Frozen chicken that has been thawed for quick meal prep will appear to be of handy usage. But what happens if a sudden change of plan occurs while leaving out the thawed chicken? So, Can you refreeze chicken after thawing or not?
You can refreeze the chicken if thawed in the refrigerator below 5°C within 24 hours. Although refreezing chicken more than once may cause loss of moisture still it is safe for cooking. Ensure to refreeze cooked or raw chicken in a freezer-safe bag to avoid crystal formation or freezer burns. Lastly, consume a properly refreeze-thawed chicken within a few months.
Thus, to make things easy, it is vital to explore the reasons behind the myth that refreezing protein-based meat is unsafe. Also, what are the best ways to save the thawed chicken from spoiling?
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Can You Refreeze A Thawed Chicken?
Chicken is becoming the most eaten meat in the world. And with it arises the problem of handling the unconsumed thawed or leftover chicken. So, it becomes necessary to know how you can store its ideal texture for the consumption of the next meal.
Keep in mind refreezing a thawed chicken only depends on how you thaw out the meat from the start. It is best to thaw it on the lowest shelf of the fridge. Why?
It is because the bottom of the fridge is the coldest and shares an ideal temperature below 5°C. So, it is safe from getting in contact with air particles that can be a source of bacterial attraction.
Most importantly, refreezing thawed chicken in a sturdy Ziploc bag will avoid crystal formation and freezer burns.
Why Is It Unsafe To Refreeze A Thawed Chicken?
A chicken thawed on the outer shelf or in a microwave is considered unsafe. The clarification is that while in the microwave, the meat shows up at an incredibly high internal temperature. Also, thawing at room temperature will cause the multiplication of bacterial growth.
Therefore, the temperature fluctuation creates an ideal environment for the deterioration of chicken quality and texture. Also, the formation of ice crystals around the chicken shatters the thawed meat quality and entirely spoils the food.
But, still, it is safe to cook such Chicken meat as the taste changes slightly. It is evident that protein-based food does have a presence of bacteria on it, but with proper handling, you get control over its healthy consumption.
How To Refreeze A Thawed Chicken?
Steps to follow while refreezing a thawed chicken in its ideal state are as follows:
- For the air-tight packaging of a thawed chicken, please place it in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or container.
- It is best to cut the thawed chicken in its meal-size portion before placing it in the freezer bag. So, for the next meal prep, you only get the desired food portion without spoiling the whole of it.
- Now, place the packaged chicken at the bottom of the freezer that has ideal space. So, you get to take out the freezer bag easily!
- The last step is to label the packaging with the best before-use date for its healthy intake.
How Long Can you Refreezea Thawed Chicken?
You can keep the chicken in the refrigerator for some days, but to store it for a more extended period, you can deep freeze it even if it is once thawed.
So, it is ideal for refreezing the properly stored chicken in an air-tight plastic bag for up to a year. For best quality, consume the raw thawed chicken before nine months. In contrast, cooked chicken is best to use within four months.
To sum up, you can refreeze thawed chicken by following the proper handling steps. All you need to do is, measure the ideal thawing process, that is, defrosting the chicken in a fridge at the lowest temperature. By doing so, you get to minimize the risk of bacteria getting into contact with the food that is highly possible when you thaw chicken outside at room temperature.
Also, to avoid thawing frozen chicken, again and again, it is best to refreeze it in small-portion size. So, you get to consume only the required portion and save the whole meat from losing its moisture and texture.