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Due to my busy schedule, I've started preparing all my meals on Sunday and cooking one a day for the rest of the week. It's generally defrosted chicken or meat.

Is it better for me to refreeze the meals (without cooking and with new liquid introduced) or to keep it in the refrigerator?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

TLDR; If you defrosted the chicken in the fridge, go ahead and refreeze it. If you thawed it on the counter, cook it, then freeze it.

I was always taught: DO NOT REFREEZE uncooked meat!

But, I did a search and found this somewhat contradictory statement from a reliable source:

"Refreezing Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Do not refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.

If you purchase previously frozen meat, poultry or fish at a retail store, you can refreeze if it has been handled properly."

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Focus_On_Freezing/index.asp

There's also this: How long will uncooked chicken keep in the fridge?

Which says 1-2 days for raw chicken in the fridge.

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Thanks. I actually usually defrost on the counter. Maybe I'll start doing it in the fridge. What about defrosting in cold water? Where does that fit in the guidelines? –  chama May 8 '12 at 15:50
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@chama you should generally always thaw in water if you are leaving it out on the counter. If you leave the meat in the counter by itself(esp if the meat is really thick) the outside of the meat will go into the danger zone while the inside of the meat is still thawing. And you generally shouldn't refreeze meat thawed outside regardless whether it's in water or not. –  Jay May 8 '12 at 16:06
    
The above comment is vastly oversimplified, to the point where it implies incorrect thawing methods. Thawing on the counter is never recommended. The four approved methods of thawing are: in the refrigerator, under cool running water, in the microwave, or as part of the cooking process. If you have any doubts about what those mean, please see the many other questions in this site, or ask a specific new question. –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 24 at 15:23

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