Can I Take Meat Out of the Freezer and Put It Right Into a Slow Cooker to Cook?

One of the many benefits of a slow cooker is that you can place a frozen piece of meat into the pot and it will not only thaw safely, it will cook completely -- making for one delicious, home-cooked meal.
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A Crock-Pot or slow cooker is a handy kitchen appliance to have. It is super convenient when you need to make an easy dinner, especially if you forget to remove meat from your freezer to thaw. Fortunately, you can prepare a last-minute dinner by placing frozen ribs in the Crock-Pot.

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You can cook other foods from frozen in your slow cooker, too. Add some fiber and other nutrients to a pot roast dinner by adding a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Plant-based proteins like tofu or tempeh can also be cooked from frozen.

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Tip

Yes, you can take meat out of the freezer and put it right into a slow cooker to cook. Frozen meat will thaw and cook in your slow cooker.

Safely Cooking From Frozen

Many people worry that cooking foods from frozen without allowing them time to thaw is unsafe or unhealthy. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, there are actually many benefits to freezing food prior to cooking, such as maintaining the quality of the food for longer. Frozen food also retains its nutrient content.

The USDA also confirms that meat can be safely cooked directly from frozen, though it will take approximately twice as long to cook as thawed meat. When making slow cooker country style ribs, remember to double the cook time if you are cooking from frozen.

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Cooking frozen ribs in the slow cooker rather than letting them thaw may also reduce the risk of bacteria forming. According to Mayo Clinic, leaving food out too long at room temperature causes bacteria to form, which may lead to food-borne illnesses. Always store food at colder temperatures when you are not cooking.

Read more: 4 Reasons to Eat Just a Little Bit Less Meat

Using a Slow Cooker

While you can make frozen ribs in a slow cooker, you can also use this kitchen appliance to make other types of dishes. You can make pot roasts, soups, stews and even pulled meats. You can make slow cooker country style ribs as well. There are many slow cooker recipes you can try.

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Crock-Pot is a leading brand of slow cookers, all of which are easy to use. Simply add your ingredients to the inner pot of the slow cooker. Then secure the lid on top. Adjust the settings according to temperature and time. Directions may vary based on your model and whether your slow cooker is manual or automatic.

Unlike a pressure cooker, which cooks food in minutes using high pressure, a slow cooker can take as much as 12 hours to cook. When making frozen ribs in a slow cooker, remember to account for the additional time it will take to cook all the way through. You may want to use a higher temperature setting to encourage quicker cooking.

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Read more: 7 High-Protein, Plant-Based Dinners Even Meat Eaters Will Love

Frozen Ribs in the Slow Cooker

To make frozen ribs in a slow cooker, add in your meat and barbecue sauce. When cooking ribs that have been thawed, it usually takes eight to 10 hours on low. To cook frozen ribs in a slow cooker, you may need to increase the heat setting to medium or cook for longer.

Once you have finished cooking your frozen ribs, you can put the leftovers back in the freezer. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends freezing leftover food as one way to prep your meals for the future. The Academy also recommends freezing main dishes and adding vegetables on the side when you're ready to eat. Side dishes to enjoy with slow cooker country style ribs include:

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