A question which often get asked by home cooks is whether it is safe to put defrosted chicken back into the freezer and the simple answer is yes – but only if the chicken was defrosted at below 5 C (usually that means in the fridge) and didn’t defrost for more than 24 hours at this temperature.
The myth that it’s not safe to re-freeze chicken meat that has been defrosted is a mix of two issues: quality and safety.
While it’s safe to put chicken that’s been defrosted at below 5 C back into the freezer, freezing and re-freezing chicken may deteriorate the quality of the meat.
The reduction in quality can be caused by a number of things, but it includes the formation of ice crystals in the cells of the meat that can “break down” the meat so it no longer looks as good as it did when it was bought.
This affects the look of the chicken more than the taste and definitely doesn’t affect the safety of the chicken – it is still fine to cook for dinner!