Can You Refreeze Partially Thawed Turkey?
You’ve thawed the turkey and are ready to cook it, but there is only half of it left. What can you do with the remaining portion? Can you refreeze it? If yes, how many times can you refreeze a partially thawed turkey? If you have ever refrozen a food item, then you must be aware of the consequences. Refreezing partially or fully thawed food is not recommended and is never advisable if your intention is to store it for a long time. However, in case of an unplanned crisis such as unexpected guests or some other circumstance, knowing whether or not you can refreeze part of your turkey will come handy. At home or at work, if you have read this article till now, then we assume that you are interested in knowing more about this topic and how many times you can refreeze part of your turkey once it has been thawed.
Can You Refreeze Partially Thawed Turkey?
Yes, you can refreeze partially thawed turkey. However, refreezing will adversely affect the quality of the turkey. When freezing meats, moisture, and ice crystals form on the surface of the meat. This process causes cellular damage which affects the taste, texture, and appearance of the meat. Additionally, microorganisms can grow on frozen foods when they are thawed so it is important to cook them thoroughly before eating.
What Happens When You Refreeze Food?
- Food items that have been frozen are usually stored in a freezer at around -18°C or below. This is the temperature at which all of the food items freeze.
- When you refreeze food, it thaws and reverses the process of freezing. The cold temperature of the freezer causes ice crystals to form on the surface of the food item. The formation of ice crystals is accompanied by changes in the shape, color, and texture of the food item.
- When you refreeze partially thawed meat, poultry, or seafood, it does not mean that it has been fully defrosted again as it still has some frozen parts in its structure even after thawing and refreezing as explained above. This means that there may be some ice crystals formed on its surface which will melt when you cook your turkey if you don’t have an airtight container for storing your turkey after thawing and refreezing it several times in a row.
How Many Times Can You Refreeze A Partially Thawed Turkey?
- If you want to refreeze the turkey, then you must first thaw it completely, and then refreeze the thawed portion of the turkey.
- You cannot refreeze a partially thawed turkey that is not fully defrosted. The size and weight of your turkey will determine whether or not you can refreeze part of it. The smaller and lighter your turkey is, the easier it will be for you to refreeze it. If your turkey is larger or heavier, then you have to cook it all before you can decide whether or not to freeze any portion of it.
- Your freezer must be at least 0°F (-18°C) before you freeze the partially thawed turkey, otherwise, the remaining amount of the frozen food item may spoil due to freezing too early or too late in your freezer. If this happens, then you need to dispose of this partially thawed food item in a safe manner such as by throwing them away.
- You can only refreeze the partially thawed food item once, and you cannot refreeze it more than twice.
- If you have not cooked the partially thawed turkey properly, then you will have to throw away the partially frozen turkey in a safe manner such as throwing it away.
- If you want to freeze a partially thawed turkey, then you should first cook the turkey properly before freezing it.
- You should not refreeze the partially thawed food item if it has been defrosted for more than two days or if it has been freezing for a long time in your freezer. The longer you freeze the food, the more likely it is that this food item will spoil due to freezing too early or too late in your freezer.
Is It Safe To Refreeze Fully Thawed Turkey?
1. Refrigeration Period
Food items should be stored in the refrigerator at a very low temperature, preferably below 40°F. Refrigerators are made of plastic and metal, which can easily react with the food and cause it to become harmful if not properly handled. When you refreeze a partially thawed turkey, it is best to wait for 24 hours before refreezing it again. At most, you can freeze the partially thawed turkey for only 2-3 days before starting to wonder how long you can keep it in the freezer.
2. Thawing Process
It is better to thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, rather than in the microwave. Refrigeration is a better option because it allows the turkey to thaw at a slower rate. If you are in a hurry, it is safe to thaw your turkey in the microwave with some water added. The water will help keep the meat moist and prevent it from drying out too quickly.
3. Frozen Turkey
Refreezing frozen food is not recommended as it can lead to freezer burn and cause damage to food items that have been frozen for a long time. When you refreeze any frozen food item, you should make sure that the temperature of the refrozen food is below 40°F or below freezing point. You should also make sure that all of your freezer’s vents are clear so that there is no moisture build-up which can damage freezer burn and other parts of the food item and cause them to become harmful. In addition, make sure that the food item is completely thawed before refreezing it.
4. Refrigeration Period
You should be cautious when you decide to refreeze a partially thawed turkey because you may not know how long you can keep it in the freezer. This is because if the food item has been frozen for long enough, then it could start to become harmful and unappetizing to consume. In this case, you should only refreeze your partially thawed turkey for a maximum of 3 days at most before deciding whether or not to freeze it again.
5. Frozen Turkey
It is better not to refreeze frozen turkey because this will cause a freezer burn on its surface and may damage other parts of the food item as well, causing them to become unappetizing and harmful to consume in the future. It is also best that frozen foods are left in their original packaging as they can be damaged by moisture build-up in the packaging, which can lead to freezer burn and other types of damage.
If you have ever refrozen a food item, then you will know that it is not a good practice if you want to preserve your food for a long time. However, if you have an unplanned crisis at the house and need to refreeze a partially thawed turkey, you can do so once. Do not refreeze a fully thawed turkey because it will cause damage to the food and will not taste good. Now that you know what happens when you refreeze food and how many times you can do it, you will be able to plan better.