Can You Refreeze Venison?

  • Once frozen, venison should be kept until it is time to prepare.
  • For nine to twelve months, properly wrapped or packaged venison can be kept in the freezer.
  • Never refreeze thawed venison to prevent quality degradation.
  • Always properly defrost venison in a refrigerator or microwave. The use of microwave-thawed venison should be right away. Prior to cooking and eating, frozen venison can be kept for two to three days in the refrigerator.
  • Prepare venison within two to three days and keep it refrigerated (40 degrees Fahrenheit or less).
  • In order to prevent cross-contamination with other ingredients or ready-to-eat dishes, store raw venison separately in the refrigerator. To prevent juices from dripping onto other foods, store raw meat on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

Is Game Meat Still Safe to Eat After Two Freezes?

Le Mythe Once venison (or other meat) has been frozen, it cannot be thawed and then refrozen. Since I’ve heard this hypothesis for years, I normally throw out deer steaks that I take out of the freezer, defrost, and then decide not to cook. But then I questioned: What could possibly be wrong with it? Does refreezing alter the flavor or render it dangerous in any way? I called the specialists for clarification first, so. I then conducted a blind taste test on it.

The venison steak was gathered in two identical parts. While one was frozen, thawed, and then cooked, the other was frozen, thawed, and then cooked again. The taste test was then conducted.

The Taste Test in Blind I defrosted two thick-cut steaks that had been taken from a deer doe. The identical deer from which the two filets came was killed simultaneously. They were treated exactly the same, and after being chopped from the same backstrap, they were even packaged and frozen together. I placed one in the refrigerator and one back in the freezer after completely defrosting. I took it outside and defrosted it when it solidified once again. Then I prepared the two filets simultaneously and according to a precise recipe. One was designated with a covert grill pattern. After that, I had two people sample the filets and record their specific flavors.

The Outcomes One taster thought the twice-frozen piece was significantly less soft than the once-frozen piece, but did not detect any flavor differences. The second taster thought the slice that had been frozen twice was less tasty and less tender. The second taster attempted to put a number on this impression, stating that if the first piece was rated a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, the twice-frozen piece was a 7.5.

The Final Verdict Even though it is completely safe to repeatedly thaw and refreeze meat, doing so will undoubtedly result in a minor loss of the meat’s flavor and tenderness. It is still edible and even tasty, so you shouldn’t throw it away, but it might not be as wonderful as it could have been if you had eaten it after the initial thaw.


I’ve spent 27 years managing the food service industry. The best practice is to never put any thawed meat back into the freezer.

The phrase “thawed” is crucial here. When there are no longer any ice crystals at the core of the meat, it has thawed. It might be refrozen if the center still contains ice crystals.

Ground meat of any kind is not covered by this. As soon as ground meat begins to thaw, it should be used right away. However, if you grind unground (not thawed) meat, you ought to be able to refreeze it.

Bacteria start to proliferate geometrically as soon as you start thawing meat. The majority of bacteria only develops on the surface of meat. Because of this, hanging meat that has partially frozen is acceptable. Because it has SO Considerably MORE surface area, ground beef can also be much more harmful. Due to this, all prominent E. Coli poisoning incidents involved hamburgers or other forms of burger meat (as in chili). Keep in mind that the danger of illness or worsening illness is greater in youngsters, the sick, and the elderly.

Is it safe to refreeze meat?

It may happen that after defrosting frozen meat, you decide not to cook all of it.

As long as the meat was thawed and stored correctly in the refrigerator the first time it was pulled from the freezer, it is acceptable to refreeze the meat until a later time in this situation.

Although it’s not the only option, refrigerator thawing is the safest method to use if you plan to refreeze any or all of the meat.

Can Deer Meat Be Refrozen?

Deer meat may typically be refrozen after thawing, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, albeit there may be a significant loss of flavor and quality due to lost moisture during thawing. However, food that has been thawed and left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours shouldn’t be frozen.

Even though refreezing venison may change its flavor, it is fine to do so if the meat was thawed in a refrigerator. Even some claim they can’t tell the difference in flavor between meat that has been frozen just once before cooking and meat that has been thawed and refrozen.

How long can venison sausage be frozen?

In general, venison sausage and other deer meat can be frozen again. The sausage cannot be refrozen if it has been at room temperature for more than two hours after being thawed. Any other variety of beef is the same.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you can normally refreeze meat once it has thawed, although you could taste and quality difference. This is because the thawing procedure will cause the meat to lose some moisture. Your sausages may have spoiled if you notice a strange odor coming from them or a slimy feel in the meat.

When thawing meat in the refrigerator, there is one important consideration. To ensure that the sausage thaws completely, let it out for at least 12 hours. If you choose to microwave your venison sausage to defrost it, you should eat it right away.

Typically, it is not advised to microwave-thaw meat. The frozen meat should be kept in the refrigerator for the sake of safety. The lowest shelf is where the meat should be kept to prevent any possible cross-contamination.

What happens when venison is refrozen?

It is acceptable to refreeze food that has thawed in the refrigerator without cooking, though there could be a loss of quality due to moisture lost during thawing. It is safe to freeze the cooked versions of previously frozen raw items after cooking them. You can refreeze any leftover cooked food that has been thawed in the fridge. Within three to four days, freeze leftovers. Foods left outside the refrigerator for more than two hours, or one hour in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit, should not be refrozen.

According to the USDA, if you buy previously frozen meat, poultry, or fish from a retail establishment and it has been handled correctly, you can refreeze it.

Safety will rely on how the raw material was treated before it was frozen, how soon after it thawed it was refrozen, how well it was prepared before it was consumed, and how safely it was handled if there were any leftovers.


Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), United States Department of Agriculture, and Freezing

Is thawed venison safe to refreeze?

Keeping and Thawing Once frozen, venison should be kept until it is time to prepare. For nine to twelve months, properly wrapped or packaged venison can be kept in the freezer. Never refreeze thawed venison to prevent quality degradation. Always properly defrost venison in a refrigerator or a microwave.

How long may thawed venison be stored in the refrigerator?

Although it takes the longest to thaw your ground venison, this method is the safest and most straightforward. Simply move the meat to the refrigerator and let it thaw there. The ground deer meat may need 12 to 24 hours to completely thaw.

The benefit of defrosting meat in the refrigerator is that you can store it there for two to three days before cooking. Since you still have time to create the ideal cuisine and prepare the other things you require, you won’t feel rushed.

How long does chilled venison stay fresh?

Fresh raw venison should only be kept in the fridge for three to five days ( USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, 2011, May). Use venison that has been safely chilled within three to four days after it has been cooked. (2011) May (USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service)

How can I tell if venison is unhealthy?

Deer meat always has a certain sheen to it, thus spoiled meat will also have a metallic sheen, but that can be a tricky indicator.

If you’ve previously ground the beef, examine the interior of each piece of ground meat.

Can meat that has been thawed be refrozen?

It is acceptable to refreeze cooked or raw food that has thawed in the refrigerator without cooking or heating, though there could be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost during thawing. It is safe to freeze cooked raw foods that have been previously frozen after preparation.

How many times can ground beef be refrozen?

Ground beef that has been thawed in the refrigerator and has only been there for a brief period of time (three days or less), according to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, can be refrozen without any problems. Maintain the meat’s original packaging, then wrap it once more in freezer-safe plastic or aluminum foil. Remember that the meat loses moisture throughout each phase of freezing, thawing, and refreezing; therefore, the texture may alter. Save this meat for weekday casseroles and soups where the texture is less crucial than in other recipes like grilled burgers.

How long is venison preserved in a vacuum?

To keep your meat fresh in the freezer, use a vacuum sealer or butcher paper. Image Source: LEM Products

All big-game hunters and processors prefer to freeze their meat as a storage solution. On the optimum freezing techniques, they disagree, nevertheless. While some people use freezer paper, others use vacuum sealers. Others combine the three techniques or use plastic freezer bags.

Regardless of their preference, the objective is to keep the meat away from freezer burn and oxygen, which taint its flavor, texture, and appearance and encourages the growth of bacteria. Decide which of the three solutions is best for you after weighing their advantages and disadvantages.

Vacuum Sealing

Vacuum sealers are home machines that remove the air from food that has been stored. They work well and extend the shelf life of food three to five times more than plastic bags or containers. Meats that have been vacuum sealed can be frozen for one to three years. The negative? The cost of vacuum sealers is high. Most are in the $100 range. Commercial-grade or larger sealers can cost more than $300. Additionally, they want specialist vacuum-sealer bags, which raises your expense even more.

Butcher paper or a freezer

You may buy freezer paper at supermarket stores at a reasonable price. If you wrap each box firmly to remove any air, it’s great for keeping meat. Meat properly wrapped in freezer paper ought to last for six to twelve months or more. Wrap the meat twice, with the waxy side of the paper facing the meat. Although this method can take some time, it’s worthwhile.

Freezer Bags with Zippers

Plastic freezer bags with strong walls and high quality are affordable and simple to use. Just stuff your bags with venison, let the air out, and zip! Although this approach is quick and simple, it is only a temporary solution. After around six months, freezer burn can affect meat that has been packaged in plastic. By using a hand pump to remove air from the freezer bag, you can lengthen the meat’s shelf life, although doing so can be challenging.

The first two alternatives are used by Harris, but she likes freezer paper since it allows her entire family to utilize it simultaneously. Before wrapping the meat in butcher paper, she seals the meat with Saran wrap. To expedite the procedure, she also suggests a paper stand or dispenser with a built-in cutting edge.

Aluminum foil and wax paper should not be used. Aluminum foil can taste metallic and wax paper is challenging to identify and wrap tightly.