I am aware of the additional cooking time required when cooking frozen meat sous-vide. Beyond that, is there additional risk in cooking meat sous-vide from frozen?

2 Answers 2


The risk should be less, compared to the same food thawed in a fridge or in room temperature, since it should spend less time in the 'danger zone' or close to it.

In general I do not think the difference is much at all, especially if you thaw in the fridge.

  • Can you provide a source to back this up? Dec 4, 2012 at 14:23
  • Nope, that is why I said 'should' and 'think' instead of will. I'm just speculating.
    – Stefan
    Dec 5, 2012 at 0:04
  • @Stefan is correct. Food at temperatures between 40f and 140f is in the 'danger zone' where bacteria grows rapidly. Sous vide will prevent any new bacteria on the food (pouch) and will thaw faster than room temperature (less time in the zone). Thawing in the fridge takes a long time at a place where there is bacteria from other food present and still active (albeit, slow). If your final cooking temperature is safe, you're ok anyway, if it's not you're risking it anyway. Makes this a bit moot.
    – MandoMando
    Dec 11, 2012 at 4:11
  • If we want to minimize the time in the danger zone, then the best strategy is to thaw the frozen bag in the fridge first, then to sous vide it. If one puts a frozen bag in the warm water, then then core will be frozen. The energy used to thaw the core will bring down the temperature around the core. Thus the time spent in the danger zone, will take longer, than if the core was non-frozen.
    – soegaard
    Jan 23, 2013 at 19:39
  • @soegaard Yes maybe, but then consider what MandoMando said, think in general it does not make much difference. If you thaw a hole cow it does matter, but for 'small' things that can be thawed in a few hours in a sous vide cooker it should not matter much.
    – Stefan
    Jan 26, 2013 at 6:13

I believe this question was asked in the modernist cuisine forums, which I am having difficulty pulling up at this time, but I recall the answer being something to the tune of "no it is not any major risk because the surface of the meat will reach the bath temperature relatively quickly and the increase in the length of time in the bath will make up for the freezing" but i believe this may be a different story for ground meats since there is so much more surface area that will not be in contact with the bath initially due to the block it will be frozen into. I will update with links when I can access that site again.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.