Frozen In Fear? 3 Foods Your Restaurant Shouldn't Ever Freeze

Posted on: 29 November 2016

Your freezer may be one of your most beloved appliances back home, but when you go out to a restaurant, you generally expect that everything you can be served is made fresh right on the spot. Restaurants freeze a lot of different foods, however, with the vast majority being frozen for a short time to preserve them before they're cooked; this type of freezing fun doesn't hurt the ingredients nor the flavor and can help stretch a restaurant's budget. However, there are a few items that should never be frozen – so if you're looking for foodstuffs that should never see the inside of your favorite restaurant's freezer, then here's what you need to know.


Frozen (and especially the slightly-better-than-frozen flash-frozen) fish is in vogue right now for supermarkets and restaurants alike – but unless you live so far from an ocean or a lake that the only way you can get fish is to freeze it solid, you'll want to stay away from any restaurant that brags about its 'flash-frozen' fish. Though flash freezing is done very, very quickly to damage the fish as little as possible, any amount of freezing will still dampen the flavor of your fish, possibly rendering it bland (which is a huge worry with mild fish like tilapia, trout, or cod fish). Strong fish stand up better to the bitter cold, so if you absolutely must consume frozen fish, try to make it a King salmon or a Bluefin tuna.

Red Meat

Red meat is all about texture; while the cook time (from rare to well-done) makes a difference in flavor, the real tell for a great T-bone or fantastic filet mignon is in the texture – which is why the freezer is so bad for red meat. Freezing red meat causes the liquids around and in the meat to freeze into little ice crystals; when the meat is then cooked, those ice crystals melt inside and give the meat a rather squishy, unappetizing texture. Many fast food places boast about their non-frozen meat for a reason; if your cow isn't fresh, skip it and go with the chicken instead.


While sauces can be better the second day—dressings are especially prone to this, as the time lets them mix in better and provide a more cohesive taste—sauces are never good when frozen and the reheated (or thawed). For roux-based sauces like hollandaise and gravy, freezing ruins the buttery-smooth texture and can cause tiny granules of butter to form, throwing off the taste as well. If you suspect a restaurant of freezing and then reheating their sauces (or if the sauce tastes like the freezer), it never hurts to ask; chances are good that they'll swap out the frozen sauce for a fresh one, or will at least give their word that your sauce is prepared in the back as you order.

It can be useful for finding the best foods to know these things the next time you go out to eat. If you yourself own a restaurant or are starting one soon, avoid freezing these things and make sure to get quality equipment from a place like Hy-Point Restaurant Equipment & Supplies Inc.