Nutritional information that is present on the side of your food is based on the food’s properties as it is packaged. This means the weight and serving size have been measured as the food sits on the shelf or in the freezer.
Does meat follow the same requirements as other foods do, though? Specifically, does frozen meat weigh more than thawed meat? Typically, yes frozen meat does weigh more than thawed meat, and we’ll explain why.
As meat begins to thaw, the water and liquids within it begin to seep out. This causes the meat to lose weight as these liquids exit the meat and is no longer considered in its overall weight.
You may not even notice this is occurring. This is because meat often sits upon absorbent padding that manufacturers or meatpackers put in the container to absorb excess liquid.
How Much Water Does Meat Contain?
This is variable, depending on the type of meat you are taking into consideration. A beef eye of round will contain about 73% water, whereas other meat may be up to 75% water.
The amount of bone, connective tissue, and muscle will make a difference in how much water a specific cut of meat holds. Different layers and textures hold ice crystals in differing manners, which can make a difference in how much water specific types of meat contain.
When the meat begins to thaw, it can lose as much as 30% of its size and volume simply from water draining out.
How The Quality of Meat Determines If It Weighs More Thawed Or Frozen
The type of meat you are considering for purchase can determine how much water it loses when it is thawed. A pricier brisket will likely hold less water than a cheaper ham. Talking about brisket learn how to thaw a brisket.. Frozen ground beef will also be unique, due to its structure.
This is partially due to the additives, fillers, and other ingredients found in cheaper cuts of meat. It can also be the product of how cheaper cuts of meat are packaged.
Water will typically crystallize on the outside of meat and some may evaporate as it thaws. Even then, the thawed version is still likely to be lighter than its frozen form.
Should I Consider The Frozen Or Thawed Weight When Cooking Meat?
For bigger cuts of meat that must be cooked a certain amount of time per pound, you should always consider the weight of the meat thawed in your calculations. If you were to base your cooking time on the weight of the frozen meat, you could be left with undercooked or raw meat since it would weigh more.
This should also be taken into consideration when you are trying to determine cooking time for cuts of meat with an uneven shape. Some areas of the meat may cook faster than others, leaving you with a partially cooked meal.
Buying Frozen Meat Versus Thawed Meat Based On Its Weight
If you are trying to decide whether to buy a frozen piece of meat or a thawed piece of meat, will one be cheaper than the other? That’s a really good question.
As meat is weighed and priced based on its weight at the time of packaging and as it sits on the shelf, frozen and thawed meat would be comparable in price. Oftentimes, the price per pound would make up for any differences in frozen versus thawed weight.