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Home / Cooking Tips

Four ways to defrost meat quickly and safely

 The key to defrosting meat is doing it without ruining the taste (Image: Shutterstock)

What many of us don’t know is, you should never thaw frozen meat at room temperature for more than two hours or in hot water.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have done the former not once or twice, all out of sheer ignorance and lack of knowledge.

The reason this is discouraged is because these temperatures encourage bacteria to multiply and may make the meat unfit for consumption.

You may be tempted to throw it in the microwave but that isn’t always a good idea. You will be met with half thawed half frozen meat and that is not what you want trust me.

Should you want to have a meaty dinner, it is good to plan in advance to avoid disappointment. Here is how you can defrost frozen meat quickly and safely:

 Cold water is a fast and safe method to defrost your meat (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Use cold water

If you’re not a fan of using a microwave to defrost, cold water is one of the fastest ways to do so. Depending on how much meat you want to defrost, that will determine how long it will take.

On a clean zip lock or reusable plastic bag, place the meat. Make sure there is no air and the bag is properly sealed.

Fill a large bowl with cold water and place the meat. Replace the water after every half an hour until the meat is completely frozen.

  • The refrigerator method

If you want to cook the beef a day after, the best and safest way to thaw is doing so in the refrigerator. Considering how much meat you’re thawing, that may take up to hours or a day.

Smaller chunks of meat or minced meat take considerably less time to thaw.

Place the sealed meat on a plate that can collect the drippings and put it on the lowest shelf on the fridge to reduce contamination of other foods.

 Microwaving is fast and will defrost your meat without cooking it (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Cook it as is

This may sound strange but yes, you can cook frozen food. If you want to make some chicken, a whole turkey or some ham, you can do so in its frozen state without any problem.

And whether you want to grill, roast or cook in a crockpot you will enjoy the results. The only thing you will have to factor in is it will taker much longer to do so.

  • Use the microwave

Not the best method but if you’re pressed with time, this may be your only option to defrost those sausages for breakfast quickly.

Why this doesn’t fly with most people it’s because it cooks the meat while thawing. For this reason, you must keep an eye on whatever you’re thawing so it doesn’t cook.

And unlike the other methods where you can refreeze again, once you use the microwave to remove the ice you cannot do so. You must cook it immediately for safety reasons.

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