One that life’s basic joys is to have actually a freezer full of’s delicious meat, easily obtainable whenever you desire an impressive meal.

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But we know that knowing exactly what come do with her frozen meat deserve to be a little confusing. At, we’re lucky to have in-house meat industry experts and experienced chefs who have the right to answer our many pressing frozen meat storage and defrosting questions. We placed together this guide, to share the wisdom.

At the bottom of this post, we’ve likewise included part advice ~ above what you deserve to do come organize your meat and maximize freezer an are after her frozen meat come on your doorstep.

What come know about defrosting in the refrigerator

The safest means to thaw frozen meat is in the refrigerator. Generally, an mean size reduced of meat bring away a job to completely defrost in a fridge. Larger cuts or whole birds (like a turkey) take around 24 hrs per five pounds to thaw.

The times mentioned below are what the USDA recommends for save meat after it has actually defrosted in the fridge.

How long different proteins and cuts remain fresh in the fridge

Defrosting Chicken

Due to’s vacuum-seal packaging, ours chicken deserve to last in between 3 come 5 job in the refrigerator. (If the vacuum seal is broken, stick come the standard 1-2 day referral for poultry.)

Defrosting Beef

When it involves steaks or roasts, if the initial packaging is sealed tight, it have the right to remain in the frozen fridge for almost two weeks. However, exterior of its packaging or if the packaging is torn, beef is good for 3-5 days once defrosted in the refrigerator.

Ground beef is a small different. It remains fresh for 1-2 days in the fridge once it defrosts.

Defrosting Pork

The rules because that pork also differ depending upon the cut. Most larger pork cut — roasts, pork butt — come in stronger, vacuum-sealed packages. Choose steaks, they will certainly remain great for increase to two weeks defrosted in the refrigerator.

However, smaller sized cuts of pork that space in individual reduced packaging will stay fresh because that 3-5 days if it remains vacuum-sealed or 1-2 job if the packaging seal is damaged or if you’ve eliminated it from its original packaging.

Once friend defrost bacon, it will remain an excellent for 7 days in the refrigerator.

Defrosting Fish

After salmon and other seafood has actually been defrosted, it too will be new for secondary one to 2 days if defrosted in the refrigerator. One point to note for every seafood: Make certain you take it seafood the end of the packaging prior to you defrost it. That is no safe to defrost fish in that is vacuum-sealed packaging where bacteria can form without oxygen.

Defrosting any meat external of the refrigerator


The rules space a bit various if you defrost the meat exterior of the fridge or through cold water.

Thawing Meat in Cold Water

If you desire to defrost frozen meat quickly, you deserve to do for this reason by putting the meat in cold water — which can remain to run or i m sorry you readjust out every 30 minutes. However, you need to make certain that the packaging is sealed tightly; if not, you have the right to put the meat in a sealed plastic bag to defrost in cold water.

Additionally, this requires active attention. You should not leave any kind of meat in the sink indefinitely.

A one-pound reduced of meat deserve to defrost in ~ an hour by making use of this cold water method.

Check the end Chef Yankel’s tips because that defrosting in water in the video clip below. (BONUS: clock the video clip to the finish for simple trick to dried a steak which will certainly lead to much better a much better sear and also a tender steak.)

Defrosting on the Kitchen Counter? warm Water?

It is no recommended the you defrost meat by leave it out at room temperature ~ above the kitchen counter, due to the fact that you shouldn’t leave meat out at room temperature for an ext than 2 hours. This will lug it to the “danger zone” temperatures whereby bacteria deserve to form. The very same is true of thawing with warm water.

If you room in a pinch, you can defrost through cold running water or cook from frozen, as pointed out above.

For an ext on defrosting meat and also other foods, examine out the FDA/USDA website on defrosting, The large Thaw.

What room you walk to cook this week?

We’ve uncovered the ideal step come take as soon as you receive your is to very first figure the end which cut you desire to chef within the next five days. Those cut can enter your refrigerator come defrost.

When you carry out defrost in the refrigerator, make sure to put the frozen meat top top a dish or key or in a large, sealable bag. Sometimes, the frozen packaging gets tiny tears due to being jostled throughout shipping; this does not impact the flavor, quality, or safety of the meat. But you may have actually some fluid in the packaging leak as it defrosts. This is a mix of 2 compounds uncovered in pet muscles: Myoglobin — the protein that gives meat its color and also is complete of dietary iron — and water. Basically, friend don’t want to take it the risk that any liquid can potentially leak in her refrigerator.

Additionally, make certain to mental the different rules because that defrosting seafood: It must be eliminated from its initial vacuum-sealed packaging to defrost.

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Take the remainder of her frozen meat and also put it right right into the freezer wherein it deserve to remain, frozen, for more than a year. (In theory, you have the right to keep frozen meat indefinitely, however, for high quality purposes, the USDA has actually some guidelines the you can find here on how long you need to keep it frozen.)

We think the this is the best method to get you food preparation the meat you desire in the next few days and how to save the rest for later on in the month.