Freezing twice.

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Freezing twice.

Postby Gruney » December 4th, 2019, 8:08 pm

A couple of months ago I bought a load of skinned chicken thigh fillets - the dish I was making only required half, and I froze the rest. I don't need them all for tomorrow's dinner, but they have frozen into a single mass, and can't be separated out. Would it be safe to use what I want in the recipe, separately cook the remainder, and then freeze it, without any sauce. Intuitively, I think I would be safe to do this, but I'd welcome a bit of reassurance, please.
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby earthmaiden » December 4th, 2019, 8:49 pm

As long as it's cooked it should be fine. I often freeze cooked chicken (which had been frozen when raw) without sauce and sometimes eat it eat it cold once thawed.
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby Gruney » December 4th, 2019, 9:01 pm

Thanks EM - good to have it confirmed.
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby Prettykiwicrazy » December 4th, 2019, 9:24 pm

Yes that’s fine to freeze defrosted raw meat that’s been cooked . The main danger is when foods reheated and defrosted several times as increases potential risk of bacteria .
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby Suelle » December 4th, 2019, 10:18 pm

Prettykiwicrazy wrote:Yes that’s fine to freeze defrosted raw meat that’s been cooked . The main danger is when foods reheated and defrosted several times as increases potential risk of bacteria .


No it doesn't, unless you aren't being very careful and letting food get too warm during thawing, so that bacteria start to multiply. The only reason it's not recommended is that the texture of the food will be adversely affected with repeated freezing and thawing.
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby Gruney » December 5th, 2019, 8:02 am

Thanks everyone - I know I've asked a similar question before, but I just wanted to be certain on this specific point. Thanks again.
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby Badger's mate » December 9th, 2019, 9:17 am

Suelle wrote:
Prettykiwicrazy wrote:Yes that’s fine to freeze defrosted raw meat that’s been cooked . The main danger is when foods reheated and defrosted several times as increases potential risk of bacteria .


No it doesn't, unless you aren't being very careful and letting food get too warm during thawing, so that bacteria start to multiply. The only reason it's not recommended is that the texture of the food will be adversely affected with repeated freezing and thawing.



I think both are true though. When Mrs B had her transplant there was a lot of information from the hospital about food hygiene, they were very wary of reheating and 'agin' refreezing. I've definitely seen bread become mouldy in a freezer at (a measured) minus 18C, presumably there was a small colony on the bread when it was put into the freezer which developed before the working temperature was reached. I am a reheater and a refreezer but am very careful about when and how I do either.

Slightly off topic, a couple of weeks ago I did a workshop on fermented foods - luckily it was still fresh in my mind at a recent clinic so I could talk to one of the consultants about it. Much like the reheating and refreezing I think it's a matter of making common sense decisions, based on proper information.
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby StokeySue » December 9th, 2019, 9:45 am

One thing to remember is that bacteria grow happily in warm foods, not cold foods or hot foods. They don’t grow at all in food over 70C or below freezing

So there’s some flexibility in thawing and reheating rules, as long as food is defrosted, heated and cooled down with some alacrity. Cooling is often the part that’s overlooked I think. Even under perfect conditions it usually takes around 20 minutes for the number to double. And of course you need really good hygiene to prevent introducing bacteria to the food. And if you cover the food properly before cooling that helps.

BUT in a commercial kitchen or one with multiple users or where there are people vulnerable to infection or who may not be good at following hygiene rules One Time Only is simplest and safest, with the exception that cooking food frozen raw then defrosted and cooked restarts the counter

Also repeated cycles of thawing and freezing or reheating and cooling tends to reduce food quality quite apart from safety, I don’t want mush!

I seldom freeze raw foods such as chops or chicken portions in the package they come home in, I separate the pieces with baking parchment first, and I freeze made dishes in individual portions. It’s one of those little jobs that saves effort in the long run.
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby PatsyMFagan » December 9th, 2019, 9:53 am

Badger's mate wrote:Slightly off topic, a couple of weeks ago I did a workshop on fermented foods -


If you are on FB, then you should look at/join UK Fermenting Friends . Lots of ideas, suggestions and advice :tu:
No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby Badger's mate » December 9th, 2019, 11:06 pm

Thank you for the suggestion Pat :tu:
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby Badger's mate » December 10th, 2019, 10:33 am

I suspect that some people don't understand that freezing doesn't kill microorganisms, merely slows them up for a bit. It's the means by which plants are kept in seed banks. Insects and other bigger animals are not able to survive freezing - a good way of eliminating pests if you save your own seeds.

It's easy to reheat a liquid on a hob to safe temperatures, I imagine that a stockpot could go on indefinitely if boiled every day. Solid food might be more difficult to heat uniformly, especially with a microwave oven and more especially if heated from frozen.
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby StokeySue » December 10th, 2019, 10:54 am

Yes BM, remember I keep culture for yogurt making in the freezer, and the bacteria get going very happily once the cube of yogurt has thawed it’s definitely “live” again.

I’ve reverted to using the defrost function on the microwave for a lot of things immediately before reheating, less than 20 minutes from block of ice to a bowl of hot stew, and because it gets a good stir between defrosting and reheating no problems with adverse effects on texture or with uneven heating
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby earthmaiden » December 10th, 2019, 10:56 am

We used to do that when I was a child and didn't have a fridge. Any stew type dish was made and lasted over several days but boiled thoroughly every day even if we didn't eat any that day. I am still here!
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby suffolk » December 10th, 2019, 11:03 am

earthmaiden wrote:We used to do that when I was a child and didn't have a fridge. Any stew type dish was made and lasted over several days but boiled thoroughly every day even if we didn't eat any that day. I am still here!


ditto
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Re: Freezing twice.

Postby Badger's mate » December 10th, 2019, 11:05 am

Sourdough starters keep in the freezer too.

Stir-able dishes are much easier to reheat uniformly than (for instance) leftover meat and two veg, I'm sometimes surprised that one bit is piping hot but another tepid. I tend just to do that sort of thing - a small meal in a reused takeaway container - as a lunch for me, so it's not too serious. I have to be more careful with Mrs B of course.
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