Organization and planning on the menu are essential, right? Right! But things don’t always go as expected. It is at these times that knowing how to defrost meat quickly can save your lunch or dinner from a noodle or an expensive and boring delivery.
But be careful: to defrost meat quickly, care is needed to ensure quality, texture, flavor, and, above all, the proliferation of bacteria.
Check out the most efficient and safe ways to defrost meat quickly and save your meal below.
How to defrost meat fast
Use the microwave
One of the first things that come to mind when defrosting meat quickly is using the microwave. And really the device breaks a tremendous branch.
However, care must be taken when defrosting to avoid leaving the meat hard or rubbery.
The first of them is to analyze the size of the meat cut. The bigger it is, the more complicated it is to defrost the meat in the microwave. This is because the trend is for the device to cook the upper and outer parts of the meat, while the middle remains raw and frozen.
Therefore, it is best to defrost only small cuts in the microwave. It is even worth mentioning that a microwave is a good option for those who want to learn how to defrost ground beef quickly since the meat in small pieces favors defrosting inside the device.
And how to defrost meat in the microwave? The first step is to remove the meat from its packaging, including the styrofoam tray. Both materials cannot be brought into the appliance.
Then place the piece of meat in a plate or deep container capable of holding the water that will be eliminated in the thawing process.
The time and power used to defrost meat in the microwave vary from device to device, but in general, just press the defrost button and indicate the type of meat you want to defrost and the device will tell you the time and power. needed.
Every one minute, on average, pause time and turn the meat so that it defrosts evenly. Also, take the opportunity to observe if the meat is cooking. In this case, it may be that the power is too high and you need to reduce it a little.
When the defrosting time is over, take the meat directly to the pan. It should not be put back in the fridge or freezer.
Bet on the bowl of cold water
Another method that allows you to defrost meat quickly is using a bowl of cold water.
But remembering, the technique also tends to work better with smaller pieces of meat.
You can even defrost a large piece, but the defrosting time will be longer and, with that, the risk of contamination by bacteria increases considerably.
So again, prefer to use small cuts. The bowl of cold water also works for those wanting to learn how to defrost ground beef fast.
The technique is quite simple. First, put cold water in a bowl and then dip the meat you want to defrost packed in a plastic bag. It must be well protected so as not to have contact with water, thus preventing it from being contaminated by bacteria or losing flavor and texture.
In general, meat thawed in cold water takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to thaw completely.
Another important detail: do not leave the meat in the water for more than 2 hours. From that time on, the rate of bacteria proliferation is very high and the chances of the meat spoiling are high.
Once the meat is defrosted, immediately transfer it to the pan.
From freezer to pot
In the last possibility (in the degree of desperation) you can choose to take the frozen meat straight to the pot.
The good part of this technique is that the risk of contamination is virtually zero, as the meat leaves a safe environment (very cold) for another (very hot).
However, be prepared for a possible hard and chewy texture. This is because the process of defrosting meat at high temperatures changes the texture of the food.
This method works best for small amounts of meat, such as a portion of ground beef or hash browns.
If you intend to make grilled meat, better change the menu. Instead of grilling, the meat will cook.
The best thing is to prepare stews and stews using this technique.
Refrigerator: the right place to defrost meat
In a perfect world, the best and safest place to thaw any kind of meat is in the refrigerator.
However, the complete defrosting process takes about 24 hours. That is, you need to plan the meal in advance.
In this technique, there is no secret. All you have to do is remove the meat from the freezer, place it in a plate or other container that will hold the size of the cut, and take it to the refrigerator, preferably on the upper shelves where the temperature is lower.
The smaller the piece size, the faster the thawing. In addition to guaranteeing zero contamination, meat defrosted in the refrigerator also has the advantage of not having to go immediately into the pan.
It is possible to keep the meat refrigerated for up to two days.
It is also worth knowing that with the piece of meat defrosted inside the fridge, it is not necessary (much less recommended) that it stays in the sink at room temperature before going to the pot.
Another advantage of this thawing method is that the meat does not lose texture, color, flavor or juiciness. So planning does make a difference. Next time, you know.
What not to do to defrost meat
Regardless of which of the above methods you use to defrost meat, one thing is for sure: never defrost at room temperature. Putting the meat in the sink to thaw is the worst decision you can make.
At room temperature, the meat becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that reproduce at a gigantic speed. These bacteria, which are harmful to human health, are a potential risk for intoxication, causing problems such as diarrhea, vomiting and headache, neurological problems, and a possible cause of death.
No, you can’t. Meat that has been defrosted should not be returned to the freezer. There are two basic reasons for this.
The first is that the process of freezing and thawing meat more than once causes it to lose a lot of liquid, reducing its juiciness and flavor.
The second reason is that depending on how the meat was defrosted the first time, the risk of contamination doubles, exposing everyone’s health.
If the amount of meat is too much for the preparation you want to make, cook everything and freeze the already seasoned and cooked meat again in small portions.
But the ideal thing is to do the first freezing by dividing the cuts of meat in the necessary proportion for each preparation. This way you only defrost what you will use.