both raw and cooked chicken that is being refrozen or frozen for the first time.
  • Finally, always make sure that you put the date somewhere on the bag or container that the chicken is in. This way, you won’t end up eating chicken that has been left in there too long and possibly putting your health at risk.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, all you chicken lovers out there! It is possible to refreeze previously frozen and thawed chickens that have been cooked or are raw.

There are a few rules you have to follow when doing this, of course. By following these rules, you are preventing yourself from falling ill.

The rules are incredibly simple to follow. In the end, you’ll get to eat some delicious food, so it does pay to adhere to them.

Food is one, if not one, of the top things we people like to indulge in, and the best way to do it is by doing it safely.

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