When you place an order with Renard, you’re guaranteed to receive vacuum-packed and frozen meat of the finest quality. To make sure you’re consuming your meat optimally, you need to thaw it completely in order to cook it perfectly.
Whether you’re thawing chicken or ground steak, the same methods apply, no matter the meat.
How long can meat be kept in the freezer?
According to Health Canada, beef and veal can be stored in the freezer for 8 to 12 months, while chicken can be stored for 6 to 12 months. Here are the freezer storage times for different types of meat, for a freezer that’s set to -18°C (0°F) or lower.
• Beef - 10 to 12 months
• Pork - 8 to 12 months
• Lamb - 8 to 12 months
• Veal - 8 to 12 months
• Ground meat - 2 to 3 months
• Whole chicken or turkey - 1 year
• Chicken or turkey pieces - 6 months
So if your raw chicken or frozen meat has been sitting in the freezer for 4 years, throw it in the garbage as soon as possible to avoid the risk of getting sick!
Why thaw meat before cooking?
You can of course cook your meat even if it is still frozen. You won’t get sick from it, but you may actually alter the flavours and textures of your meat. It will take a long time to cook and probably won’t have the desired end result you are hoping for.
You may also mess up the doneness of the meat by heating the outside more than the inside.
The real reason you should thaw meat before cooking is to get the most flavour out of it.
Can you thaw meat at room temperature?
No, we recommend that you never thaw meat at room temperature. It could harm the meat and bacteria could form, especially if it is not in its vacuum packaging. Certain chefs have mastered the art of aging meat, but it’s best to avoid this kind of experiment and making the whole family sick.
The 3 ways to defrost meat
Finally, we get to the heart of the matter. There are three ways to defrost any type of meat. Here they are:
1. Thawing meat in the refrigerator
This simple and efficient method is the easiest way to defrost your meat. Simply leave it in the refrigerator in its original packaging or vacuum packing.
However, it is important to do this 24 hours beforehand as the process can take a long time. Meat can take a long time to thaw if you are dealing with a large quantity or if the cuts are very thick. So prepare the night before for your next day’s dinner.
2. Thawing meat in cold water
The method preferred by restaurants is immersing the meat in cold water. While still vacuum packed, we recommend putting the meat in a bowl of cold water, a basin or a kitchen sink that’s been washed and disinfected.
Why cold water?
If you use hot water, your meat may cook or it may not thaw properly. With cold water, the outside of the meat is sure to stay fresh.
3. Thawing meat in a microwave oven
Thawing meat in a microwave oven is not the most “respectable” way to go. However, it is a very quick method that’s used by many people and we want to share the best way to make sure you do it right.
To defrost meat in the microwave, use the DEFROST/THAW button.
A microwave can work well for thawing small pieces of meat that aren’t too thick, but an issue arises when your cut is even slightly thick. You then risk the outside being defrosted, while the inside is still frozen.
So even though this is a “quick” thawing method, take your time and do it right.
If you are not careful, you may even cook your meat!
Can thawed meat be refrozen?
No, we recommend that you never do this! This increases the chances of your meat becoming contaminated with bacteria.
You can however cook your meat and then refreeze it.
If you have any questions about the best way to consume your meat, please do not hesitate to contact us.