General Question

poofandmook's avatar

Can I thaw chicken long enough just to re-package it and refreeze it?

Asked by poofandmook (17277points) December 5th, 2009

I was lazy and just threw all the huge packages of chicken I bought on sale in a big freezer bag and tossed them in the freezer. I realized that if I thawed them, it would be way too much to cook and eat at once. Can I thaw the bags, re-pack the chicken into smaller serving bags, and then freeze them again?

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16 Answers

juwhite1's avatar

I know you aren’t supposed to, but I’ve semi-thawed them before and done this. I’m still alive to tell you about it, so I guess it worked out fine for me! I didn’t get sick from it, and the taste and texture of the chicken was the same as if I hadn’t done it at all. I’m pretty sure they tell you not to to avoid warming the chicken, then refreezing it and increasing the risk of food-born illnesses.

lfino's avatar

I agree with juwhite1, just partially thaw, enough to unstick them from each other, and then refreeze.

dpworkin's avatar

Just don’t do it in the microwave. Do it in the refrigerator.

Haleth's avatar

You should be fine, and what’s the alternative? Trying to saw through a frozen-solid block of chicken? If you just run some water over the chicken pieces for a few minutes, you can break it in half.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Of course you can. It’ll be fine.

marinelife's avatar

It is not the best thing in terms of impact on the quality of the meat, but it can be done.

Another option is to thaw the big package, cook the chicken, and then refreeze in smaller packages of cooked meat.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Marina That’s the way I do it. I cook up a huge amount of meat all at once, and then freeze it in serving or meal size packages. It save on gas, by using the oven once, and then the microwave after for reheating.

Adagio's avatar

I am always incredibly careful with chicken, campylobacter and all that. If the chicken pieces are larger (e.g. drumstick or leg) and still have the skin attached perhaps you could try walloping the bag on the kitchen bench to get them to separate, I’ve done that in the past myself.

poofandmook's avatar

legs and thighs, skin on.

Adagio's avatar

@poofandmook Perfect Like I said, try walloping the bag on the kitchen bench to separate the pieces. Best of luck.

charliecompany34's avatar

once you thaw out chicken, just cook it. for health reasons, don’t re-freeze it.

oratio's avatar

Yeah. You will be all right. Meat of birds can as well “hang” for some time without a problem. You might loose some moisture.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

You can re-freeze anything. Generally, if you buy chicken in the store it’s been frozen once and allowed to thaw in the store cooler. No one thinks twice about refreezing like that. Same applies here. Un freeze and refreeze. You might suffer some quality but hey, you bought on sale and didn’t splurge on free-range, cage free naturally fed chicken.

ccrow's avatar

This site said:
“The U. S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) advises, “Meat and poultry defrosted in the refrigerator may be refrozen before or after cooking. If thawed by other methods, cook before refreezing.” (Basics for Handling Food Safely, September 8, 2006).

(DO NOT thaw meat at room temperature, such as on the kitchen counter.)

Meat/poultry that is refrozen might suffer some quality loss as moisture may be lost during thawing.

Safety will depend on whether the raw product was handled properly before it was frozen, refrozen shortly after it was thawed, cooked to a safe temperature when it is eaten and handled safely if there are any leftovers.”

YARNLADY's avatar

The information that @ccrow is a good idea. To my way of thinking, I don’t actually “thaw” chicken which I might need to re-package. What actually happens is the ice crystals holding the pieces together is all the gets thawed. The meat itself stays frozen.

poofandmook's avatar

@YARNLADY: didn’t even think of that way… that I could do it without actually thawing the meat, but just the ice connecting the pieces.

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