Practical Tips and Tricks to Defrosting Frozen Meat the Right Way

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Say you have several slabs of rib-eye steaks lying around the freezer and you don’t have the time to thaw them. What do you do? Most people make the mistake of overcooking the meat because they cooked it frozen stiff. Save yourself the horror of ruining prime cuts of meat. In today’s post, we are listing down ways to thaw frozen meat properly:

Refrigerator Thawing

This is one of the easiest methods to defrosting frozen meat. All you have to do is to remove the frozen meat from the freezer and put it in the bottom of the fridge. Unfortunately, this isn’t the fastest method to thaw frozen food. You’ll have to wait at least a day to thaw the frozen meat. For large food items, like a whole turkey or ham, you’ll have to wait for 24 hours to thaw the food.

But the beauty of defrosting from the fridge is the flavor remains intact. Because the temperature drops down gradually, the meat has enough time to unfreeze without changing its texture or flavor. It’s not the most ideal for those who do not have to wait, but it’s definitely the safest of all thawing methods. Also, if you changed your mind last minute, you can always re-freeze the meat and not ruin the food.

Cold Water Thawing

This is one of the fastest ways to defrost frozen meats. All you have to do is get a clean container (like a large pot) and fill it with water. Then, chuck the frozen meat inside the pot and let it sit for an hour. Change the water every 30 minutes to drop the temperature down.

The benefit of the cold water thawing is it’s fast, effective, and it won’t ruin the texture of the meat. Unless you use hot water, that is. Unfortunately, this technique requires a lot of attention, especially if the meat isn’t vacuum sealed. You don’t want water to ruin the meat.

Also, never use hot water. It will not hasten the thawing process. Worse, it will ruin the meat. The hot water will cause the outer layer of the meat to cook. At this point, bacteria will start multiplying.

Once the meat is thawed completely, we recommend cooking it immediately. This way, you prevent bacteria from ruining the meat. If say you changed your mind, you can always bring the thawed meat back in the fridge.

Microwave Thawing

This is the fastest way to thaw frozen meat. All you have to do is set your microwave to “defrost” or “50% power,” pop the frozen meat right in and press power on. This works if you have a large piece of meat to defrost. If you have pieces of meat to defrost, you’ll have to de-freeze them individually.

Setting the microwave to defrost won’t cook the edges of the meat. But once you’re done thawing the meat, you need to cook the food immediately. Once the food is cooked, you can pop it right back into the fridge for later consumption.

How Not to Defrost Frozen Meat

Room Temperature Thawing

We don’t recommend leaving out frozen meat to thaw by the kitchen countertop or cupboard. Although it’s easy and don’t require much attention, bacteria from the countertop could contaminate the food. Please note that the ideal temperature for bacteria to breed is 40°F and 140 °F. Letting the meat sit on the countertop far too long increases the risk of food poisoning.

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