Can you defrost pork?

In this brief guide, we will address the query “can you defrost pork”. We will also discuss the questions of what is pork, some culinary uses of pork, how you can freeze and defrost pork, and what guidelines you should consider when defrosting pork.

Can you defrost pork?

Yes, you can defrost pork just like any other frozen food. The thawing of pork ranges from short periods of 60 minutes to long periods of 8 hours for more depending on the method of choice. Thorough defrosting of pork and other meat products shortens the lengthy time of cooking. 

What is pork?

Pork is the meat obtained from slaughtered domesticated pigs typically between the ages of six to twelve months. The meat pork is typically greyish pink, firm and fine grained, well marbled in appearance and protected in an outer covering of a firm white fat.

What are the culinary uses of pork?

Most commonly the pork meat is cooked and fresh meat and used in a variety of dishes. The meat may also be cured for bacon or smoked for ham. The meat is also for making sausages and is rendered to produce lard.  

How can you freeze pork?

Pork meat can be frozen to prolong its shelf life when one is not ready to use them for cooking. Cold temperatures are best for storing most food but refrigerated foods have a shorter life span than frozen ones. Keeping pork in the fridge can last for about 3 to 5 days depending on how long they have been prepared and the previous storage conditions of the pork. You can however store your pork for extended periods in the freezer. 

Here is how to go about freezing your pork. 

  • Firstly, cut your pork into the preferred sizes to be used in cooking. 
  • Transfer the pork to a freezer safe bag and seal tightly removing any residual air. In packing the pork, freeze the specific amount you can use when cooking. 
  • You must ensure to label the packaged pork to be frozen with the exact date that they were prepared.
  • Place the pork packed in freezer safe bags into the freezer and store for 3 to 6 months for a portion of high-quality meat.  

How can you defrost pork?

Pork stored in the freezer can be defrosted anytime when needed in preparing a meal. Many methods are available for defrosting most foods. Among the varying methods that can be used in thawing foods, pork and other meat products are highly recommended to be defrosted using the refrigerator, cold water and microwave methods. These methods are quite safe and are unlikely to expose the pork to its danger zone when done correctly. 

Let us discuss in detail the methods for defrosting pork.

Thawing by refrigeration method

Thawing in the refrigerator means one has to plan ahead of time and meal prep so that your pork comes in handy to be used whenever needed. This process is the safest but slowest in the thawing of pork.

  • To commence, bring out your frozen pork in a freezer bag from the freezer and place it in a bowl.
  • Transfer the bowl containing the pork to the lowest rack of the fridge and leave them there to defrost slowly.
  • This process takes about 6 to 8 hours or overnight and the pork is completely thawed to be used in cooking.

Thawing by the cold water method

To thaw by the cold water method, the process can be faster than the refrigeration method and is also recommended for their safety.

  • To start, bring out your pork from the freezer while still in a freezer safe bag. Crosscheck to know that the bag is watertight and there is no leakage on them. If the bag is not leakproof, you may add another wrapping to enclose it fully. 
  • Completely submerge the pork in a freezer bag into a bowl containing a large volume of cold water.
  • Allow your pork to thaw quickly while sitting on the counter top and this should be completely done in 30 minutes to less than 2 hours depending on the portion of the meat you are defrosting.
  • Ensure to change the cold water used in the defrosting process every 30  minutes if the process lasts longer than that. 

Thawing by the microwave method

The microwave method is a highly recommended process when you don’t have the luxury of time to wait for thawing in the refrigerator. The method is really quick and snappy. 

  • To defrost in the microwave, remove pork from the freezer and its plastic packaging. 
  • Transfer the meat to a microwave safe bowl with a cover for defrosting.
  • Start to thaw the meat by using the defrosting setting of the microwave which is a lower power setting to thaw the meat. Defrost the pork for 2 minutes and check its progress. If it requires more time, you may turn it over and defrost again for 2 minutes until finally the meat is well thawed. 
  • In all, the process takes about 4 to 7 minutes depending on the portion size of the meat defrosting.

Which guidelines should be considered when defrosting pork?

When you want to defrost pork meat, it is highly recommended you plan ahead of schedule and use the refrigeration method if possible as this gives the best results and prevents contamination of meat by bacteria growth. However, when you have limited time to prepare your meal then you can choose any of the quick processes. 

  • Pork defrosted in the fridge can be refrozen even without cooking.  When the meat is thawed at refrigeration temperature, the meat is not exposed to the danger zone.
  • It is important to note that you must cook your pork immediately and properly when you use these methods to defrost your meat. Thawing by this process is likely to expose the meat to the danger zone and may cause the rapid growth of bacteria in the meat.


In this brief article, we have addressed the query “can you defrost pork?”. We have also discussed what pork is, some culinary uses of pork, how to freeze and defrost pork, and the guidelines to consider when defrosting pork.

Hope this article was helpful, let us know if you have any questions.