# Do ice crystals grow only as heat is being removed or also when an item is at a set temperature?

Chicken develops ice crystals between -2C to -4C. Now as chicken's temperature moves slowly from -2C to -4C ice crystals will grow. However, let's say that in a freezer, we set the final temp to -3C. Ice crystals will grow from -2C to -3C however when the item is at -3C and the temperature isn't increased further, assuming we leave it the chicken for a bit, will ice crystals stop growing or continue to grow?

What I mean is will ice crystals grow only whilst heat is being removed or will they grown even when it has reached the set temperature which is considered a freezing temperature?

Another way of looking at it might be, If you brought an item to -3C gradually and another in an instant, would ice crystals in the later continue to grow even though no more heat is being removed?

Also which one would have the larger crystals, the gradual freeze or the instant at a freeze point temperature? The temperatures I have mentioned may not be exact but the exact temperature isn't my question. It is ice crystal growth in gradual vs instant freeze and also which would grow bigger crystals.

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Ah...you might want to read up on "latent heat". As asked the question misses a very important fact about many common phase changes, including freezing. – dmckee Sep 11 '13 at 1:28