Does Frozen Meat Weigh More than Thawed Meat? [EXPLAINED]

Does Frozen Meat Weigh More than Thawed Meat? [EXPLAINED]

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If you’re planning to cook a meat-based dish, it is essential to weigh the meat proportionately to your recipe. Frozen meat is widely used as it is readily available in stores and stays fresh longer.

Have you gotten different measurements on the scale for weighing frozen and thawed meat? You must be confused, but I am here to clarify all your doubts!

Does frozen meat weigh more than thawed meat?

Yes, frozen meat weighs more than thawed meat. The ice crystals on the frozen meat increase the liquid volume and add to the weight on the kitchen scale. Additionally, frozen meat may be slightly heavier than thawed meat because of the trapped air pockets. The increase in weight of frozen meat also depends on the type of meat and the cut.

The weight of meat doesn’t only depend on whether it is frozen or not; there are other factors to consider, like temperature and humidity.

Freezing is an easy method of extending the shelf life of meat. Various types of meat, like chicken, pork, fish, and beef, can be frozen. However, it is crucial to consider the frozen and thawed forms of meat as their weighing measurements may vary.

Read today’s post, “Does frozen meat weigh more than thawed meat?” to understand the weight differences!

Frozen meat vs Thawed Meat – Differences

Now that we have gotten a glimpse of the answer let’s see what more there is to know about frozen meat vs. thawed meat.

To understand why frozen meat may weigh more than thawed meat, we need to delve into the science of freezing. When water freezes, it expands. This expansion is caused by the formation of ice crystals, which increase the overall volume of the water. The same principle applies to meat.

When meat is frozen, the water molecules inside it also freeze and form ice crystals. These ice crystals take up space within the meat, leading to an increase in its overall weight. Additionally, air can become trapped within the meat during freezing, further contributing to its weight.

Frozen meat contains a certain percentage of water. The water content may vary from meat to meat, but it results in a difference in weight.

The water over the meat forms ice crystals on being frozen, adding to the weight. It’s important to note that the weight loss during thawing can vary depending on the type of meat.

For example, chicken or turkey may experience a weight loss of approximately 5-10%, while ground beef may lose up to 10-15% of its weight. 

While frozen meat may weigh more due to the presence of ice and air, the weight difference becomes apparent when the meat is thawed. The ice crystals melt as the meat thaws, and the trapped air releases, causing the meat to lose weight. This is why thawed meat often appears smaller in size compared to when it was frozen.

Water Content in Frozen meat and thawed or fresh meat

The difference in weight of different meat cuts all boils down to Water content.

The water content varies for each type of meat. Meats like pork, beef, and chicken have different proportions of muscle, connective tissue, and bone that contribute to the varying water content. The texture of the meat also plays a role due to its capacity to hold water crystals.

As mentioned, different meat cuts have different water content. The muscle part of the meat contributes to about 75 percent of the water weight. However, please note that the water content of muscle mass may again vary with meat type and acidic content. 

For example, the eye of a round steak contains 73 percent water, while chicken meat with skin only contains 70 percent water. Additionally, you will observe that lean meats have a higher water content than regular meat. 

As the meat defrosts, it starts to lose this water. This results in the weight of the meat dropping by about 30 percent in some cases. 

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Which Weight Should You Consider: Frozen Meat or Thawed?

Now to the fundamental question: Which weight should you consider: Frozen or thawed? First, it is essential to ensure that you accurately measure the quantity of meat. Please ensure you have a proper kitchen scale to do so. If you don’t have a source of accurate measurements, it is best to weigh thawed meat instead of frozen.

Larger meat cuts are cooked within a specified period. In such cases, you must consider the thawed or defrosted weight of the meat rather than the frozen weight. If you use the same cooking time for frozen meat, there is a good chance it will be raw or undercooked. Additionally, frozen meat is usually denser than thawed meat. This can give an inaccurate measurement and show a higher reading than the actual quantity of meat. 

Another factor to consider is the shape of the meat. If the meat cut is irregular, the cooking time may change as some areas cook faster. It can result in parts of the meat being cooked while the others remain uncooked.

Frozen vs. Thawed Meat in Cooking 

When it comes to cooking meat, it’s essential to consider the weight of the thawed meat rather than the frozen weight. Cooking times for meat are often calculated based on the weight of the thawed meat to ensure proper cooking and avoid undercooking. If you were to base your cooking time on the frozen weight, it could lead to unevenly cooked or raw meat.

This consideration is especially crucial for larger cuts of meat that require a specific cooking time per pound. Uneven shapes or varying thicknesses within the meat can result in certain areas cooking faster than others, leading to an unsatisfactory meal. Therefore, always consider the weight of thawed meat when planning your cooking process.

Frozen vs. Thawed Meat: Pricing

The price difference is one common concern when deciding between frozen and thawed meat. Is one cheaper than the other? The answer depends on how meat is priced and weighed.

Meat is typically weighed and priced based on its weight at the time of packaging and while it sits on the shelf. Whether frozen or thawed, the price per pound is generally comparable. The weight difference caused by freezing and thawing is often accounted for in the pricing, ensuring a fair comparison between the two options.

What changes does meat undergo when thawed? Thawing or defrosting frozen meat comes with specific changes in its physical and chemical properties. These changes are not always significant, but it helps to know what you’re working with.

As thawing involves a part of the meat’s water content escaping, the meat may become less dense. It converts the muscle protein into sugar and makes it gelatinous. Additionally, the surface tension of the liquid reduces when meat is thawed, which also decreases friction. This property ensures that the thawed meat doesn’t fall apart on being cooked.

Have you considered how the quality of meat you choose affects the variation in weight?

It is interesting to know that not all meats have the same water content. So, the change in their weight on defrosting is different for different qualities of meat. 

For example, briskets at a lower price point tend to hold more water than the pricier ones. The difference in weight based on quality is primarily because of the filler, additives, or other ingredients. Additionally, cheaper cuts of meat are packaged differently, which may make their weight differ from better-packaged meats.

Storage and Thawing Tips for Frozen Meat

Who doesn’t love some tips and tricks to make this process easier? I have enlisted some valuable points for appropriate storage and thawing. Let’s jump right into it:

Freezer temperature: Adjustst your freezer temperature to at least 0 degrees F or minus 18 degrees while freezing meat C. If the temperature of your freezer is any higher than this, the meat will not freeze properly, increasing the risk of bacterial manifestation. 

Refrigerator temperature: While not compulsory, it helps to adjust the temperature of your refrigerator too. The ideal temperature for your refrigerator is 33 to 39 degrees F. Keeping the temperature settings in this range is best to avoid rock-hard or spoiled meat.

Proper packing: It is crucial to ensure that the meat is properly packaged and stored in the freezer. Please wrap the meat tightly with plastic before popping it in the freezer. You can add freezer-safe paper to avoid potential freezer burns.

Immediate storage: If you don’t plan on using the meat soon, please plan on storing it immediately. The sooner you store the meat, The longer it stays fresh after thawing.

Are you planning to freeze a large quantity of meat? Storing the meat in a vacuum sealer protects against bacterial manifestations and freezer burns. Another point to remember under storage is to store the meat on different shelves in your fridge. This way, if a batch of meat gets contaminated, the other batches are away from cross-contamination.

Defrosting: Defrosting or thawing is an essential part of cooking frozen meat. It is essential to accurately thaw the frozen meat to retain its flavor and texture. One colossal no-no is thawing meat at room temperature. Suddenly exposing frozen meat to room temperature can cause it to lose its original form and texture. Proper thawing starts with moving the frozen meat from the freezer to the bottom shelf of your fridge. Please keep it away from the fridge door and push it to the back to ensure it is sufficiently cold while defrosting.

Are you wondering if you can refreeze thawed meat?

Yes, you can refreeze thawed meat if you’ve not cooked it. But I recommend using the thawed meat in one go as refrozen meat doesn’t have the exact moisture and texture it originally had.

Another point that helps is sometimes you can skip the thawing process and skip to the cooking part! You can do this for minor cuts as they don’t require as long to defrost. So, smaller meats quickly defrost right before they start to cook. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does meat lose nutrients on being frozen?

No, meat usually does not lose nutrients on being frozen. The nutritional value lost on freezing meat is insignificant; the vitamin and mineral content remains more or less similar. However, there could be a loss in water-soluble vitamins like C and B only if the meat has been frozen for an extended period. 

Should I weigh meat frozen or cooked?

It is always best to weigh meat before cooking than after. Measuring the meat after often results in accurate measurements. Additionally, the nutrition label on them refers to the meat in its packaged form rather than cooked.

Do things get heavier when frozen?

Yes, food often gets slightly heavier on being frozen. The water on the food can freeze and form ice crystals, adding to the weight of frozen food. Moreover, frozen food may also contain air pockets contributing to some extra weight. 

Is frozen chicken heavier than thawed chicken?

Frozen chicken has a water content that may cause a shift in its weight, but a lot of time, it is nothing too significant. It also depends on the quality of the chicken, the type of chicken, and whether it has skin. While frozen chicken isn’t significantly heavier than thawed chicken, I recommend measuring it once it is thawed.


And now, to the final part of our post! I hope today’s article “Does frozen meat weigh more than thawed meat?” has given you all the necessary answers. I understand the importance of accurately measuring your recipe’s ingredients to get the best result. 

Please remember the varying weight difference while measuring frozen and thawed meats. It helps to have an accurate kitchen scale to check for noticeable variations. Most recipes give measurements regarding thawed meat, so it is best to thaw your meat before weighing it appropriately.

Thanks for reading. See you in our next post!

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