Does Frozen Meat Weigh More Than Thawed Meat? Let’s Find Out

Freezing meat is an easy way to preserve meat before it expires. Doing this allows you to buy meat in bulk and pop it in the freezer to use later.

When you purchase certain types of meat, it will contain information about the weight of the meat. This is important, especially when you are following a recipe.

Cooking times and ingredient proportions in recipes are set to the amount of meat required. Without correct proportions, meat can be cooked longer than needed or not long enough.

Have you brought a piece of meat, but upon defrosting, you weigh it again and see the weight is different?  Let’s explain how this works and how to get an accurate weight for your meat.

Does Frozen Meat Weigh More Than Thawed Meat?

Most types of meat will weigh more when they are frozen. How much they weigh will depend on factors like humidity levels and temperature. All types of meat contain natural moisture. When frozen, that moisture turns into ice crystals, and the liquid will expand. As a result, the weight of the meat will then change.

Different cuts and types of meat have varying water content, which changes their weight when frozen. Frozen meat weighs anywhere from 15-28% more than thawed meat.

When meat is defrosted, it will let out a juice that is called thaw exudate. The meat loses about 30% of its weight due to releasing this juice.

Breaking Down the Scientific Chemical Process

How does this chemical process cause the meat to weigh more? The simple answer is what happens during the freezing process.

When raw meat is exposed to the harsh temperatures needed to freeze it, a chemical change occurs deep inside the protein strands. When this happens, they become crystalized, which reduces the size of the strands as it increases the moisture content.

Once the protein fibers have turned to ice crystals, the moisture cannot escape the smaller cells and cannot be reabsorbed. If you notice the meat is drier after defrosting and cooking, this is why.

Is There a Huge Difference Between Frozen and Thawed Meat?

The difference in weight is definitely there when compared, however, it is not that much and in fact, it really depends on several factors.

The main deciding factor is the amount of moisture in each cut.

The amount of weight is small in most cases. Leaner cuts of meat have more water than fattier cuts of meat.

meat with higher-end cuts will always have less water content when compared with cheaper cuts. A fatty steak will have a larger amount of water content in it than a protein-filled lean cut of meat like chicken.

Cheaper cuts of meat have added fillers in them. Some meat, like mince, contains bread fillers, and some have added salt water to give it more flavor. In both cases, you will get a higher weight when the meat is frozen. 

Does Meat Weigh More Raw Or Cooked?

Raw meat such as chicken, pork, and beef will always weigh less than cooked meat, no matter how you cook it.

The reason why raw weighs more is because the moisture content leaks out when the meat is cooking. Animal protein loses around 25% of its volume once cooked.

If you’re wondering why the large hamburger patty looks smaller after cooking, it’s due to the amount of moisture it loses. 

Does Frozen Chicken Weigh More Than Thawed?

The weight difference is nothing to be concerned about.  You might see a small weight change, but most of the time, it’s a small difference.

Things can change the amount of weight loss, such as whether the chicken has skin on it or it’s a cheap, high-end cut.

There is still enough difference that you should weigh the chicken before and after when following a recipe.

Does Frozen Shrimp Weigh More Frozen?

Now most of you must be wondering whether the frozen shrimp weigh more frozen or not. well, the case here is not exactly as same as beef and chicken.

The water content in Shrimp is way bigger than any other meat type, so when you freeze Shrimp, the weight increases. Because the water molecules turn into ice which eventually increases the weight of the shrimp.

As already stated above, Shrimp has a bigger water content, so when frozen it really weighs more when compared to other frozen meat such as beef or chicken.

Does the Packaging Affect the Weight of the Meat

There are many packaging options when you are dealing with meat, such as Ziploc bags, cling film, vacuum sealed, and the normal supermarket packaging.

How the meat is packaged in the store can change the weight of the meat after it has thawed out. When meat is vacuumed and sealed, it pushes the water out of the meat, giving it a reduced weight when it is thawed.

When the meat has been frozen in a clingfilm or other loose-fitting packaging, there is more room for condensation to build up. This will result in a different weight once it has been thawed.


So now you must get your answer, right? I tried my best to answer your questions in detail about whether frozen meat weighs more than thawed meat.

When meat is frozen it weighs more, and in fact, most things if not everything weigh more when they are frozen and meat is not an exception.

Having a kitchen scale to weigh the meat will help you to get as close to the weight in the recipe as possible. Most recipes will refer to the thawed weight of the meat, so it is best to thaw your meat before you weigh it.

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