Can meat freeze from the inside out?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mrflibble, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. mrflibble

    mrflibble

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    We received a turkey recently which was meant to be 'fresh'. When it arrived it was frozen on the inside. We are told that the fridge was probably set a bit low so the turkey froze on the inside.

    I'm not rocket surgeon, but I would have thought that meat would always freeze from the outside in, and then thaw from the outside in. Meaning in this case that the only way for the turkey's inside to be frozen would be for the whole turkey to have frozen and then partially thawed.

    So, is it possible for meat to freeze on the inside first or is by butcher pulling a fast one?
     
  2. mike9

    mike9

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    I've never heard of meat freezing from the inside out.  I think your butcher is not being up front about the source of your bird.
     
  3. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    The specified temp for frozen meat is well below the temp for frozen water.  So for a fresh turkey there will likely be some frozen water inside.  Ask Alton Brown - he did a TV show that explains the details, I believe in Series 1.
     
  4. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    My thoughts exactly Brian.
    If anything the ice may have slowed, if not completely stopped bacterial growth.
    Of course as soon as the ice melts it starts back up so as you already know , stick the bird in the coldest part of your fridge UNDER all the other contents.
    Any dripping on the lettuce or leftovers may cause some unpleasant side effects.

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  5. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    From USDA regarding labeling of turkeys:

    ... or in more detail:

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/co...e885/Poultry_Label_Says_Fresh.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

    ... or hear it straight from Alton's mouth:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2014
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    What Brian said. Fresh only means down to 27 degrees. 

    I think there might be more to the pliability thing with the flesh though I have no sources. This is only anecdotal opinion. "Fresh" seems to me to be juicier when cooked compared to "Frozen". There does not seem to be as much cell damage from Fresh temps to the flesh of the bird. 
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  7. maryb

    maryb

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    On a turkey you have all the bone lining the inside of the cavity, bone that will conduct cold better than fat and skin so I could see it freezing inside.
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  8. chefross

    chefross

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    I buy a fresh Amish turkey each year. There is a ball of ice on the inside. Butcher says the turkeys are placed in a very cold warehouse where ice can form in the area that they are held is cooler than the rest of the room. It happens.
     
  9. dcarch

    dcarch

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    Yes,

    If the turkey has been "brined" the outer layer of meat will be saltier.

    Salt will freeze at a lower temperature. The meat inside will get frozen first.

    dcarch
     
  10. chefedb

    chefedb

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    This is called Frosted Poultry held on the borderline of freezing. Most chickens are held this way today in the supermart.
     
  11. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    I thought so.
    Just too much of a coincidence for every whole chicken to be at the same stage of frozen/defrost.
    Question... say I am buying a Chicken and some are frozen and some are not.
    Which should I chose?
    Is the frozen bird an example of partial frost refrozen by accident?
    Will it be of lesser quality or do you thing it just never made it to the partial defrost zone?
    Fairly busy supermarket........

    mimi
     
  12. mike9

    mike9

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    Thanks for clearing that up Ed - I learn something new every day.  
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    They are almost the same buy whichever cost less