I took a pound of bacon out of the freezer, but I didn't use all of it. can I put the rest back in the freezer, even though it completely defrosted, or does it need to go in the fridge now?
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Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I refreeze bacon all the time. Just wrap it really well so there's no air and you don't get freezer burn.
I actually don't have any bacon that isn't frozen - my parents are awesome and bring great bacon down from a farmers' market near where I grew up. While you might want to be careful defrosting it all the way and leaving it for a long time before refreezing, you're probably ok. I usually freeze it then bring it down on the train from Philadelphia to DC in my suitcase before refreezing, and I've never had any problems! You also don't have to defrost it before you cook it, which might help - I wrap it in sets of two slices each before freezing, then I can take out just as much as I need without defrosting the whole chunk. Just heat the frozen bits up slowly in a pan until they're thawed enough to separate, then cook as normal (I realize this sounds like a lot to go through, but it's ridiculously good bacon!)
I agree, I refreeze bacon all the time. There are two issues involved when considering refreezing meats, food safety and texture. From a food safety point of view, just make sure you don't have any raw meat between 40 and 140 F for more than two hours total time. One reason refreezing meat is frowned upon in industrial practices is because it is difficult to track the total time above temperature, if there are several freeze/thaw cycles. Also, for non-cured meats, the texture is more greatly effected by freezing and thawing--when ice crystals form they tend to push out the water from the muscle fibers, often leading to a foamy texture after repeated freeze/thaw. Luckily bacon has plenty of salt to help protect from this. When I remember I try to freeze bacon by rolling up in plastic wrap, with the wrap inserted between every 4 slices so I can separate them out without defrosting the whole thing.
I do not doubt that people have done this, but I am generally very careful not to refreeze thawed meat of any kind. The risks are higher with any meat that has been out and where bacteria have had a chance to take root. Freezing will not stop their growth process and you may be opening up a serious risk. The trade off is up to you, of course.
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I agree that bacon is okay refrozen. I have done it many times, but NOT after leaving it out of the fridge for any period of time. If you've been keeping it cold, stick it right back in the freezer. (Properly wrapped, of course!)