Can meat freeze from the inside out


We received a turkey recently which was meant to be 'fresh'. When it arrived it was frozen on the inside. We are told that the fridge was probably set a bit low so the turkey froze on the inside.

I'm not rocket surgeon, but I would have thought that meat would always freeze from the outside in, and then thaw from the outside in. Meaning in this case that the only way for the turkey's inside to be frozen would be for the whole turkey to have frozen and then partially thawed.

My question: is it possible for meat to freeze on the inside first or is by butcher pulling a fast one?

Best Answer

That's not how it happens. Turkey can be labeled "fresh" as in -never frozen- even if the turkey is held at temperatures below freezing. By law, 26F (-3.33C) is the cutoff in the US. If the turkey spends weeks at 27F, it can still be labeled fresh even though it would be considered frozen to any of us mere mortals.

So, if a turkey has spent 2 weeks at 27F, and you buy it and put it in your fridge, it's going to be frozen on the inside for a day or so, despite being labeled "fresh".

Here's more, pointed out by Phillip in his comment. From the Good Eats transcript: