Here's Why You Should NEVER Freeze Your Meat

Handling raw meat is not at the top of our carefree kitchen activities list. So there's always some satisfaction to be had in sealing that hunk of steak or chicken into a plastic bag and stuffing it in the freezer for another day. Freezing meat is like pushing pause on the down and dirty handling, marinating, and disinfecting process that goes into actually cooking and finally consuming it. Plus, we don't have to worry about a spoiling situation. And once we work up the time and courage to actually deal with it, we'll take it out to defrost and it'll taste just as fresh as the day we bought it! Right? Wrong.

According to an article put out by Cook's Illustrated earlier this month, there's some serious science behind what happens to your ribeye while it's chilling in the icebox. And thanks to a hands on fresh-to-freezing-to-thawing-to-cooking experiment, Cook's was able to discern exactly what that science entails: "Cooking meat causes its muscle fibers to shrink and expel moisture. The process of freezing and then thawing leads to additional moisture loss because the sharp edges of ice crystals during freezing damage the muscle fibers; this means that when the meat is thawed, water within the fibers is able to escape easily."

In short, freezing your meat significantly decreases its moisture levels resulting in one dry and tough cut. Cook's final word? "It's best to just go ahead and cook it." So if you're looking to enjoy a juicy grilled chicken breast or a tender filet, fresh is better than frozen folks. But if you're like us (and the freezer is your friend), a little moisture loss certainly never hurt nobody. Just be sure to avoid freezing multiple times, as each additional freeze will make that steak even tougher.
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