Thawing and Storing Lamb
Q. How do I thaw lamb in the fridge?
A. If possible, plan ahead for a fridge thaw to guarantee the most tender and juicy result. Separate portioned cuts like chops or cutlets. Keep freezer covering on and pop lamb in a dish on lowest fridge shelf until completely thawed.
Q. How long does it take to thaw lamb?
A. Allow 4–7 hours per 500g for a large roast. Small roasts, like a rack of lamb, take around 3–5 hours per 500g. If you’re planning lamb steaks for dinner (about 2 cm thick), allow 12 hours or take them out of the freezer before you go to bed.
Q. How do I thaw lamb in the microwave?
A. Remove any freezer wrap, bag or non-microwave-safe Styrofoam tray and place lamb in a dish.
Microwave using the ‘defrost’ setting. Pause microwaving if the edges of your cuts feel warm, and resume once they’re cold again. For lamb mince, transfer thawed edges to a dish and set aside during defrosting. Once thawed, cook lamb straight away – don’t leave it on the kitchen bench or in the fridge.
Q. Should I thaw cooked lamb meals in the fridge or microwave?
A. Either way is tasty. For fridge, cover until defrosted and reheat in oven or microwave. For a quick dinner, thaw and reheat lamb in microwave until meal is piping hot.
Q. Can I refreeze defrosted raw lamb?
A. Uh, nope. Aside from microbial risk, refreezing dries lamb out. Why? Because meat contains water, which freezes into crystals, rupturing the meat fibres. This causes the meat to leach water when thawing, so the lamb becomes tougher and drier when refrozen.
In the fridge
- Remove packaging, transfer lamb to a plate and cover loosely with plastic wrap or foil. Make sure the juices can’t make a great escape.
- Pop fresh lamb on lowest fridge shelf away from any cooked food.
- Always enjoy your lamb before its use-by date.
Lamb fridge storage times
Recommended fridge temp: 4°C to 5°C
- Sausages, mince, strips, diced lamb and thin steaks: 2 days
- Steaks, boned and rolled roasts: 2–3 days
- Bone-in roasts: 3–4 days
- Unopened vacuum-packed lamb: 8-12 weeks (Check use by dates on package or label)
Lamb freezer times
Recommended freezer temp: -18°C to -15°C
- Sausages: 1–2 months
- Mince, strips, diced lamb and thin steaks: 2–3 months
- Steaks: 3–4 months
- Boned and rolled roasts, bone-in roasts and unopened vacuum packs: 4–6 months
- All cooked lamb dishes: 1 month
why fresh lamb is OK to freeze for longer than cooked lamb? Well, we use flavors like onions and garlic in our recipes. In the freezer, these flavors oxidize and taint over time, making your cooked dish taste a little off.