Sometimes you take the meat out of the freezer to thaw for a meal you plan. Then, after it’s thawed out, you change your mind and realize you don’t want to cook it.
You have the choice of either putting it back in the freezer, cooking it, or throwing it away.
When this happens, you need to know if you can refreeze the food. This is especially true with meat because of how quickly it can go bad.
One meat people do this with is pork chops. By the end of this article, you’ll find out if you can refreeze both cooked and raw pork chops that were previously thawed.
Is It Possible to Refreeze Pork Chops?
The first thing we will tell you is that it is entirely possible to be able to refreeze your pork chops.
This includes cooked pork chops and raw pork chops that have gone through the thawing and then refreezing process.
In the next part, we’ll discuss the specifics of refreezing cooked pork chops and then raw pork chops.
Refreezing Cooked Pork Chops
The thing you need to know about refreezing pork chops is that if you’ve left it on the counter for more than 2 hours or 1 hour if the temperature is more than 90 degrees, you need to chuck it.
It’s best not to cook it because bacteria love to grow at room temperature, so the pork chops will have bacteria all over them.
The same goes for thawing it out on the counter in general. This is a big no-no in the cooking world.
Assuming you’ve put the raw pork in the fridge after taking it out of the freezer, it should last about 3 or 4 days.
Once that time is up, you need to either cook it or put it back in the freezer—assuming this is the second time you refreeze it.
You should never refreeze twice because the quality of the meat just won’t be great.
Refreezing Raw Pork Chops
When it comes to refreezing raw pork chops, the rules are similar to refreezing cooked pork chops.
It has a shelf life of about 3 to 4 days in the fridge before you have to figure out what you want to do with it.
The same goes for leaving the meat on the counter for more than an hour or two, depending on the temperature. Meat can simply not be thawed on the counter.
The biggest difference you’ll find is that if you defrost the meat using any method other than the fridge, it must be cooked first before being put back in the freezer. If you are wondering if the reason for this has to do with bacteria, then you are correct!
Bacteria can lead to a lot of diseases and/or illnesses. A common one is food poisoning, and while it isn’t fatal in most cases, it’s very unpleasant.
How to Safely Thaw Pork Chops
We found there are three proven methods to thaw your pork chops. They include:
- The best way to thaw raw or cooked pork is by doing it in the fridge. First, you take itout of the freezer and put it in the fridge. Leave it in there overnight, and it should be completely thawed come morning.
- The cold water method is a quick way to thaw your pork chops. Put the pork chops (keep them in plastic) in a bowl that is filled with cold water. Make sure the water is changed out every 30 minutes until it is thawed. Remember, if you do this with raw pork, it needs to be cooked before being refrozen.
- Finally, the last microwave method is the method that is the quickest and easiest to do. Put it in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl and then hit the defrost button. Keep in mind that if you do this with raw pork, it needs to be cooked before being refrozen.
So, by using one of these methods, you’ll be able to safely thaw your pork chops!
How to Safely Freeze Pork Chops
There are things you can do to ensure your pork chops freeze with no trouble. They include:
- Make sure the pork chops are wrapped in plastic wrap, freezer paper, or foil. Then you need to put it in a freezer bag and make sure it is airtight. The reason you need to get all the air out of there is because of the freezer burn. Having a freezer burn on your meat isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it does ruin the parts of the meat it forms on. You’ll end up having to cut off those parts, and this gives you less to eat!
- Second thing you should do is put the date on the package of pork chops. You do this when you first freeze the pork chops as well as when you refreeze. This way, you have an idea of what meat was put into the freezer. To make it safer for you, always do the sniff test before cooking or heating the pork chops. Doesn’t hurt to give it a once over, either.
By using these two methods, your pork chops will be in good condition inside the freezer and avoid that dreaded freezer burn that we hate to get on our meat. Hey, food is expensive these days!
And there you go, all your pork chop lovers out there! In the article, we showed you it’s possible to refreeze pork chops that have been cooked and then thawed as well as pork chops that went through a similar process.
We also went into how to safely thaw and freeze the meat in general so you can avoid freezer burn.
It will take some time to get used to the rules that have to follow when refreezing pork chops and all meat.
Eventually, it will become second nature for you, and you’ll be refreezing meat like a champ!