Freezing food is a great way to keep it fresh when you buy it in bulk, but refreezing is a completely different story. Here are a few foods that are just fine to freeze, but shouldn't ever be refrozen after they have already been thawed one time.
Picture: Robert S Donovan
Every time a product is frozen — like meat and produce — cell walls are ruptured in the process. That's why frozen food doesn't quite taste as good as fresh food. When you refreeze those foods after they have been thawed, even more cellular structure is destroyed to make it taste even worse, and bacteria is given a chance to develop. Sarah Rae Trover at food blog The Kitchn, recommends that you avoid refreezing these five things:
- Raw proteins: Meat, poultry, and seafood are OK to refreeze if they were thawed in a cold environment — otherwise toss it.
- Ice cream: If you left it out and it melted, just toss it. The texture will never be the same.
- Juice concentrates: Fermentation happens fast and it's best to get rid of it.
- Homemade leftovers: Casseroles, pot pies, stews and pastas that you've made are fine to freeze, but they will start to go bad when you thaw them a second time.
- Cooked proteins: You can thaw a raw protein, cook it, and then freeze it once. Toss it after that.
Even if you think it might save you a few bucks, it's important to know when you should just toss something. Rules like these are used in the restaurant and grocery industries, so it only makes sense to keep the food in your home just as safe to consume.
5 Foods You Should Never Refreeze [The Kitchn]