Can you cook frozen pork?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you cook frozen pork” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook frozen pork. Moreover, we are going to discuss whether or not you can cook frozen pork in a slow cooker as well as the proper way to freeze and thaw pork.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you cook frozen pork?

Yes, you can cook frozen pork but it takes about 50% more cooking time to thoroughly cook frozen pork as compared to the fresh pork or the one that has been thawed first. The particular method that you want to use to cook your pork depends upon your personal preference as you can BBQ, grill, fry, bake or even roast your frozen pork.

To properly cook the frozen pork, you should start cooking it at a low temperature and increase the temperature gradually (but make sure that the temperature won’t be lower than 350 degrees Fahrenheit for safety concerns). Moreover, you should rotate it more often to ensure even heating. If you cook frozen pork at a very high temperature then there are chances that your pork will be overcooked at the surface while it will still be undercooked in the center.

It is worth mentioning that the time it takes to cook pork depends upon several factors like the quantity of pork, whether it was frozen or not, the internal temperature to which pork is cooked, the way you are going to cook it (roast in the oven, boil in a saucepan or fry in the pan), the storage conditions in which the pork was kept, slaughter age, the time for which the pork has been stored, humidity and temperature. 

One thing to keep in mind is that you should cook the pork thoroughly till its internal temperature reaches about 145 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can you use a slow cooker to cook frozen pork?

It is not recommended to cook frozen pork in a slow cooker or crockpot. The reason behind this is that cooking frozen pork in the slow cooker results in it spending too much time at a temperature at which the bacterial growth takes place at a faster rate. 

The slow cooker takes several hours to reach the temperature that is necessary to kill the bacteria and ensure the safety of meat and we know that bacteria grow at a faster pace at 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, the potential for the frozen pork to stay in this danger zone is too long in case it is cooked in a slow cooker, and staying in the danger zone for too long can allow bacteria like Salmonella to thrive on the pork.

Therefore it is not recommended to cook frozen pork in the slow cooker. On the other hand, if the pork has been thawed beforehand, then you can cook it in the slow cooker easily.

You can read how to make juicy grilled pork chops here.

Other FAQs about Pork which you may be interested in.

How long can I keep cooked pork in the fridge?

How long can marinated pork stay in the fridge?

The proper way to freeze pork

You can easily store the pork by wrapping it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and afterward putting it in the plastic freezer bag or heavy-duty freezer container before storing it in the freezer to protect your pork from freezer burns. 

Moreover, to preserve the quality of the pork for quite a long time you can opt for vacuum sealing it which is quite effective in prolonging its shelf life.

Vacuum sealing involves the process of putting the pork in a plastic zipper bag, removing air from it, and almost sealing the bag with a little space left while lowering it into water. Afterward, press out the bubbles from the bag starting from the bottom of the bag and once you reach the sealed end, you should press the seal closed. 

The reason behind doing vacuum sealing is to ensure that there is minimum air present in the plastic zipper bag with the pork. As air has moisture and oxygen in it that favors bacterial growth, so by removing air, pork can retain its freshness for a long time.

It is a good practice to divide the pork into portions or serving sizes that you generally need. By doing so you will be able to just thaw the quantity of pork that you need while the rest of the pork can stay in the freezer untouched. Thus keeping the pork in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the pork.

It is worth mentioning that the time for which pork stays good in the freezer depends upon various factors like the fat content of pork, and the freshness of pork at the time it is stored in the freezer.

The proper way to thaw pork

When it comes to thawing pork, there are a couple of ways to do so and you can choose any of them depending upon your choice.

  1. The recommended way to thaw the frozen pork is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight and let it thaw there. 
  1. You can thaw the frozen pork in a bowl of cold water but you should cook it immediately after thawing. 
  1. If you are thawing the pork in the oven or microwave it is recommended to cook it immediately. 

It is worth mentioning that once you have thawed the frozen pork, you should not refreeze it.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you cook frozen pork” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook frozen pork. Moreover, we discussed whether or not you can cook frozen pork in a slow cooker as well as the proper way to freeze and thaw pork.

Citations

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/preparation/cooking-frozen-meat
https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-cook-a-pork-roast-while-it-is-still-frozen/
https://www.commodious.co.uk/knowledge-bank/food-hygiene/frozen-cooking

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.