A Quick Guide to Safely Cooking Frozen Meat
There’s nothing that makes you want to order out more than realizing you have absolutely no food that isn’t frozen. Thawing meat isn’t necessarily difficult, but sometimes there just isn’t time to do it.
It’s always smart to thaw your meat products in advance, but it’s a myth that you can’t cook meat without taking hours to thaw it first. Cooking frozen meat is possible, but it just requires a different process than thawed meat.
We’re going to give you a little crash course today, hopefully helping you in those times when you’re debating ordering a pizza or cooking yourself a healthy meal.
Let’s get started:
Your Guide to Cooking Frozen Meat
Let’s start out by discussing how to properly freeze meats to ensure their safety.
It’s nice to know that you can buy meat, throw it in the freezer, and expect it to last as long as you need it to. But just how long can a cut of meat actually last?
That depends. If you vacuum seal your meat, you can expect it to last for up to one year. If you have it wrapped in paper, you should get rid of it after around six months.
It’s important that you wrap the meat as tightly as possible and try to avoid any exposure of the meat to the open air of the freezer. Further, you should do your best to limit the opening of the freezer if you have meat preserved in it.
When It Comes to Cooking
Cooking frozen meat, we should mention, is entirely safe if you get it to the correct internal temperature. In every case, a temperature of 165 F is acceptable for meat. This is true for most meats you’ll ever cook like frozen chicken or frozen steak.
There are some meats that can be cooked to a lower temperature, but reaching 165 will ensure that any meat is safe. Now, cooking frozen meat isn’t all that much different from cooking thawed meat.
The primary difference is that you’ll need to cook it a while longer. The nice thing is that you can cook the meat almost exactly how you would cook it otherwise. This might seem a little strange, but it’s true.
That said, some different cuts will require you to spend some more time cooking and deliberating over the meat. Typically, the tougher cuts are ones that are in unique shapes or the ones that are ground.
A unique cut makes it more difficult to cook evenly and prepare the way you normally would. Normal cuts like pork chops, steaks, chicken breasts, and lamb chops can be cooked just the way you would otherwise cook them.
You just need to plan to cook them about 50% longer than you otherwise would. So, if the recipe calls for an hour, plan on throwing them in for an hour and a half. If you’re concerned about the altered health effects of frozen meat, that is something to talk to your doctor about.
Nutrition might be altered over time. It’s important to seek out more information on ways to supplement key parts of your diet if you have a medical condition that calls you to do so.
Looking to Improve Your Cooking Game?
The process of cooking frozen meat is just one of the tricks of the culinary game. There’s a lot more to learn as you try and refine your skills. We’re here to help.
Explore our site for more information on how to become a more effective cook.