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How to properly defrost meat? Answered

After taking it out of the freezer, is it ok to put it straight into the pan, or should i let it sit or run water over it first?




8 years ago

The standard is the overnight fridge method. It is still considered to be the safest method of thawing, though I've tried all the other methods suggested here!

But for joints of red meat, I no longer thaw at all.

I would stress at the outset that for this roasting method, it is crucial to make sure your joint of meat is cooked right through.

I use this method only in cooler weather and for the tougher (cheaper!) cuts of meat, both to warm the house and cook the meat!

I always 'wash' meat-right or wrong,- but all I do is make a hole in the bottom of the freezer bag, and hold the edge of it, run very hot water over the joint to flow out of the bottom hole.

Then: into the dish, -adding about 1" of water-, and into a medium/low oven (covered) for a couple of hours. Thats it;-nothing else; just forget about it-and come onto Instructables!

Then add whatever ingredients to your meat that you like,-cover again, and forget about it for another 1-2 hours. The longer the better.

Depends on your neck of the woods;-here gas is much cheaper than electricity, and I have gas (the oven you fool!, though come to think of it....).

By this method you can take a cheaper cut of meat/ not defrost it ( heed warning )/ cook it/ warm your house/ get time out/- and end up with a meat and vegetable dish that is delicious! And the meat just falls apart! 

Not recommended for poultry- (though I've done it with success-you do need even more care). You don't need to spend too much time thawing steak,-so not for that.

BUT: this works well for cheaper cut joints of meat.


Another tip: scoring the rind of pork is difficult for the home cook; you need a razor sharp knife! And butchers (who have them!), never score the rind properly!

Cook your meat-unscored for 30 mins-one hour;-you need that rind to firm-NOT crisp (at this point). Hold it with a fork-silicone glove- and now score it,-it's very easy to do at this stage!

you should put it in the fridge for a couple of hours then run under water then put it in the pan trust me I work at a butchers shop

It all depends on the cut of the meat. For something like a pork chop or a hamburger, you can get away with it, for a chicken thigh, breast, or a thicker cut, you will need to thaw at least partially prior to cooking.

You can use a Microwave set to the thaw setting

You can place the meat in a sealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible and then placing in a pan of lukewarm water

You can set the meat "out" on your counter (in something that will catch juices of course and is covered so no creepy crawlies get to it ...or the perennially hungry pet)

You can use the 1950's  method and set it on a plate or in a bowl in the frig overnight. (The plate or bowl is used to catch any runoff, instead of contaminating the shelf by not thinking, espcially since many if not most vegetable and fruit trays are located at the very bottom of the refrigerator, where juices will eventually drip regardless of which shelf you choose.

I routinely use all these techniques, depending on what it is and how much time I have. If it's large and I think about it in advance, I'll choose the frig, since it's the least effort. If it's smallish (~4 servings or less) and I think about it in advnace, I'll use the counter top. The three other techniques are for fast thaw. I rarely use the microwave because mine is so old it has no carousel and ends up cooking part of the meat and thawing part...kinda disgusting result, even if it's edible once completely cooked

Been using the lukewarm water trick for over twenty years with no adverse health effects and in general I prefer it, due to the speedy thaw. But it does take having a plastic bag large enough for the cut, which I don't always have available for the task.

From my Catering NVQ folder,

"You should always defrost meat on a plate or tray covered, overnight in the fridge on the bottom shelf"

The reason I've stated the bottom shelf of the fridge is to minimize the risk of the blood dripping onto other food that may be eaten raw.

Have fun cooking!

LEaving it in the bag and running cold water over it is a great way of defrosting in a hurry, but just leaving it the fridge overnight works (if its not too big), and that way saves a bit of energy too !

It depends what it is. Leaving overnight in a fridge usually works, but the main objective is to be sure it is cooked properly.
The size and shape affect how things cook & defrost - we don't know what your frozen-lump is like.