One that life’s straightforward joys is to have actually a freezer complete of’s delicious meat, easily easily accessible whenever you want an exceptional meal.

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

At the bottom of this post, we’ve also included some advice top top what you have the right to do come organize her meat and maximize freezer an are after your frozen meat come on your doorstep.

What to know about defrosting in the refrigerator

The safest method to thaw frozen meat is in the refrigerator. Generally, an typical size reduced of meat take away a day to completely defrost in a fridge. Larger cuts or whole birds (like a turkey) take around 24 hours per 5 pounds to thaw.

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

How long different proteins and also cuts stay fresh in the fridge

Defrosting Chicken

Due come’s vacuum-seal packaging, ours chicken have the right to last between 3 to 5 work in the refrigerator. (If the vacuum seal is broken, stick come the conventional 1-2 day recommendation for poultry.)

Defrosting Beef

When it involves steaks or roasts, if the initial packaging is sealed tight, it can remain in the refrigerator for almost two weeks. However, outside of its packaging or if the packaging is torn, beef is great for 3-5 days once defrosted in the refrigerator.

Ground beef is a small different. It continues to be fresh because that 1-2 job in the fridge once it defrosts.

Defrosting Pork

The rules for pork additionally differ depending on the cut. Most bigger pork cut — roasts, pork target — come in stronger, vacuum-sealed packages. Prefer steaks, they will certainly remain an excellent for increase to 2 weeks defrosted in the refrigerator.

However, smaller cuts that pork that are in individual cut packaging will continue to be fresh for 3-5 work if it stays vacuum-sealed or 1-2 days if the packaging seal is damaged or if you’ve eliminated it indigenous its original packaging.

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

Defrosting Fish

After salmon and also other seafood has been defrosted, it also will be fresh for an additional one to two days if defrosted in the refrigerator. One thing to keep in mind for all seafood: Make certain you take it seafood the end of its packaging before you defrost it. That is no safe come defrost fish in the vacuum-sealed packaging where bacteria can form without oxygen.

Defrosting any meat exterior of the refrigerator


The rules are a bit different if you defrost the meat exterior of the refrigerator or v cold water.

Thawing Meat in Cold Water

If you want to defrost frozen meat quickly, you deserve to do so by placing the meat in cold water — which have the right to remain running or i beg your pardon you adjust out every 30 minutes. However, you need to make sure that the packaging is sealed tightly; if not, you deserve to put the meat in a sealed plastic bag come defrost in cold water.

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

A one-pound reduced of meat have the right to defrost in ~ an hour by using 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 end for an easy trick to dry a steak which will certainly lead to far better a better sear and a soft steak.)

Defrosting ~ above the Kitchen Counter? warm Water?

It is not recommended the you defrost meat by leaving it out at room temperature ~ above the kitchen counter, due to the fact that you shouldn’t leave meat out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. This will lug it come the “danger zone” temperatures whereby bacteria deserve to form. The exact same is true the thawing with hot water.

If you space in a pinch, you deserve to defrost with cold to run water or chef from frozen, as mentioned above.

For more on defrosting meat and other foods, examine out the FDA/USDA website top top defrosting, The big Thaw.

What are you going to chef this week?

We’ve found the best step come take once you receive your is to very first figure out which cut you desire to chef within the next 5 days. Those cut can go into your refrigerator come defrost.

When you execute defrost in the refrigerator, make certain to placed the frozen meat on a food or key or in a large, sealable bag. Sometimes, the frozen packaging gets tiny tears due to being jostled during shipping; this go not influence the flavor, quality, or safety and security of the meat. But you may have some liquid in the packaging leak together it defrosts. This is a mix of 2 compounds found in pet muscles: Myoglobin — the protein that gives meat the color and is full of dietary iron — and water. Basically, girlfriend don’t desire to take the risk that any type of liquid might potentially leak in your refrigerator.

Additionally, make certain to remember the different rules for defrosting seafood: It need to be removed from its initial vacuum-sealed packaging come defrost.

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Take the rest of her frozen meat and also put the right right into the freezer whereby it can remain, frozen, for an ext than a year. (In theory, you can keep frozen meat indefinitely, however, for top quality purposes, the USDA has some guidelines the you can discover here on how long you need to keep that frozen.)

We think that this is the best method to get you cooking the meat you want in the next couple of days and how to save the rest for later on in the month.