Can defrosted meat go in the fridge?

In this brief, we will answer the query, “can defrosted meat go in the fridge?”. We will also talk about the shelf life of meat in the freezer and fridge and defrosted meat can be refrozen again

Can defrosted meat go in the fridge?

Yes, defrosted meat can be stored in the fridge for a few more days depending on the type of cut of meat, and how and where it was defrosted. In some cases, the defrosted meat should be cooked straight away to avoid the meat from going bad.

Freezing the meat cuts to extend their shelf life is the best way to go about but one should be mindful during the defrosting of the meat so as not to ruin the meat. Large meat cuts like chops or roasts can last for 6 months in the freezer whereas the smaller cuts like steaks and curry pieces can only last for 4 months.

Ground mince has the least shelf life in the freezer. It should be used before not more than 3 months.

How to properly defrost meat?

Freezing the meat may look like an easy method to extend its longevity, defrosting the meat is equally challenging in order to achieve the best quality. Here we will discuss in detail the various ways of thawing meat to get the optimum result.

Defrost in the fridge

Defrosting the frozen meat in the fridge is the most sought after method as the fridge temperature is set at 40F or below which is the temperature where the bacteria cannot sustain. This method is a rather slow process and takes at least 24 hours depending on the type of meat cut but is the most hygienic and safe method.

Simply place the frozen meat in a tray or a container to avoid spillage of any defrosting liquid dripping into the fridge. Let the natural process of thawing happen. Meat mince defrosted in the fridge should be cooked straight away as frozen and thawed mince deteriorate rather quickly. Whole cuts of defrosted meat can stay in the fridge for 3-5 days before they start to deteriorate.


Microwaves have a special function on them, the defrost function which is very useful to defrost meat if you are intending to cook the meat as soon as possible. One should not refreeze the meat defrosted in the microwave because while defrosting in the microwave, the heat from the microwave will start the cooking process. 

Before putting the microwave to use, the meat should be taken out of the packaging and placed in a microwave safe container, and defrosted on a low setting so that the centre of the meat also defrosts. Do not refreeze the meat defrosted with this method. 

Cold running water

Using a cold water bath to defrost is a fantastic way to thaw frozen meat as this will take less time than the fridge method. Place the frozen meat in a leak-proof plastic bag and seal properly to avoid any water seeping inside the bag. Then place the bag in a container of cold water.

During this process, one can either change the cold water every 30 minutes or can have the tap running on low flow to help speed up the process. Once defrosted, the meat should be cooked immediately.

Can you defrost meat at room temperature?

Room temperature is a favourable environment for the bacteria to grow and multiply. Since freezing the meat does not destroy the bacteria, the bacteria in the meat only go into a dormant state and as soon as the meat is defrosted at room temperature, the bacteria will start to multiply.

The temperature between 40F and 140F is the ideal temperature for the bacteria. It is best advised not to defrost meat at room temperature but if you have no other option then make sure you do it in less than 2 hours time frame and get it cooked asap.

Can you refreeze defrosted meat?

Refreezing of defrosted meat can be done if only the meat has been thawed in the fridge. If any other method has been used then refreezing is not advised. You can refreeze them only after cooking the defrosted meat.

Freezing and refreezing the meat will deteriorate the quality and texture of the meat. When freezing the meat, the water particles in the meat will crystallise which starts affecting the fibres and can change the texture and flavor of the meat.


In this brief, we answered the query, “can defrosted meat go in the fridge?”. We also talked about the shelf life of meat in the freezer and fridge and if defrosted meat can be refrozen again.

I hope to find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.