Kitchen Q&A

Which is better, fresh meat or frozen?


The Charlotte Observer

Q: My son-in-law insists that fresh meat is better than frozen meat. Is he right?

A: “Better” is tough to define. Jerry Lanuzza, the interim dean of culinary education at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, is a purchasing expert, so I asked him.

Anything that is fresh should have more nutrition than something that isn’t – the older food gets, the more nutrition it loses. But frozen food can have more nutrition than fresh if it’s frozen quickly and efficiently, because it decays more slowly. Fresh food that’s been kept longer will have less nutrition than frozen.

Texture also is an issue. Will frozen meat be mushy when thawed?

“You want to freeze as fast as possible and thaw as slow as possible,” he says.

Commercial equipment freezes things faster than home freezers. When food is frozen quickly, the ice crystals are smaller, which means less bursting of cell walls and less loss of moisture. If you thaw it slowly, it has time to reabsorb any lost moisture.

To freeze meat faster at home, wrap it well to keep out air, then put it in a single layer on a metal sheet. Thaw the meat in the refrigerator overnight, rather than under running water.

If you handle it right, frozen meat should be just as good as fresh.

Read more Food stories from the Miami Herald

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Bhindi masala: </span>Fried okra in a flavorful spice paste is a surefire way to fall in love with the misunderstood vegetable.


    No slime: Indian dish brings out the best of okra

    I am glad that no one ever forced stewed okra on me during my childhood, because the stories I’ve heard from stewed-okra veterans have been traumatizing. Friends and colleagues have described memories of okra that was sulfurous and slimy and yet left a cottony feeling on their tongues and gums. (This is no coincidence: The okra plant is related to the cotton plant.)

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Layered Tomato-Watermelon Salad</span>


    7 new ways to build a 7-layer salad

    From fruits to pastas, novel ideas to liven it up the next time you layer it on.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Keeps bitterness in check: </span>Soaking radicchio in cold water helps mellow out its bite.

    Today’s Special

    Water bath takes some bite out of bitter radicchio

    These tips turn radicchio into something radical.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category