Can I freeze a cooked joint of beef and then reheat? If so, how long do I need to reheat for?

I have a defrosted joint of rib eye approx 2kg which is no longer required due to change of plans! Is it OK to cook it sous vide like I usually would and then freeze?


Worth remembering is the fact that, once pasteurised the refrigerator life of a cooked item is extended. The safe storage time is dependent upon the refrigerator temperature, so it is possible that freezing may not be necessary.

There is a storage duration table in the Baldwin Bible, which is recommended reading.

OK, thank you for that. Just a couple more questions, do I need to chill in an icebath and what heat do I need to reheat it at? I am cooking it at 61 degrees.

Yes. Best practice for food safety says to shock chill in an icebath. This will get the temperature down faster than just throwing it in the fridge and it won’t put the rest of your fridge-load at risk.

And Charlotte as far as the temperature to reheat at just use the same temp you cooked at (in this case 61C). As long as you don’t use a temperature higher than that at which you cooked it previously you will not overcook it.

Thanks for all the advice, I’m still a bit nervous about trying this out. How long would I have to reheat for? I cooked it for just over 5hrs originally.

Here in Aussie land, I buy on special sales and freeze then thaw and BBQ or smoke & then chill in the fridge & then vacuum pack & freeze for my kids with 6 kids who then reheat in bag or oven & eat.
As a scientist, I can assure you that as long as you thaw in fridge then season & cook & then freeze & then reheat and eat (all) then you are fine. In fact as long as you Pasteurise when reheating, your food can sit at that temperature for several hours in the vacuum bag.
If I cook in the bag I usually chill & then re vacuum pack.
Problem come to you when you leave raw food at room temperature & not cooking or cooked food at room temperature after cooling & not vacuum packing or chilling below 4c

Caught fish for example can start to go off after 15 minutes in the boat if not in an ice slurry with salt
Cheers from Fraser Island OZ

1 Like

07, - Dr. Baldwin’s information includes a detailed table for reheating based on temperature and thickness, two measurements you should start to consider for consistently excellent outcomes.

Up2, please help us understand the reason for repacking cooked product after chilling. Isn’t there potential for contamination after Pasteurization when you repack cooked products?

As a general rule, you can chill most cooked foods in the fridge and then vacuum pack for storage in the fridge or in the freezer. For the fridge, you need the bottom shelf to be 0c & for the freezer you want -18c or better.

Some examples; I take Rump or Rib Eye steaks, rub with a little Bourbon & sprinkle a little salt, fresh Oregano, Thyme & crushed garlic on both sides with Kiwi slices, Pineapple enzyme or other tenderisers also on both sides. I then vacuum pack several packages (buying in bulk full lots) and place in the fridge at 0c. At the instant of vacuum, the cells of your marinate are broken & forced into the meat (that’s how you can make pickles in 60 seconds, vac pack & open anytime after (grind your spices)).

The longest I have tried is 4 pieces of vacuum rump I found in the back of my lab fridge 150 days old. Fantastic cooked & tasted like wagyu but funkier.
Pork Ham; Try any thick cuts of pork, let us say a 2-inch slab of loin chop. Make up your favourite brine dry rub (2 sugar 1 salt & spices) and after applying, vac pack & put in the fridge, next day or two, remove from bag and wipe off rub or wash with water. Now apply another rub, I like Lime, Tamarind, onion & garlic powder mix, smoke at 100-120c until the internal is at 71c, Cool in the fridge & vac pack and it will be good for a month at 0c ( at least) and 12 months at -18c at least as we are talking Hard Vacuum packed so we are really talking years of storage at -18c or better.
Fish can be vac packed, raw, pasteurised cooked or fully cooked on a char grill and will be good for a long time at -18c

As I have a chamber, I can do liquids and so fermented foods like Krauts, Kimchi, pickles and anything marinated open a whole new world but watch daily anything fermented as the bag will expand like a balloon, then you need to bottle & put in the fridge.

Yoghurt, Cheese, Koji, Natto etc, all work better in Vacuum bags.

Booze and fruit, I have a still, I get fruit in season berries, mango peaches etc. Get the juice of the same fruit. Make up a spirit to 40% ABV with the juice and put in a bottle or Pyrex tray with the fruit & Vac pack. Its now ready or you can leave in the fridge for years. The girls love Blueberry blitzed up with ice cream or my fresh pineapple & coconut rum with soda.

If you have a bench vacuum machine, you can vac liquids by freezing them first eg; nearly freeze pickles in vinegar & then vac pack

If you need more on sous-vide science

& if you need more on food science I suggest On Food & Cooking by Harrold McGee (this is where Heston gets some of his food science)

Cheers, Ed

I think the point of Frank’s question, @up2u, was more ‘why cook to pasteurisation, then break the seal and repack?’ It would make so much more sense to pack individually in the first place before you pasteurise. And why waste the time and resources to pasteurise something twice. But, hey, whatever floats your boat.

‘As a scientist…’ Curious as to what sort of scientist you might be as it is rather a large field.