How Many Times Can You Re-Freeze that Steak?

Nothing is more frustrating than when good meat goes bad. You drop a pretty penny on some finely cut steaks, only to throw it in the freezer when you don't use it on time. You thaw it the night before you feel sure you'll use it, and get an invitation to get dine with some friends. Can you throw it back in, or is it too late? Many people just don't know the rules and boundaries with freezing steaks, so we'll enlighten you.

Is Re-Freezing Unsafe?        

Theoretically, refreezing that steak a few times is completely safe. In the best of circumstances, throwing it right back in the freezer won't affect the beef health-wise, although there are certain things to consider before you toss it back in. We'll go into the circumstantial things to consider for safety in just a bit, but first – we'll fill you in on what you can expect when you re-freeze the meat, and why many people just don't do it.

How Many Times Can You Re-Freeze that Steak?

Re-Freezing Steak Will Alter Taste and Texture

Re-freezing steak is more of a question of taste and texture than anything else. Simply stated, the drastic change in temperature in going from frozen to thawed is always going to alter the quality of the meat as far as consumption. It'll become tough, chewy, and a little more bland, so you'll want to consider what you're using it for before you toss it back in the freezer. If you're planning on grilling it and eating it with a side of potatoes, it's probably best just to eat when it's been fresh or thawed once. If you're planning on tossing it in with a pot of soup, or cutting it up and adding to some eggs or a salad... toss it back in, you won't really notice enough of a difference for it to matter.

When You Shouldn't Do it

Getting back to what you should consider in order to determine if re-freezing the meat is safe: how long (total) has it been sitting in temperatures between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit? This total hour count is from the time the meat is butchered to the time it's sitting on your countertop thawed, even if there's been some freezing in between. In other words, if the butcher wraps it up after an hour and sticks it in the freezer, you'll count that hour; if you buy it and take it home to freeze it, you'll count the time it was in transit. If you let it sit at room temperature to thaw for a few hours, you'll count that time as well.

Anything over 4-5 hours at the aforementioned temperature is a risk for health and safety, so should always be considered before re-freezing. In other words, refreezing thawed meat that has been exposed to warmer temperatures for a longer period of time won't help the meat recover from any sort of potential dangerous bacteria. Bear that in mind when you continue to thaw and re-freeze your meat!

All in all – it's probably not a huge deal as far as health goes to throw the beef back in the freezer, but you will notice a huge difference taste-wise.

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5 Foods that Freeze Well

One of the most frustrating things is buying groceries and then not using them in time. You have the best of intentions when you purchase that on-sale 3 pound pack of chicken breasts, but you feel an unwavering sense of shame and regret when you toss it in the garbage after it's gone bad; it's like you're tossing money in the trash. The freezer can be a major cost saver in terms of preserving food for a later date, but many people just don't have a good idea of what's freezable and how long it'll keep in frigid temperatures. Allow us to enlighten you as we share five foods that freeze really well.

Bacon

Who doesn't love bacon? The problem is that it only lasts about a week (tops) in your refrigerator, so you're required to eat a pound in a week or eat a healthier amount and then toss the rest. You'll be thrilled to learn that bacon freezes really well – it'll last up to three months in there. You won't be able to fry it up in slices unless you thaw it all at one time, but cooking with it has never been easier: simply break off little pieces of the frozen meat and toss into soups, salads, and casseroles for that brilliant bacon flavor that you're looking for.

Fish

We all know that fresh fish won't last long in the refrigerator, so many don't even consider putting it in the freezer. They assume there's no point – that even if it lasts, it won't maintain it's fresh factor. That's a myth, actually; fish does, in fact, freeze well. The key is keeping it in an air tight container; freezer zip lock vacuum suction bags work great, as does a good, old fashioned block of ice. Fish will last anywhere from 3-6 months, depending on the type.

5 Foods that Freeze Well

Avocados

Never toss an over-ripened avocado again. Simply puree it up in a food processor, store it in a freezer bag, and put it in the freezer until you need some avocado topping for your next taco night. Take the bag out of the freezer, thaw it (either in the microwave or for several hours in the refrigerator), and then cut a corner of the bag. Squeeze out the avocado puree (like guacamole) to top any dish requiring the beloved veggie.

Beans

We all know you can save a fortune on beans when you buy the dried beans in a bag (as opposed to canned beans that are already cooked). Not many of us actually do that, though, because it's such a hassle to deal with cooking beans every single time you want them. However, when you consider that you can cook a huge batch at one time, freezing what you don't use and preserving them for next time, things change a little. Make it a 2-3 times a year thing: cook dried beans in bulk and store them in cup sized quantities in the freezer.

Baked Goods

No, you don't have to eat that whole batch of cookies before they become stale. In fact, you may want to save yourself some time and money and go ahead and double the recipe, preparing to save the majority of it for your freezer and another day. Whether it's cookies, muffins, pancakes, cupcakes or any other type of baked goods, they're all easy to pop in the microwave to thaw for a quick little dessert or snack.

Letting food go to waste simply isn't necessary when you consider just how useful that freezer is – so double your recipe and use it for good!

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