How to Defrost Frozen Meat
Many of us tend to thaw frozen meat in hot water or leave it out at room temperature for many hours. These methods are dangerous and may result in food bound illness. The heat from hot water may partially cook the meat, causing it flavorless and promote bacterial growth. Similarly, thawing in room temperature can also result in bacterial contamination. When you leave the meat out in room temperature for many hours, the center of the meat could still be frozen but the outer surface may be infected by bacteria that may have been present before freezing as they begin to multiply.
Generally, there are 3 methods which are considered safe in thawing meat?
I. Thawing meat in the refrigerator.
The best way to defrost meat is in the refrigerator. If you plan to use meat the following day, remove the meat from the freezer and leave it in the fridge on a bowl or plate to catch the juices. When using a refrigerator to thaw frozen meat, allow enough time for the meat to become completely, or at least partially, defrosted. The refrigerator method is considered the safest way to thaw frozen meat because the cold temperature does not allow bacteria to grow on the surface.
II. Thawing meat in cold water
If defrosting in the refrigerator is not an option because of time limitations, you can thaw the meat in cold water. Make sure the meat is properly wrapped in plastic or contained in a waterproof bag. Place the meat in a bowl containing cold water. Change the cold water every 30 minutes to ensure that the food is kept cold, an important factor for slowing bacterial growth that may occur on the outer thawed portions while the inner areas are still thawing. Cotinue until the meat has become completely thawed, or at least thawed enough to be cooked.
III. Thawing meat in a microwave oven
The defrost setting for many microwave ovens is approximately one-third of full power. If you decide to thaw frozen meat in a microwave, you must be careful not to partially cook the meat in the process. Smaller items will defrost more evenly than larger pieces of food. When thawing food in a microwave, plan to cook it immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during the thawing process.