Often before people leave for work, they take food out of the freezer to cook it once it is thawed.
Sometimes, though, you realize you don’t want to cook it. This leaves you with the choice of either putting it back in the freezer, cooking it, or throwing it away.
At moments like this, you need to know if you can refreeze the food, and this is true with meat. One meat people do this with is steak.
By the end of this article, you will find out if you can refreeze both cooked and raw steaks that were previously thawed.
Is It Possible to Refreeze Steak?
It is certainly possible to refreeze steak. Keep in mind that the more you do the freezing and thawing process, the meat does lose flavor, but it can still be done.
In the next part, we’ll go into the specifics for refreezing cooked steak and refreezing raw steak that has gone through the frozen and thawing process.
Refreezing Cooked Steak
When you are deciding to refreeze your cooked steak, there are some things you need to be aware of.
Besides taking normal safety precautions when handling meat, one thing you need to avoid is leaning the steak to thaw on the counter.
Under no circumstances should you do this, and if you have, then throw it out right away. It can lead to you getting sick from bacteria.
Bacteria love to grow at room temperature. If you eat steak that is infected with bacteria, then you could get ill. One illness is food poisoning. It’s not usually fatal, but it’s very unpleasant to deal with.
The only time steak can be used if it’s left on the counter is if it’s on there for 2 hours or fewer. It drops to one hour when the temperature is 90 degrees or more.
Assuming you are putting your steak in the fridge, well, it can last about 3 to 4 days in the fridge before you need to figure out what to do with it first.
Refreezing Raw Steak
The rules for refreezing raw steak are similar to the ones for cooked steak.
It shouldn’t be left out on the counter to thaw at all, and if it is left out on the counter, it has to be for 2 hours or fewer.
This time limit drops to 1 hour if the temperature is more than 90 degrees.
Also, it will last 3 to 4 days in the fridge before you have to figure out what you want to do with it.
One of the biggest differences has to do with how you thaw steak. Raw steak can only be refrozen right away if it is thawed in the fridge.
If it was thawed in any other way, you need to cook it before even thinking about refreezing it.
How to Safely Thaw Steak
There are about three proven methods of thawing steak. This includes:
- We will start by saying the best way to thaw your steak is by putting it in the fridge. First, take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge. Then leave it in there overnight. It will be completely thawed by the next morning, and this includes both raw and cooked steak.
- The second method is the cold water method, which is a quicker method than the fridge method. You put the steak in a bowl that is filled with cold water. Always change the water every 30 minutes until it has completely thawed. Remember, if you do this with a raw steak, it needs to be cooked before being refrozen.
- Finally, the last method is by far the quickest. It’s even quicker than the cold water one. To do this, put it in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl and then hit the defrost button. Once it beeps, you are finished! Remember, if you do this with a raw steak, it needs to be cooked before being refrozen.
All these come with their strengths and weaknesses. Just be aware of that before attempting to thaw your steak with any of them.
How to Safely Freeze Steak
There are some things you can do to make sure you are correctly freezing your steak. This includes:
- Before you even think of putting the steak in the freezer, you need to wrap it in something. This is so it won’t get that pesky freezer burn. This can be foil, plastic wrap, or a freezer-safe bag. Once this is done, put it in a zip-lock bag or off-brand equivalent. You need to make sure it is airtight, so get all the air out of there. The reason for this? Well, to avoid freezer burn, of course!
- The other thing you can do is write the date you put the steak in the freezer on the bag. You should also be doing this when you refreeze it as well, so know exactly when all this was done. If you want to make sure the meat is good when you take it out, consider giving it the sniff test and a once-over to make sure it’s still good to eat.
- Using these two suggestions is a great way to not end up with a freezer burn on your meat. Steak, and meat in general, is expensive, so do what you can to avoid having to waste any of it!
And there you go, all you steak lovers out there in the world!
In the article, we showed you that you could refreeze steak that has been cooked and then thawed as well as steak that went through a similar process.
Another thing we felt we had to mention was how to safely thaw and freeze it in general. This way, you can avoid getting freezer burn on the meat!
It will take time for you to get used to refreezing meat and how to properly do it, but once you do, you will be an expert at it in no time.