Do you like weighing meat before cooking, or do you just pick the quantity you want and start cooking? Either way, most people prefer weighing their meat (frozen or unfrozen) before using it for cooking.
However, freezing is a crucial preservation technique. When frozen, meat can stay in the freezer for an extended period. The only part most people are confused about is the weight of the frozen meat.
Does frozen meat weigh more? Here is the confusing question most people are seeking an answer to. In this post, we’ll address this question and other related ones. So keep reading!
Table of Contents
- 1 Does Meat Weigh More When Frozen?
- 2 Does Frozen Meat Weigh More Than Thawed Meat?
- 3 How Much More Does Meat Weigh When Frozen?
- 4 Does Meat Weigh More Raw Or Cooked?
- 5 Can Frozen Meat Go Bad?
- 6 Can Frozen Meat Be Thawed And Refrozen?
- 7 Will Frozen Meat Go Bad If Left Out Overnight?
- 8 Does Frozen Meat Lose Nutrients When Cooked?
Does Meat Weigh More When Frozen?
The straightforward answer is yes. Frozen meat weighs more than unfrozen meat. You can experiment with this at home and see for yourself. Now, there’s a reason frozen meat has more weight than when unfrozen or thawed. Note that when you freeze meat, you end up trapping liquid on the meat’s surface.
The trapped liquid will increase the weight of the meat when it forms ice. But when you thaw the meat, it will lose some weight as the ice formed turns into a liquid state.
Does Frozen Meat Weigh More Than Thawed Meat?
Again, yes, it does. Frozen meat weighs more than thawed one. Frozen meat tends to weigh more because of the water trapped in the meat. But when you thaw the frozen meat, it loses the extra weight gained as the ice formed becomes liquid.
Again, keep in mind that how you froze your meat counts. It will determine if the frozen meat will weigh more than the thawed one. If you freeze the meat in an open package, giving room for water to condense and freeze on the meat’s surface, its weight will slightly increase.
On the other hand, if you froze the meat in a freezer bag and allowed it to thaw while in the freezer bag, there won’t be changes to the meat’s weight. In such cases, the frozen meat will have the same weight as when thawed.
In a nutshell, the meat’s water content plays a massive role. It determines how much increase in weight the frozen meat would have. For example, a cheap ham would have a lot of water. Thus, when frozen, the weight will increase slightly.
When thawed, the water the ham contains will evaporate, reducing the meat’s weight. That’s what we’re trying to explain.
How Much More Does Meat Weigh When Frozen?
Firstly, understand that there’s no standard method to determine how much meat weighs when frozen. The primary thing that determines the extra weight is the amount of liquid or water on the meat’s surface that freezes to form the ice.
Again, you have to understand that meat’s water content differs from one meat to another. For example, the eye of round beef’s water content is 73%, while other types of meat may have up to 75% water content.
And note that allowing the meat to thaw means you could lose 20-30% of its volume and size as the water drains out.
Again, keep in mind that you do not need to worry about the frozen meat you bought from a grocery store losing considerable weight when thawed. It doesn’t happen that way. The amount of weight meat gains when frozen is too small to bother you. It won’t impact the price of the meat you’re buying.
Does Meat Weigh More Raw Or Cooked?
The thing is, meat tends to have more weight when raw than cooked. You can conduct this simple experiment in your kitchen and see.
Now, why does this happen? Average meat typically loses approximately 25% of its weight when thawed. So, meat weighs more when raw than when cooked.
A Handy Tip: If you want to determine the weight raw meat or any food item would have when cooked, multiply the raw meat’s weight by 0.75 to get it.
Can Frozen Meat Go Bad?
Yes, frozen meat can go bad. But there’s a twist, according to the USDA. Meat frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower will remain safe to eat. In other words, such meat won’t go bad.
However, the fact that meat frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower won’t go bad doesn’t mean it would taste good forever. You can’t freeze meat for more than a year and expect it to taste the same.
Note that freezing meat for an extended period can cause freezer burn. And even though freezer burn will not cause the meat to be unsafe for consumption, it is still a concern. Freezer burn will make the meat’s texture leathery and dry.
You can identify freezer burn on your meat by careful visual examination. Look for portions of the meat with ice crystals, or discoloration.
You have to cut off any part of the meat that has been freezer burned. But if the freezer burn affects the whole meat, consider discarding it.
Can Frozen Meat Be Thawed And Refrozen?
Yes, it can be refrozen. According to the United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), it is possible to refreeze foods thawed slowly in the refrigerator. However, keep in mind that frozen, thawed, and refrozen foods might lose some quality due to the moisture lost during thawing.
So, you can refreeze meat that has been thawed and frozen. Just ensure the thawing takes place inside the refrigerator. The process might be slow, but when you thaw in the fridge before refreezing, there won’t be any health risk.
Also, note that how you prepped and stored the meat counts. So, in a nutshell, if the meat was appropriately frozen and thawed slowly in a refrigerator, you can refreeze it multiple times.
Will Frozen Meat Go Bad If Left Out Overnight?
Yes, it will go bad and become unsafe to consume. Only keep frozen meat at room temperature for 2 hours and nothing more. If it stays out longer, it may start to deteriorate.
There are three ways to thaw meat – the refrigerator, cold water, and the microwave.
Thawing meat in a fridge is the simplest but most time-consuming. You may have to wait for about 24 hours. You can plan to wait for 24 hours for every 5 pounds of meat stored in the refrigerator.
Submerging the meat in cold water is another way to thaw frozen meat. Submerge the quantity of meat you want to use for cooking in a bowl of cold water, and change the water every 30 minutes.
Also, you have to keep an eye on the meat. Please remove it from the water once it has thawed completely. Note that the meat should remain in its package when submerged in water.
Last but not least is microwaving. You can thaw frozen meat by using a microwave. Set the microwave to “defrost settings” to thaw your frozen meat.
A Handy Tip: Please remember that if you’re thawing meat with the cold water and microwave method, you have to use the entire meat immediately after thawing.
Does Frozen Meat Lose Nutrients When Cooked?
Yes, it does. Note that freezing doesn’t cause the meat to lose nutrients. Meat may lose its texture when frozen for an extended period, but it won’t lose its nutrients.
But cooking is a different ball game. Cooking meat can cause it to lose some of its nutrients. However, the amount of nutrient the cooked meat loses depends massively on the cooking method.
Again, remember that cooking meat at a high temperature for an extended period will not only cause the meat to lose nutrients. It will also cause the formation of certain harmful compounds, which can cause diseases when consumed.
So the bottom line is that cooking meat causes it to lose nutrients. It doesn’t matter how you cook it. But the cooking method can determine the amount of nutrients the meat would lose and the amount of harmful compounds that would be formed.
With this in mind, it is best to choose an ideal cooking method if you want the meat to lose a smaller amount of nutrients and produce the least harmful compounds.
Conclusion: Does frozen meat weigh more?
Yes, it doesn’t. Frozen meat tends to have more weight than when raw or thawed. The thing is when frozen, water tends to form ice on the meat. And this trapped liquid adds extra weight to the meat.
Another thing you need to know is meat has more weight in its raw state than when cooked. When cooked, meat tends to lose about 25% of its weight.
Freezing is an effective way to store meat for an extended period. And frozen meat doesn’t go bad, especially when frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. However, remember that your stored meat can suffer freezer burn, leading to a change in texture.
So, if you have the meat stored in the freezer, know how long you need to store them and use the meat before the suggested expiry date.