If you have previously tried cutting frozen meat, you will agree that it is one of the most difficult tasks you can ever take up in the kitchen. Don’t be too surprised when it dawns on you that not even the sharpest of knives can dig into the frozen chunk of meat you will read about How to Cut Frozen Meat.
The fact that you would want to use only a certain piece of it without messing with the rest of the meat makes it even more difficult. And before you go bashing your head in your hand in disappointment, you should know that even top chefs in top rated restaurants face the same problem when working with frozen foods, not only meat. Not that any top restaurant would admit to having any frozen food of course!
So with that said, this article illustrates how you can cut frozen meat yourself at home. Once you master the trick, it will no longer be such an uphill task for you. Instead, you will get to enjoy the job every time you get to do it – well, kind of.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Exactly Do You Cut Frozen Meat?
Can I Thaw And Refreeze Meat?
Thawing and refreezing the meat has always been a solution for some people. However, this is not recommended owing to the dangers of microbial growth that can make you sick, and I would never do it myself.
Another issue is that every time meat is frozen and thawed, it affects the texture and flavor, and not for the better.
For the above reasons, learning how to cut frozen meat is of utmost importance with regards to maintaining good health and good tasting meat.
The essence of learning how to cut frozen meat is based on the need to expedite the cooking process, especially when you are running a busy schedule, and you need to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen.
Nobody wants to stay in the kitchen for hours trying to prepare a meal, right? The faster and shorter the preparation time, the better. Nonetheless, it is always important for you to ensure that the procedure is safe for you. Your safety should always come first. In as much as you want to be quick in the kitchen, an injury is the last thing you would want to have.
How Exactly Do You Cut Frozen Meat?
Now, here for the most part, we are talking about cutting larger portions, such as an entire tenderloin or maybe a large roast that is too big for one meal.
The first thing that you should always put in mind is the tools that you are using. As I’m sure you are aware, frozen meat is one of the most solid items that you can attempt to cut. The frozen chunk is barely penetrable. But with the right tools to use, it is possible.
First of all, don’t forget cut resistant gloves, regardless of what method you use.
Electric Kitchen Saw
The electric meat saw offers the best solution for cutting frozen meat, but can also be expensive.It is designed in such a manner that it can pass through toughest meats even when frozen.
So provided that you can purchase one, this could prove to be one of the better investments that you can make for your kitchen, if you can justify the cost. It is fine for commercial establishments but most people will rarely need one at home. It also takes up more space, which can be an issue for some of us. The saw has to be, however, handled by someone familiar with all aspects of kitchen safety and comfortable with using this piece of equipment, because the machine could be very dangerous if handled improperly.
Screw up operating this and you may not be able to count up to ten anymore unless you use your toes as well as the remaining fingers on your hands, especially if you forgot those cut-resistant gloves we mentioned.
If you do go this route, remember safety glasses as bones may splinter on some meats.
I have heard of people saying that you could take your frozen chunk of meat to your local butcher at the supermarket and ask them to cut it with their saw. If they will, then great! However, you will probably find that most places have strict regulations that forbid the cutting or repackaging of any meat that has either left the store and been returned or has been brought in from any source other than their own suppliers.
If you find a supermarket that will do it, let me know and I will avoid it.
Manual Butcher’s Saw
Basically a hacksaw with bigger teeth. They come in various lengths but don’t go for one that’s too long. Make sure the handle is comfortable and gives you a solid grip. The leverage you gain will make cutting the frozen meat much easier than using a butcher’s knife. This is also a great way for slicing through bones.
Probably the best alternative to the electric saw.
Manual Frozen Meat Slicer
You can use a manual frozen meat slicer, such as this one, which can make life a whole lot easier if you mainly cut thin slices and the piece of meat is not too bulky. Good for stir fries or anything where thin slices are required. Not recommended for slicing off that thick, juicy steak.
The Butcher’s Knife
A robust, durable, heavy-duty steel butcher knife can also be used to cut the meat. Place emphasis on the heavy duty aspect. It has to be well sharpened with a serrated edge, such that each and every stroke made on the frozen meat digs in deeper and deeper with great efficiency. If possible, run the part of the meat that you are going to cut under cold running water for a couple of minutes; this will soften the outside a little, enabling you to “dig in” so you have a nice firm starting point.
A dull knife will give you one heck of a time trying to cut the frozen meat into small pieces. So the first step is always to ensure that your knife is very sharp. Moreover, don’t use a bread knife or a vegetable knife to cut the meat. The butcher knife will always serve you best due to its sturdy and reliable nature.
In some instances, the meat chunks could have bones, and even the strongest of butcher knives will not come in handy. In this case, you need to have a butcher’s saw or a sterilized hacksaw to cut through the bones.
As you may have noticed, frozen meat can be quite slippery on the cutting board. In light of this, you have to ensure that the frozen meat is well placed on the cutting board such that the meat doesn’t accidentally slip from your hands and you end up chopping off more than a piece of the roast.
Always ensure that the cutting board is well grounded and is firm. You can achieve this by placing a wet piece of kitchen towel beneath the cutting board so that it doesn’t move while cutting. Then one arm should be strongly placed on the frozen meat while the other works on the cutting.
Always start cutting from the edge of the blade, pointing the knife away from you, apply direct pressure in a bid to dig deeper into the chunk. This may sound stupid but make sure you remember where your fingers are at all times, especially if you didn’t buy the cut-resistant gloves we mentioned. In fact, you shouldn’t even think about cutting frozen meat without the cut-resistant gloves I mentioned earlier.
Can I Use An Electric Meat Slicer?
If the meat is completely frozen, no. You’ll end up damaging the blade. If slightly frozen, then an electric meat slicer is probably the best option of the whole lot.
Can You Partially Thaw The Meat Before Slicing It?
Yes, you can and this will be useful if you don’t want to cook the entire chunk of meat at once.
You can hold the meat under running water (not hot water, or it will start to cook) for a few minutes and it will soften the outside. Slice off the ends, and the middle will still be completely frozen, so you can return that portion to the freezer.
Remember To Keep It Clean
Proper hygiene and sanitation are paramount. A lot of contamination could occur in the process of cutting frozen meat, and thus cleanliness has to be put in mind.
The cutting tools should be clean before use. If possible, they should be washed in warm water and sterilized. The cutting surface also has to be clean.
Meat is a very good harbor for microbial pathogens. Your hands as well should be well washed before handling the meat in a bid to avert any contamination of the meat.
With everything we mentioned here, you will agree with me that cutting frozen meat is not rocket science but it’s also not easy. It is the simple precautions and steps that you do in the kitchen that really have to be considered.
If you are able to keep the above in mind, then cutting frozen meat doesn’t have to be such a challenging task anymore