It's one of the most common queries in the kitchen but is still a question that many of us do not know the answer to. Is it possible to refreeze chicken?
Well, in today's article, I will answer this once and for all. If you're in a hurry, then the answer is, yes, you can refreeze chicken, but there are some things to keep in mind beforehand.
For instance, if you freeze your chicken with other ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, sauces, etc., then they will likely turn into a mushy mess after being defrosted.
This is because these foods contain water, making them expand and contract more than meat does.
So, when you thaw frozen food, make sure you remove any ice from inside the container before placing it back in the fridge or freezer. Also, remember always to use hot running water when washing your hands or cleaning up after cooking.
Now that I have covered the basics, let's get on to the real question at hand: Can I Refreeze Chicken? Here, I will discuss this and guide you through some helpful tips for storing chicken and maintaining its quality for as long as possible.
Is It Safe To Refreeze Chicken?
The short answer is yes; you can refreeze chicken. However, there are specific guidelines you should follow when doing so. For example, only place raw poultry in the refrigerator or freezer within two days of purchase.
If you plan to store cooked chicken for more than three months, it is best to cook it first and then freeze it.
It's also worth noting that refreezing chicken that has been previously frozen could cause the meat to lose moisture and become dry.
And lastly, don't overdo it with the amount of time you leave your chicken out. The ideal storage temperature for chicken is 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).
Anything above this and the meat becomes dry while anything below begins to spoil.
How Long Does Refrigerated Chicken Last?
After discussing the safety aspect of freezing chicken, I now want to talk about how long it lasts in the fridge.
If you buy whole chickens, you can expect to keep them in the refrigerator for approximately five days. However, when purchasing boneless chicken parts, you can expect it to last for around seven days.
If you're looking to extend the life of your chicken even further, then you need to consider freezing it. You can increase the shelf life by up to 6 months by freezing chicken.
So, what exactly happens when you freeze chicken? The cells shrink when you freeze chicken, and the proteins coagulate together. This causes the meat to lose its juices and become drier.
When you defrost chicken, the cell walls begin to break down again, and the protein starts to return to normal. As a result, the meat softens and returns to its original state.
How To Freeze Chicken?
Wrap it in aluminum foil and put it in an airtight bag to freeze the chicken. Then, pop it in the freezer. Make sure you label the package clearly with the date you froze it.
There are some other steps to follow before you freeze chicken too. First, before starting the freezing process, you need to make sure it is fresh.
If you bought it a day or two ago, you still have plenty of time to prepare it before freezing. Here are some things you can do:
- Wash it thoroughly under running water.
- Remove any excess fat from the skin.
- Pat, it dry using paper towels.
- Place it in a large bowl and cover it with ice-cold water.
- Let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the water and dry it again using paper towels.
Now, place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, it should be ready to freeze.
How To Store Thawed Chicken
Once you've thawed your chicken, you'll want to use it as soon as possible. But, you also want to make sure you store it properly until you do.
The best way to store thawed chicken is in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
How To Cook Frozen Chicken?
Cooking frozen chicken is very easy. All you need to do is heat it through. There are many ways that you can cook it. Some methods of heating frozen chicken are:
- Bake it in the oven.
- Microwave it.
- Boil it.
- Roast it.
- Grill it.
Once the frozen chicken has thawed out and is safe to eat, you can add it to all kinds of recipes, from stir-fries and curries to pasta dishes and small snacks. The world is your oyster when it comes to chicken recipes!
What Changes In Chicken When It Is Refrozen?
If you're wondering what changes when you refreeze chicken, here are a few things you may notice:
- It becomes more tender.
- Its texture gets softer.
- It takes longer to cook than freshly cooked chicken.
- It loses less moisture during cooking.
- It tastes better because it's not dried out.
- It doesn't lose flavor as much as it does when you buy it raw.
- It cooks faster than fresh chicken.
- It stays juicy even after being reheated.
After thawing, chicken loses moisture and a great deal of water content. If chicken is refrozen, then it will lose a second round of moisture compared to its first time being frozen. This is why frozen chicken is not always recommended.
Chicken may have been frozen in some stores because it has nearly reached its sell-by day.
For the best poultry, I recommend purchasing it fresh. And, always remember to check its best-before date.
Related How-to Cooking Articles
Check out these cooking how-tos, I'm sure you'll learn something new.
So there you go. Refreezing chicken is possible if you first follow some essential steps to prepare it. Just remember that you don't have to throw your chicken out if you have some leftovers after a dinner party.
It's generally safe to refreeze chicken if the thawing and refreezing processes are done correctly. Yes, the chicken's taste and texture may change, but at least you can add the chicken to other dishes and not waste any more food.
Can You Refreeze Chicken? (Video)
Chicken Comfort Recipes
Try one of my comfort recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!