Thawing meat is always a concern. If our meat is not thawed safely then it can run the risk of spoiling and causing serious health risks and illnesses.
Many people believe that the best way to thaw is to simply leave it on a plate on the counter. This is the worst way to thaw your meat for several reasons. First, bacteria begins to form once the meat gets warmer than 4 degrees Celsius.
Second, meat should not be left for 2 hours at room temperature or it will spoil. Third, even though your meat is still frozen in the middle its outer regions may already be at room temperature and gathering bacteria.
Okay. So how do you thaw meat safely? Are there insider tips to know?
We have compiled all needed information here for a one-stop guide to meat thawing. It is quite easy to do. All it needs is a little knowledge and know-how.
When you are thawing meat for supper, it is best to take the time and be prepared. The absolute best way to thaw your frozen meat is in the refrigerator. It takes so little time to take your meat from the freezer, put it on a plate or in a dish and place in the refrigerator to thaw. Do this the night before right as you go to bed or first thing in the morning depending on the size of meat you want to thaw. You can then go about your day as your meat is safely thawing the way it should in your refrigerator. For larger cuts of meat, give a 24-hour thaw time per five pounds of meat. For smaller packs of meat like chicken breasts or steak, a full day of thaw time in the refrigerator is required.
Meat thawed using this method can stay in the refrigerator a few days after thawing before it is cooked.
The next best way to thaw frozen meat in less time than the refrigerator method is cool water thawing. Leaving your meat in its packaging, immerse it in cool water. Smaller cuts of meat (up to 500 grams) should thaw within an hour. Cuts that are 1-2kg size should be given 2-3 hours to thaw. For large cuts of meat, give it approximately 30 minutes of thaw time per 500 grams of meat. Make sure that your water is cool and not warm or hot! Many try to thaw their meat in hot water to speed up the process but hot water can also spoil the meat making it unsafe to eat.
If you are using the cool water method to thaw your meat it must be cooked immediately after thawing.
If you are planning to cook your meat immediately after thawing, you can use your microwave to thaw your meat even faster. You do need to keep a careful eye on your meat as it thaws as the microwave will also actually cook your meat as it goes! Do not partially thaw your meat in the microwave and then place it in the microwave to cook later. Partially cooked meat will grow bacteria very quickly.
Cooking Frozen Meat:
It is safe to cook frozen meats. Just give yourself double cooking time as it will take longer to cook than when thawed. All meat can be cooked from its frozen state although cooking from frozen can make meat chewy. Cooking from frozen creates a little confusion in guessing added cooking time. You don't want to undercook your protein nor do you want burned or dried out meat. Fish and poultry will take 50% longer to cook than if you are using thawed meat.
Meat is easy to handle and so healthy for you. Thawing meat is not rocket science. It is simple and safe if you use one of the above-mentioned methods and follow the tips.
Cook safe and eat well!