Before we look at the methods, it ’ south important to look at why some methods of thawing meat are unsafe so you can avoid them .
After looking at the methods, I ’ ll answer some common questions about thawing kernel .
Thawing Meat and Bacteria
The independent risk of thawing kernel is the potential increase of bacteria. If bacteria such as Salmonella or E. Coli are given the right environment they will quickly multiply and can cause serious food poisoning.
The “Danger Zone” is the temperature stove where bacteria quickly multiply. Keeping kernel ( or any other food ) in this temperature range for an exsert menstruation of time can lead to contamination and food poison .
The Danger Zone temperature range is between 40°F – 140°F (5°C – 60°C) according to the FSIS.
If you keep any thaw kernel in this temperature range, the number of bacteria will double in less than 20 minutes .
This is besides why your refrigerator should be set to a temperature below 40°F / 5°C. Keeping meat in a electric refrigerator below this temperature keeps it out of the Danger Zone .
Why you should never defrost meat at room temperature
You should never defrost kernel at room temperature. The boring increase in temperature as your kernel thaw gives bacteria plenty of clock to multiply while in the Danger Zone .
If you thaw your kernel by placing it on a plate in your kitchen, you ’ ll notice that the come on of the kernel dissolve quick compared to the center field .
By the time the middle of the kernel has thawed, the surface will have spent a set of time within the Danger Zone .
Leaving kernel out to thaw excessively long creates a unplayful hazard to your health. The sum bacteria on the surface of the kernel will double every 20 minutes, thus leaving the kernel out besides hanker to thaw is a major exit .
While it ’ s possible to kill all bacteria off by cooking at a high enough temperature, thawing kernel at room temperature adds unnecessary gamble to your food .
“But I’ve been thawing meat at room temperature for years without any problems”
If you question person who thaws meat at room temperature, they ’ ll probable state you that there ’ randomness nothing incorrectly with it and people who worry about bacteria need to toughen up .
The accuracy is that barely because a person has been doing something for years without a problem, it doesn ’ t bastardly it ’ s a good exercise .
If that person mistakenly undercooks one meal, they could end up in the hospital ( or worse ). The people who have been killed by their hapless food practices aren ’ triiodothyronine around to tell you why you should be careful .
The more you question cooking methods and practices, the more you will realize that most people have no estimate why they do the things they do .
The key indicate to remember when thawing kernel is that you want to minimize the time that the meat spends within the Danger Zone. The below methods are the best ways you can minimize the risk in thawing kernel .
Fast Method 1: Microwave Defrost
It should be no surprise that the fastest way of defrosting kernel is to use a microwave ’ s defrost determine .
All modern microwaves should have a defrost typeset that allows you to set the total weight of the kernel you want to defrost. Once you enter the system of weights, the microwave will work out the ideal settings to defrost it a promptly as possible .
Important: the microwave quickly defrosts the meat, which will probable bring parts of it up to the Danger Zone. To prevent bacteria from building up after thawing, make indisputable you immediately cook it .
Don ’ thyroxine use your microwave to defrost your kernel, then let it sit for an hour or two at room temperature. Make sure you time the defrost so you can immediately cook it subsequently .
Do not let it sit at room temperature after defrosting .
Fast Method 2: Cold Water Thawing
Any thawing method you use should try to avoid keeping the meat in the Danger Zone. Cold water thaw is a fast direction to thaw kernel while completely avoiding bringing your kernel within the Danger Zone .
cold water thawing works good with smaller cuts of meat such as ground gripe, steak, or wimp pieces. It ’ randomness not as effective for big roasts or a while chicken and one of the other methods are good suited .
Step 1: Seal the meat in zip-lock bags
While you could plainly submerge the meat into a bowling ball of cold water, it ’ s not recommended. not only will the kernel absorb water and possibly become water-logged, but it may besides introduce bacteria to the meat .
If your kernel ’ south promotion is vacuum-sealed as shown below, then you can merely submerge the entire packaging in the water .
The winder charge is that you don ’ thyroxine want any atmosphere in the promotion or in the zip-lock udder. Any tune will slow the dissolve action significantly .
If you slowly submerge your cup of tea before sealing it, you can remove all of the air travel ( preceptor ’ t let the water go into the bag ) and seal it .
Make sure the bag or packaging you use is completely leak-proof to avoid external contamination or water-logging .
Step 2: Submerge the meat in cold water
once your meat is packaged up, submerge it into a big bowl of cold water .
Make sure the entire package is completely submerged to get the best results. You may need to add a bowl with weight on top to keep everything below the surface .
Why cold water?
You might think that using warm or hot water will speed the process up. The problem with using ardent or hot water is that it will cursorily heat up the open of the kernel and keep it within the Danger Zone the entire time it is submerged. not good.
Read more: Microwave Baked Potato – Baking Mischief
The only prison term warm or hot water can be considered is when you ’ rhenium thawing thinly cuts of kernel. Thin cuts will thaw cursorily ( less than 10 minutes ), which will limit the time spent in the Danger Zone. american samoa long as you immediately cook the kernel at a suitable temperature after thawing, it will be o .
cold water system submersion is very effective at promptly defrosting meat because water is an excellent conductor when compared to air out. Imagine sitting in a hot sauna volt water at the same temperature. You might be able to withstand the hot air in a sauna, but the like temperature water system would sternly burn you in seconds .
Step 3: Stir the Water Every 5-10 Minutes
As the bowl of cold water starts to thaw the kernel, it will develop a cold barrier against the kernel packaging. This barrier forms when the body of water is left uninfluenced .
Stirring the water will disturb the barrier and travel rapidly up the thaw march. It ’ s okay if you ’ re not able to regularly stir the body of water, it just helps speed up the process .
Step 4: Replace the water every 30 minutes
If you ’ re thawing a distribute of kernel or big pieces, it will take longer to thaw. As the kernel thaw, it cools the water down towards its freeze target. This slows the dissolve process toss off .
Replacing the body of water every 30 minutes or so will speed up the thaw summons. This will prevent the water system in the stadium from getting excessively cold and slowing down the dissolve process .
Method 3: Cooking Frozen Meat
The last method is technically the fastest way to thaw meat because cooking frigid kernel will quickly thaw it .
Cooking freeze meat is perfectly fine and can actually produce better results in some situations .
For model, steak typically tastes better and achieves a better result when you cook it from a freeze state rather of thawing it out first. You ’ ll likely achieve a better parch, the steak will retain more moisture, and it tends to taste better. I was doubting until I tested it and saw how much of a difference it made .
The rule of hitchhike is that when cooking freeze kernel, it will take 50 % longer to cook through .
therefore to use this method, all you need to do is make certain that you allow more time for the meat to cook throughout and hit the command temperature in the center .
If you want to cook from frozen, here is a agile overview of the minimum temperature you should aim for :
- Beef, Pork, Lamb: 145°F
- Ground Beef: 160°F
- Chicken: 165°F
- Ham: 165°F
If you cook from freeze and properly reach the correct temperature in the center of the kernel, you will have minimized the chances of any bacteria growing and surviving .
foolproof method: Overnight in Refrigerator
While the above methods can thaw kernel fast, the easiest and most goofproof way is to let kernel thaw nightlong in your refrigerator .
This is a foolproof method acting because the kernel will never enter the Danger Zone unless you have your electric refrigerator set to above 40°F / 5°C .
even if you don ’ t have time to use this method today to thaw your meat, remember it for the next time you want to thaw something. Take it out of your deep-freeze the day before and rate it in your electric refrigerator .
The temperature in the electric refrigerator will gradually thaw the kernel and keep it in a safe range .
To speed up this process, you can besides combine it with the cold water thawing method. Seal the meat in a bag or vacuum-sealed box and place it in a bowl of water. place that bowl in the electric refrigerator to thaw overnight .
As explained earlier, the meat will thaw faster in body of water than air, so thawing your meat in water system while in the electric refrigerator is far more effective than merely placing the meat in the electric refrigerator .
Thawing Meat FAQs
Can I defrost meat in water without a bag?
While it is possible to defrost kernel in urine without a bag, it isn ’ triiodothyronine recommended. The problem is that the kernel will absorb some of the water and will likely become boggy .
The last thing you want to do with your expensive cut of meat is to ruin it by waterlogging it during thawing .
Can I defrost chicken in hot water?
We need to be extra careful when defrosting wimp compared to other meats. While it is potential to defrost chicken in hot water, it isn ’ thyroxine recommended. Using a cold water dissolve as explained above is far safer than defrosting chicken in hot urine .
The hot body of water can quickly bring parts of the chicken into the Danger Zone, which can cursorily become a dangerous problem with wimp. Using a cold water thaw or thawing chicken in the electric refrigerator will keep it out of the Danger Zone .
How to defrost steak fast without ruining it?
If you are short on time, the best direction to defrost a steak fast without ruining it is to use the coldness urine method acting. Make sure the steak is sealed in a leak-proof bag to prevent water from getting into the steak. Letting your steak absorb water system will ruin it .
If you have more time available, combine the cold water system method with a electric refrigerator. Place the bowl of water and sealed steak in the electric refrigerator to defrost. This method will take longer, but it will ensure the steak never reaches the Danger Zone .
You may not want to defrost your steak at all. As explain next, cooking freeze steak can produce some amaze results. If you ’ ra abruptly on meter, you may want to try cooking frozen steak .
Can you cook frozen steak?
You can decidedly cook freeze steak. In fact, many people feel that cooking a freeze steak is the best means to cook steak. You ’ re likely to find that cooking a frozen steak gives you a tastier and juicier leave .
Cooking frozen steak can prevent overcooking the surface, prevents moisture personnel casualty and gives a more even cook throughout when compared to cooking a thawed steak .
How long can beef sit out at room temperature?
The less fourth dimension gripe is left to sit at room temperature the better. The utmost time you should allow it sit at board temperature should be no more than two hours .
When left at room temperature, the number of bacteria will double roughly every 20 minutes. This means you will have 8x the total bacteria after one hour and 64x the bacteria after two hours. At two hours and twenty dollar bill minutes, this increases to 128x the total bacteria. Another 20 minutes and you ’ ll have 256x the total bacteria .
It should be well-defined from the above exercise why you should avoid keeping gripe at room temperature for an unfold time .
I left a frozen chicken out overnight to thaw. What do I do now?
If you left the chicken out to thaw overnight in the middle of summer and it ’ s warm to touch in the good morning, you ’ re asking for trouble if you try to cook it. even if you cook it at the right temperature, you may still become pale due to the toxins the bacteria produce .
If the chicken is placid cold in the morning, the risk of getting an illness from it is reduced, but even a concern .
evening if you don ’ triiodothyronine get brainsick from it this time ( or people tell you they always do this ), it doesn ’ thymine mean this is a safe thing to do.
Read more: Microwaved Corn on the Cob
Is it okay to soak meat in water overnight?
While the water thawing method acting is incredibly safe and effective, it isn ’ t condom when left overnight. The problem is that the water will finally reach room temperature along with the meat .
so even if you start off with cold water, in the good morning you might end up with kernel that has become a thrive environment for bacteria that will double in number every 20 minutes .
It ’ s besides not recommended to soak meat directly in water. Use a vacuum-sealed bag or a zip-lock bag to separate the meat from the water. You don ’ metric ton want to ruin your kernel by waterlogging it .