Can I freeze uncooked meat in its marinade?

I can’t seem to find anything that addresses whether freezing uncooked meat in its marinade is going to really adversely effect its texture and flavor. I have two pieces of chuck steak and I’d like to freeze one after marinating. I appreciate advice.

I’ve successfully done flank steak in marinade.

As you surely know, raw meat weeps juices when you thaw it. This is caused by the rupturing of cell walls as the water in them expands (happens in produce, too). If you thaw frozen marinated meat, letting it sit in the marinade for a few hours once it is thawed might help the meat reabsorb some of the juices because of the salt in the marinade. That’s just my theory. I have done what you propose to do and can’t recall noticing any adverse consquences.

1 Like

Thank you both. That’s going to make the second steak VERY easy.

1 Like

The problem with the water loss of thawed meat is cell wall rapture due to ice crystals. marinates/salt won’t repair the cell walls. They might retain a little bit more water during thawing so that the water loss (purge) appears to be less but overall it is best to avoid freezing meat.

Followup question. Would you remove the meat from the marinade before freezing?

Only if it were chicken or fish, and that’s only because of the tendency of more tender proteins to turn to mush if they sit in marinade for too long.

Beef or pork don’t seem to suffer any ill effects.

1 Like

Although this is true, I vacuum pack a lot of meat for the freeze and there is only a little “blood” or meat juice seen in the bag when thawed. Appears this loss is minimal

When I have frozen raw flank steak I freeze it in the marinade. Mind you, I don’t let it marinate for any time prior to freezing. Thaw it in the marinade. YMMV with a different cut.

I suspect freezing meat in the marinade would actually be better than the alternative, as it would protect the outside of the meat from freezer burn…

2 Likes

I do it all the time especially when London Broil twin paks are on sale. I’ve never had a problem with it. I’ve only ever done it with beef.

Vacuum packing will protect it as well

I do that all the time as well. For pork and beef. I have a vacuum chamber so I can easily vac seal with liquids. I then either throw the frozen meat in marinade in the sous vide, or thaw and roast or braise.

I don’t marinate steaks since all I eat are prime. (I stock up on loss leader sales at Fairway when they have the $9.99 lb prime rib steak & rib eye sales.) If I was cooking a lesser grade and cut I would have no problem marinating and vac freezing.

As mentioned, if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, the marinade will protect them meat from freezer burn, if all the air is removed from the ziplock bag, or a tupperware is filled so that the meat is submerged fully.

1 Like
“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold