Chilled meat vs. Frozen meat

For cooking purposes, it is more troublesome and takes more time to use frozen meat than chilled meat.

At what temperature should chilled meat be kept in order to maintain its freshness or at least its healthy condition for the longest length of time?

Susma Rio Sep

Frozen meat should be defrosted in the refrigerator, which should be kept at around 40 [sup]o[/sup]F, give or take a couple degrees. This can take 24 to 48 hours or more, depending on the size of the meat. Never leave meat out at room temperature to defrost, as dangerous bacteria can begin to grow on the surface long before the meat has fully unthawed. Defrosting can be done in the mocrowave oven, but the results are often unsatisfactory, since parts of the meat can begin to cook before the center has unthawed fully.

You can defrost it pretty quickly by submerging it, still in its wrapping, in tap water. A typical steak might take about an hour.

Er, I think you mean “thawed”. Unthawed would imply that you’re refreezing it.

Thin cuts/cubes/pieces of meat (half an inch thick or less) can be cooked directly from frozen, even chicken and pork, although it is advisable to turn down the heat a little and cook it a little slower to allow the heat to work right through.

Of course there are some things for which the above won’t work; trying to cook a steak to bleu from frozen would be disastrous.

My fan oven has a “room temperature” setting that defrosts a 6-oz steak in less than an hour. Otherwise, you can give it short blasts of the microwave with 3 or so minutes in between blasts - by this method, the same steak will be largely defrosted in about 15 minutes.

Thanks to all you guys for your time and trouble.

Let’s say we don’t want our meat frozen, just chillled, so that we don’t have to wait for the meat to ‘defrost’, i.e., unfreeze.

Allow me to explain: chilled meat where I get it from this butcher’s shop is not frozen hard like you can use it to hit someone’s head, and cause him a bleeding wound. It is cold but not hardened like popsicle, if not ice.

Wouldn’t it be convenient to the cooks like yours truly and a lot of us who do meat dishes in the house, to know to what temperature we can cool down meat, so that it does not get frozen and yet it still withstands the growth of bacteria, or it still doesn’t start to spoil? Then we wouldn’t have to put up with the time and inconvenience of waiting for the frozen meat to thaw down…?

Susma Rio Sep

It needs to be stored somewhere between 33 degrees F, and 40 degrees F. Usualy in the lower part of your fridge.

33 - lower limit - so it doesn’t freeze.
40 - upper limit so it doesn’t harvest and grow bacteria.

When it starts to have a “funk” smell, then its been stored to long. Otherwise, there is no way other than freezing to keep it from spoiling after more than usualy 5 days, depending on the cut…

I run my refrigerator extremely cold, nearly at freezing. Wrapped cuts of beef and pork often remain perfectly edible for an entire week. Freezing meat tends to damage its texture due to expansion of water crystals in the individual cells. This is why the slow freezing of fruit yields such poor results.