How To Cut Frozen Meat 

  • By: Brendan

Those of you who have tried cutting frozen meat will agree that this is the most challenging process in the kitchen. Even the sharpest knives will find it difficult to quickly and easily cut through frozen meat.

Sometimes, chopping the frozen meat can lead to disappointments as you can easily mess the rest of the meat. This is a big problem not only for you but also for the top-rated chefs worldwide. Some have even cut off the frozen meat from their course.

How to cut frozen meat

The best way to cut frozen meat is by softening it up a bit by defrosting. Once it is semi-frozen you can easily cut it with a knife, meat slicer or a saw.

How to Thaw Frozen Meat?

Below find some of the methods I use to thaw frozen meat.

The Vinegar Technique:

One of the popular ways of cutting frozen meat is the vinegar technique. I recommend this technique to anyone who wants to save money from the highly-priced hacksaws and knives. The vinegar technique once applied, is equivalent to killing two birds with one stone.

I prefer apple cider vinegar as it’s what I have used and seen the results. Follow these steps:

Step 1:

Pour some vinegar on top of your frozen meat. This will lower the freezing point of meat as well as softening it. Ensure the vinegar dissolves in the entire meat.

Step 2:

Remove the softened meat and wash it. This removes the vinegar taste if you don’t need it. However, you can still cook it that way if you like the flavor from the vinegar.

Note that vinegar works fast, tenderizes your meat by dissolving the connecting tissues.

Microwaving the Frozen Meat:

A microwave serves multipurpose functions. If you aren’t patient enough to wait for the 24 hours refrigerating your frozen meat, then the microwave is excellent. I love using the microwave, especially when time isn’t on my side.

Microwaving is fast and takes less than ten minutes to have your meat ready for cutting. If your microwave features the automatic defrost function, then the entire process becomes more manageable.

If you have a glass bowl, then it’s perfect for defrosting meat in the microwave. Put the meat in the glass bowl and place it in your microwave. If you prefer a plastic bowl, then confirm to ensure its compatible for use in the microwave. Turn on the defrost setting to defrost the meat.

You have to monitor the entire process unless you want the meat semi-cooked. Set the microwave to a suitable power percentage for better results.

Here are some of the different types of meat with defrosting conditions:

  • Boneless chicken defrosts at 50% power for 2 minutes. Flip it over and have the microwave power at 20% and heat for one minute.
  • Bone-in chicken defrosts at 50% for2 minutes. Flip it over and set the microwave power at 30% and heat for a minute.
  • Microwave bone-in steaks heat at 50% power for 2 minutes and turn then heat at 30% power for 1 minute.
  • Frozen bone-in pork chops require heat for 2 minutes at half the power. Turn down the power to 30% and heat for 1 minute when changing.
  • Boneless pork chops require 40% power and heat for 2 minutes. Pull apart the pieces then reduce the power to 30% and heat for 1 minute.
  • To microwave ground beef, set the power to 50% and heat for 2 minutes and break the thawed sections. Continue heating for 1 minute with the power of 30%. After that, your meat will be ready for cutting. Remove from the microwave.

Use a Metal Pot:

If you want to beat time, then a metal pot will work perfectly for you when thawing frozen meat. This method suits individually packed steaks. The frozen meat, therefore, lies flat on that metal pot. This method is straight forward, and that’s why I often use it for defrosting.

Step 1:

I remove the steaks from my freezer and lay them on the baking sheet. After that, I pour water in the pot without overflowing it. The water should be at room temperature since with hot water; you might end up cooking the meat. Cold water is also not suitable since it will slow down the process.

Step 2:

With the meat on the baking sheet, I place the pot on top of the piece then take a five-minute break. Surprisingly, when I’m back, the meat is soft for cutting.

Note that thick slab of meat will take an extended time hence you’ll need to be patient.

This process is fast and straightforward, thus suitable for defrosting meat. Additionally, there are no side effects associated with this process.

While using this method sounds exciting, be cautious with the knife since, with the slippery meat, it’s very easy to cut yourself. Be careful!

Can you cut frozen meat with an Electric Knife?

This is one of the tools that require utmost caution when handling it. It offers the best method to cut through the toughest frozen meat with ease. Additionally, the knife is super fast! However, it takes up much of your space and is also very costly.

These are the steps to use the electric knife.

Step 1:

I place the meat on a flat surface on my counter-top next to the power source. After that, I plug into the power source and wrap the cord around my arm. This is to prevent the cord from getting in the way while I cut the frozen meat.

Step 2:

Ensure your fingers are away from the running blade. This is one of the safety cautions I consider. At this point, I am always ready to start cutting. I press the start button to run the electric knife.

Step 3:

While at this section, I gently lower the blade to the frozen meat, moving it forward and backward while asserting some pressure on the blade to cut deeply. If the blade doesn’t go through the thick piece of frozen meat smoothly, I turn it so that the remaining part can also get the cut.

Can you cut frozen meat with a Meat Slicer?

Slicing a completely frozen piece of meat with a meat slicer machine is not advisable at all. A completely frozen meat is very hard and meat slicer blades are not strong enough to cut through it. It would damage the meat slicing machine.

To cut frozen meat with a meat slicer you need to first thaw or defrost the piece of meat for some time so that it becomes semi-frozen. Slightly frozen meat is actually the easiest to cut using a meat slicer.

Check the detailed guide on how to cut frozen meat with a meat slicer.

Can a Butcher cut frozen meat?

A butcher would be able to cut frozen meat using the Butcher’s knife provided the meat has to be thawed a bit. Thawing can be done by holding it under running water from a tap for 4-6 minutes to soften the outside.

A completely frozen meat is very hard and even a butcher’s knife, with all it power, will not be able to cut the meat properly.

Even if the meat is semi-frozen the knife has to be well sharpened and with serrated edges to do a good job of cutting.

A hacksaw with sharp teeth is also popular with butchers. A medium-sized hacksaw is safe and more comfortable. Make sure the handle has an excellent grip for flawless cutting. Move the saw forward and backward with slight pressure on it.

Butcher using hacksaw on hanging carcass

Although the hacksaw is a bit exhausting, it still offers an alternative to the expensive Butcher’s knife. Luckily, the saw can cut through bones as well, which the knife cannot.

Can you cut frozen meat with a Bandsaw?

Hand Slicing Meat On Bandsaw

Bandsaws are common in the woodworking zones as well as the butcher zones. Bandsaws are actually pretty effective in cutting completely frozen meat, even the one with bone in them. The only thing you need to change is the blade suitable for cutting meat.

The bandsaw comes in different sizes hence the need to choose the best blade size for your meat. The 126″ band saw blade is suitable for butcher shops and will cut through the frozen meat with ease.

In every inch, there are four teeth for efficiency while slicing. Note that while using this saw, safety precautions such as having gloves are essential.

If you are a woodworker and have a bandsaw, you can get blades specific for meat cutting else buying a bandsaw unless you are in commercial meat cutting industry is not a wise decision.

You can instead go by any of the above methods.

How do you break up frozen meat?

Breaking up frozen slabs of meat isn’t hard at all. The most popular method is by holding the meat under the water from a tap. Based on the thickness and warmth of the water, the slabs will separate easily from each other.

You can also dip the frozen together meat slabs in a bowl of warm water (20-25 degree C) for several minutes depending on the thickness of the slabs.

The thicker it is, the more minutes it will take to break up.

You can also check out other techniques of breaking up frozen meat here.

Can you cut Frozen Chicken?

Most people use this method at home. It’s also one of my most straightforward ways to cut meat since the knives are less bulky and feel comfortable in the palms.

Note that frozen chicken sometimes is very dangerous to cut. Before you start this process, know that the frozen chicken is slippery.

You can wash it under cool running water so remove the slippery layer. This will also soften up the frozen meat a bit. Then go ahead and use the sharp kitchen knife to cut the frozen chicken with ease.


There are many ways of cutting frozen meat. We have shared with you the simplest methods so that you can put meat in the freezer knowing that in the end you will still cut it and cook with ease. Pick the method that works for you and semi-defrost the meat first to be able to easily cut it.

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