How to defrost meat in the microwave

When food needs to hit the table fast, the microwave is a go-to for quick cooking. It can take days for meat to defrost in the fridge, hours in the sink, but only minutes in the microwave. With cycles and settings designed specifically for safe, steady defrosting, don’t be afraid of this convenient option. Learn how to properly defrost meat, vegetables and fruit with this guide and get answers to common defrosting questions.

What should I know about defrosting meat in the microwave?

How to defrost meat in the microwave

How to defrost chicken, ground beef, steak and other meat in the microwave

Step 1: Remove packaging and place meat in a container

Unless directly stated, food packaging should not go in the microwave. A glass container works best for defrosting.

Step 2: Select the defrost option

If your microwave doesn’t have a defrost button, manually adjust the power setting to 20% or 30% using the Power Level button. If your model does have a defrost button, it may ask you what type of food you’re defrosting and its weight to calculate the defrost time. If your model doesn’t ask for information about food type and weight, input the time yourself: generally meat should defrost for 8 to 10 minutes per pound. Find the meat’s weight on the packaging or place it on a kitchen scale. Watch this video to see how to select microwave defrost settings on Maytag ® microwaves.

Step 3: Rotate, flip or break apart the meat periodically

If your microwave doesn’t have a turntable that rotates automatically, rotate the meat manually every few minutes to ensure even defrosting. It can also be helpful to flip large chunks of meat or break apart separate pieces that are stuck together. This will help the meat defrost faster and more consistently.

Step 4: Cook immediately

Cook food immediately after it’s defrosted. Leaving food too long could cause bacteria to grow, so try not to let it sit in the microwave while you prep the rest of the meal.

How to defrost meat in the microwave

More about defrosting in your microwave

What is microwave defrosting, and how does it work?

Many microwaves have a button labeled “Defrost” that lets you quickly thaw frozen foods. It uses standard microwave heat but reduces the power to around 30%, thawing food but being careful not to cook it. Many models also let you input the weight or type of food to calculate defrost time.

Like all microwave settings, food is heated through electromagnetic waves created by a magnetron. Settings that use lower power levels, like Defrost, achieve this by simply cycling the magnetron on and off rather than leaving it on the whole time, which would be 100% power. Learn more in our guide about how a microwave cooks food.

Is it safe to defrost food in the microwave?

Yes. Using your microwave to defrost food is safe, but you must cook the food immediately after it’s done defrosting. If food is allowed to sit much longer than the appropriate defrost time of 8 to 10 minutes per pound, harmful bacteria could begin to grow. Also, don’t microwave defrost any food that has already been sitting out of the freezer for more than 20 minutes. Instead, slowly defrost it in the fridge or in a bowl of cold water.

How long does it take to defrost food in the microwave?

Microwave defrosting time depends on the type of food you’re defrosting as well as its weight. Generally, fruits and vegetables take 2 to 3 minutes. Meat takes 8 to10 minutes per pound. Check for instructions on the frozen food packaging to ensure you’re defrosting your food correctly.

Dinner can be ready in an hour, even if that chicken is still in the freezer, thanks to these four recommended methods.

How to defrost meat in the microwave

We love to keep our freezer stocked with frozen chicken breasts and sausages (hello, easy weeknight dinner), well-marbled steaks, and all the ground beef and turkey you can fit for homemade meatballs or burger nights. And if you know how to defrost meat fast (and safely too!), you can achieve a home-cooked meal on a weeknight in very little time.

The best and safest way to defrost meat is overnight in the refrigerator, until it is completely thawed. After thawing, ground meat, poultry, and seafood should keep well in the refrigerator for an extra day or two, while red meat (beef, pork, lamb, and steak) stays good for 3 to 5 more days. Plus, if you thaw meat in the refrigerator, you can freeze it again safely.

But what if you need to defrost steak in a hurry? What if that chicken breast didn’t completely thaw overnight? What if you’re just really hungry? We’re not here to judge. There are a few methods to speed up the process and defrost any cut of meat quickly and safely. Take your pick based on how much time ‘til dinner.

The Cold Water Method (One Hour)

This is the best way to quickly and properly defrost meat without a microwave. Place your frozen cut of meat in a resealable plastic bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Fill a large bowl with cold water and submerge the bag in the water. Change the water every 30 minutes to ensure that it stays cold and continues to thaw the meat. Smaller cuts of meat, poultry or seafood (about a pound) can thaw in an hour or less, larger quantities (3 to 4 pounds) may take 2–3 hours. Estimate about 30 minutes per pound for whole frozen turkeys. We don’t recommend refreezing that meat once it’s been thawed, unless you cook it first. Tip: use your thawed meat to make big batches of soups or stews!

The Microwave Method (10 Minutes)

Learn how to defrost meat in the microwave and you can have prepped protein in under 10 minutes — really. This method works best for smaller cuts of meat that will be cooked all the way through after thawing, like chicken breast for a stir-fry or ground beef for tacos. Read up on your microwave’s instruction manual to learn the best way to defrost a specific cut of meat according to the microwave’s settings. If your microwave doesn’t have a “defrost” setting, set it at a lower power level and run in short bursts until the meat is thawed. Be careful though, cooking at too high a heat or for too long can actually cook the meat instead of defrosting. No matter what, as soon as you’re done thawing, cook the meat right away.

Cook Without Thawing

When you’re really in a pinch, you don’t have to thaw frozen meat before cooking. Believe it or not, it’s safe to cook fresh-out-of-the-freezer blocks of ground turkey, solid cuts of chicken, and bricks of ice-cold steak. The meat will take longer to cook (about 50% more time), and it’s not ideal for achieving golden-crispy skin or a perfect sear. However, it’s an option that’s always there for you — even when perfectly thawed protein isn’t.

Just avoid cooking frozen meat in the slow cooker — it can spend too much time thawing and become unsafe to eat.

Methods to Avoid Thawing Entirely

We get it — you need to defrost ground beef fast because it’s Taco Tuesday, or maybe you’re craving a Classic Spaghetti Bolognese. While there are sources that claim you can thaw frozen meat in hot water or simply leave it out on the counter, the USDA says this isn’t safe, and any piece of thawed meat should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours.

Food safety is vital, especially when using the freezer. Knowing how to properly freeze items and, more importantly, defrost them, is crucial so you do not become unwell.

When it comes to meat, the process of defrosting meat is fraught with danger due to the risks of bacteria and potential illness.

However, Newsweek spoke to experts who gave their advice on how to thaw meats, taking the stress and complication out of food prep.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said there are three foolproof methods of defrosting: in the microwave, on the countertop in water and in the fridge.

However, it is important to consider the best method of thawing your food and leave sufficient time to do so.

Christine Byrne MPH, RD, a private practice dietitian in Raleigh, North Carolina, told Newsweek these methods can be used across all meat and, in fact, any other types of food.

However, when it comes to something like fish, some methods are better than others.

How to defrost meat in the microwave

She explained: “The three methods of safe thawing work for all types of meat and fish. That said, there are some differences.

“Fish may not thaw properly in the microwave, since its delicate flesh and a high water content might turn it mushy.

“As long as you’re following guidelines, each of these methods of thawing is safe. That said, refrigerator thawing has the least room for error, and is guaranteed to keep your food at a safe temperature while it thaws.”

So what are these three methods? Newsweek breaks down the best ways to defrost safely.

Defrosting Meat in the Microwave

Defrosting meat in the microwave is exactly as it sounds: putting your frozen meat in the microwave on the defrost setting.

Byrne said, with this method, it is a good method if you plan to eat that meat right away, and as microwaves thaw from the inside to the outside, it may be parts of the meat are warmer than others when using this method.

Due to this warming, it is important to cook straight away to destroy any bacteria.

As Byrne mentioned, you should also consider what you are defrosting and whether microwaving is the best method. In the case of fish, other methods are better suited.

Defrosting Meat in the Refrigerator

The second method is in the refrigerator, which, according to food safety expert Jenna Brown, is the safest due to the gradual way in which the defrosting takes place.

Brown told Newsweek: “The safest way to defrost is always overnight in the refrigerator. If defrosting in the microwave, the most important thing to note is the need to cook the food immediately. If using the cold water method, only use cold water (don’t be tempted to use hot or lukewarm water.)”

The fridge method requires more preparation than others, as the larger the meat, the longer the defrost will take. For example, if you are defrosting your bird for Thanksgiving, that could take days in the fridge.

How to defrost meat in the microwave

Byrne said: “To thaw meat in the refrigerator, transfer sealed meat from the freezer to the fridge the day before you plan to cook it. Smaller items, like chicken breasts and steaks, may thaw in about 12 hours.

“Larger items, like whole chickens and turkeys, pork shoulders, and other big cuts of meat, will take about 24 hours for every 5 pounds.

“Foods thawed in the fridge can be refrigerated for between one (for chicken, fish, and ground meat products) and five (for big cuts of meat like a brisket or lamb roast) days.”

However, if you are in a pinch, the FSIS suggests an even faster way to defrost.

Defrosting Meat in Water

The final method is by defrosting in cold water. The FSIS suggests using a leakproof bag and placing it in cold water, which should be changed every 30 minutes until an item is defrosted.

However, it is important not to including an tissue-like items in the bag or let the bag leak, as that can cause cross-contamination of bacteria into other foods and on surfaces.

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Byrne says, like food which is defrosted in a microwave, this should be cooked straight away.

She said: “Generally, meat will take about 30 minutes per pound to thaw in cold water. And, be sure to thaw in a sealed package, so that raw meat doesn’t contaminate your water and sink.

“Food thawed in the sink must be cooked immediately.”

However, one thing is important to note about this countertop method: cold water must be used.

The FSIS says leaving something out on the countertop is not a safe way to defrost food, so if you choose to leave it out, it must be immersed in cold water using this method.

Can I Refreeze Thawed Meat?

This is a controversial issue. According to the FSIS, technically, you can refreeze meat, but it may compromise the quality due to the change in states and loss of moisture through the freezing and thawing process.

How to defrost meat in the microwave

As Byrne mentioned, that which has been defrosted in the microwave or in water should not be refrozen, and should be cooked immediately.

However, so long as it has not been thawed for more than a day, meat can be refrozen even if it has not been cooked.

Brown also said one can refreeze meat once it has been cooked, but it is important, when refreezing cooked meat or leftovers, to make sure it is completely cooled.

She said: “It is safe to freeze raw meat, defrost, cook and freeze the leftovers again. Make sure any leftovers are cooled as quickly as possible and frozen/ chilled within two hours. When reheating cooked foods, only reheat once.”

Can I Cook Meat From Frozen?

According to Byrne and the FSIS, you can cook meat from frozen, but you must take the cooking time into consideration when doing so.

As the meat is frozen, it must be removed from its packaging and, in the case of whole birds with giblets included, these must be taken apart as soon as possible to cook the giblets separately.

Byrne said the meat may not be as tender this way, but one way of cooking gives the meat the best chance at being as good as fresh.

She said: “If you don’t have time to thaw meat properly in cold water or the fridge, and don’t want to use a microwave, it is possible to cook meat from frozen. In an oven, your cook time will be about 50 percent longer, and the meat may not be as tender.

“The best way to cook frozen meat is in an air fryer because the convection function wicks away moisture as it melts.”

Ground beef is one of the most versatile ingredients to stockpile in your freezer, especially given that it only lasts a few days in the fridge. But defrosting it the wrong way can risk the growth of potentially harmful bacteria. Fortunately, we have the easiest and most efficient strategies for thawing ground beef quickly and safely:

If you have 12 to 24 hours…

If you know ahead of time that you want to use your ground beef, thawing it in the refrigerator is the safest way to do so. It takes about 24 hours to fully thaw one pound of ground beef in the refrigerator, but if your beef is in smaller frozen batches it will defrost faster. Be sure to place the package on a plate to catch any drippings or juice that sneaks out as the meat defrosts. The best part: If your dinner plans change, the ground beef will keep raw in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days before it needs to be cooked.

If you have 1 hour…

With only an hour or so to go before supper and a pound of frozen ground beef in your hands, you can defrost it in a bowl of cold water. First, make sure the frozen beef is in a sealed and leak-proof package, then submerge it in a bowl of cold tap water—warm or hot water might seem like they would speed up the thawing process, but they will heat the outer layer of beef too quickly, risking the growth of bacteria. For this reason, you should also change the water or add a few ice cubes every 30 minutes to keep it from getting too warm. One pound of beef will take about one hour to defrost in a bowl of water, then it should be cooked right away.

If you have 5 minutes…

For days when what to make for dinner is the last thing on your mind, you can use the microwave to quickly defrost ground beef. Remove all packaging, then place the meat on a plate and microwave it at 50% power for 2 to 3 minutes, rotating and flipping the beef every 45 seconds, until it is fully thawed. Some of the outer parts of the meat might start to cook, which is why you should use the ground beef immediately after defrosting it in the microwave.

Can I refreeze my thawed ground beef?

Whether or not you can safely refreeze ground beef after thawing depends on the method you use to defrost it. If you decide not to use your ground beef after defrosting it in the refrigerator, you can stick it back in the freezer within 48 hours with no risk of bacteria growth. But if you use cold water or the microwave to defrost your meat and then decide you don’t want to use it, it’s best to cook it first before refreezing it.

Check out our collection of Ground Beef Recipes.

Microwave defrosting helps to jump start meal preparation, but special care is needed to be sure you are thawing your food safely.

The convenience of a microwave is a real time saver, especially when it comes to defrosting frozen food. Remembering to take meat or a frozen meal out of the freezer and allowing adequate time to thaw in the refrigerator requires intentional pre-planning. Many busy families prefer to use their microwave to thaw food as it is the speediest method however Michigan State University Extension recommends you follow important food safety factors to ensure your meal is prepared safely.

When you take frozen food such as meat out of the freezer, remove the store packaging, including foam trays and plastic wrap. This type of packaging is not heat resistant at high temperatures. It will likely melt or warp causing harmful chemicals to migrate into food. Place the frozen food in a microwave safe container and cover loosely. Select the defrost feature on the microwave, which is generally set at 30 percent power.

Many microwaves automatically rotate food allowing for even thawing. If the microwave does not automatically rotate food then halfway through the thawing process open the microwave door and carefully turn the container. Defrosting will take seven to eight minutes per pound, depending on the wattage of the microwave and the size and thickness of the food item.

As food is defrosting in the microwave, the edges of the food may begin to warm or slightly cook while the inside of the food remains frozen. Uneven thawing is the major food safety concern, which dictates why food must be immediately cooked once it is thawed. During thawing the microwave raises the temperature of food and if it enters the danger zone, 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, bacteria begins to grow and multiply. Remember frozen food still contains bacteria even though they are inactive. When a food’s temperature rises, bacteria becomes active once again. Promptly cooking thawed food will kill most bacteria. It is not safe to thaw food in the microwave and then put it in the refrigerator or a cooler to cook or grill later. Always cook microwave defrosted food immediately. Be sure to use a food thermometer to make sure food reaches the proper internal temperature during cooking to prevent food borne illness.

The microwave is truly a favorite kitchen appliance whether it is reheating, cooking or defrosting, you cannot beat the convenience. Understanding how to safely defrost food, especially different cuts of meat, using the microwave just takes a little know how on how to thaw, cook and serve delicious family favorites.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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How to defrost meat in the microwave

Frozen foods are no match for your microwave. Thawing is one of the most popular uses of microwaves in households, even in commercial kitchens.

If you have not tried thawing meat with this dependable appliance, it’s time that you do. It is proven safer than defrosting at room temperature.

How to defrost ground beef in microwave, you ask? Scroll on for the proper method and more tips on food safety.

How To Freeze Meat Safely

Freezing and defrosting are not just steps in preparing food. These are methods to keep your food safe for consumption.

If you are planning on buying frozen ground beef for a picnic on the coming weekend, head to a reputable meat shop or the meat section in the supermarket.

Select one with a tightly-wrapped plastic package. Make sure that the package is not loose, no holes, and not torn. Then, put it in another plastic bag to prevent leaking juices to go into your other grocery products. Always separate raw meat from ready-to-cook food items.

To store meat safely, freeze or refrigerate it immediately once you get home. You can store the meat in the freezer for two days in its original packaging if you can cook it soon.

However, if you need to store it a little longer, you need to place it in the freezer. To store ground beef in the freezer, follow these steps:

    Remove the meat from its original packaging.

Place the ground beef in a freezer-safe sealable plastic bag.

Before sealing, use a rolling pin to flatten the meat. It should be half an inch thick.

Seal and label the bag.

  • Place it in the freezer.
  • How To Thaw Ground Beef In Microwave

    Now, let us discuss the main topic of this article—how defrost ground beef in microwave. There are different ways to thaw ground beef. Among these, using the microwave is the quickest method.

      Take out the zip-top bag containing the frozen ground beef.

    Remove the beef from the plastic bag.

    Then, place it on a plate in the microwave or a microwave-safe plate.

    Then, put the plate in the microwave and heat it for two to three minutes at 50% power.

    Flip the meat every 45 seconds until thoroughly thawed.

  • Cook the ground beef immediately.
  • If you are not in a hurry and you have planned your meal ahead, you can thaw the frozen ground beef in the refrigerator. Transfer the frozen meat from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you plan to cook it. Make sure that you put the meat in a dish to prevent leaking to other food products.

    Conclusion

    Basic knowledge of proper freezing and thawing your meat is essential to preparing safe and healthy food for your family.

    How to defrost ground beef in microwave is simple and easy. However, you should still be careful that you do it safely.

    Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

    Have you ever had one of those moments when you asked your husband or kid to transfer the frozen beef to the fridge so you can cook it the following day? And when you’ve already prepared all the other ingredients and you ask them to give you the beef, they hand you rock-solid meat! How will you be able to defrost your beef in a short time? Will the microwave help you? How long will it take? We’ve asked the meat experts and here’s their answer.

    You can thaw your frozen beef in the microwave and it’ll be ready for cooking in a matter of minutes. Just take it out of its packaging and transfer it to a microwave-safe dish. Use the defrost setting or heat on low power for more or less 4 minutes while pausing every 45 seconds to flip it to the other side. It’ll only take you 2 to 4 minutes to defrost ground beef but if you have larger cuts of beef, it will take longer to thaw all sides evenly.

    Continue reading because we’ll tell you more about how to defrost this meat in the microwave properly. We’ll also share with you other ways to thaw your beef safely and how much time you need for each method. This is your ultimate guide to thawing beef with tips straight from the meat experts themselves!

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    How long does beef thaw in the microwave?

    The microwave is the quickest way to thaw your beef thoroughly. Depending on the weight and cut of your beef, it’ll take you between 4 and 10 minutes to defrost your meat while continuously flipping it on each side every after 45 seconds to make sure that it is thawing evenly.

    Ground beef is the fastest to defrost, needing only 2 to 4 minutes to complete the process. For larger beef cuts, they would need to be in the microwave for a longer time.

    How to thaw beef in the microwave

    It is always best to consult your microwave owner’s manual for proper defrosting instructions. But generally, these are the steps to thaw meat using the microwave:

    1. Remove all covers from the meat.
    2. Put it in a microwave-safe dish with a cover.
    3. Place at the center of the microwave while partially covered.
    4. Use the defrost settings. If your unit does not have one, use 20% to 30% power for thawing.
    5. Flip the beef on each side every after 45 seconds until it is thawed evenly all throughout.
    6. Cook immediately.

    Is it safe to defrost beef in the microwave?

    Beef takes forever to thaw in the fridge. There are times when you simply do not have days to spare until you have to use it for cooking your favorite beef recipes such as beef stroganoff, beef stew, grilled steak, and even meatloaf. Good thing there’s always the microwave to make thawing faster and safer.

    Yes, it is safe to defrost beef in the microwave, even the USDA says so. However, make sure you will cook it immediately because microwave thawing may cause some parts of the beef to start cooking. At this temperature, bacteria can begin to grow on your meat so it’s best to cook it right away to prevent food spoilage.

    How long does beef thaw in the fridge?

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    The fridge is the safest place where you can defrost your meat. However, it takes a long time to thaw it completely inside your refrigerator. It’ll take you a whole day to thaw your ground beef and lean meats fully. For larger beef cuts especially those with the bones in, it will take 2 days or even longer. The bigger the size, the longer it takes to defrost.

    Take note that thawed ground beef will stay safe inside the fridge only after a day or two. For other beef cuts, you must use them within 3 to 5 days to avoid spoilage.

    How do you thaw beef in water?

    You can thaw beef using the cold water method. Here’s how to do it:

    1. Put cold water in a deep bowl.
    2. Make sure your meat is inside a vacuum-sealed container or leak-proof bag.
    3. Place the meat in cold water.
    4. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the beef is thawed completely.

    The amount of time that it would take to fully defrost your meat will depend on its size. For your reference, it usually takes an hour to thaw 1 pound of meat so make the necessary adjustments when you need your beef for cooking.

    Does salt water thaw meat faster?

    Salt has been known to speed up thawing time. This is because salt lowers the freezing point of meat, helping defrost it faster. So if you want to thaw your meat faster, put it in a bowl of cold water with salt then put it back in the fridge. Remember to place your meat in a vacuum-sealed bag before immersing it in saltwater.

    Is it safe to thaw meat overnight on the counter?

    Some people might have this idea to just leave the meat overnight on the counter thinking that it would be ready for cooking the following day. Please do not do this. It is not safe. It is recommended that you put your meat in the fridge and give it sufficient time to thaw completely. It’ll take you overnight or a full day depending on the size. Yes, it’s a long time but you can be sure that it’s defrosting at a safe temperature that shouldn’t be higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

    How to cook a frozen hamburger in the microwave?

    We know that there are times when you simply have to get the food ready in more or less 30 minutes before everyone gets hangry. This is when you’ll really be glad that you have frozen burger patties in your freezer.

    These patties are very simple to prepare to begin with. Just add some minced garlic, ground pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to your ground beef, and shape them into patties. You can lay each one on wax paper then cover everything with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Place them in a freezer bag, label them, and put them in the freezer. You can now have a delicious hamburger during a meal emergency.

    Here’s how to cook it in the microwave:

    1. Remove the wax paper under the patty.
    2. Put a paper towel on top of a microwave-safe dish.
    3. Place your patty on top of the paper towel.
    4. Put the dish at the center of the microwave.
    5. Heat for 45 seconds then flip it to the other side.
    6. Heat again for another 45 seconds. Repeat this until the patties reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
    7. Wait until it has cooled down properly then fix your hamburger sandwich with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and the rest of your favorite toppings. You have your delicious and juicy burger ready in less than 30 minutes, yum!

    Final Thoughts

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    It’s always a good thing to have a microwave on hand to make thawing beef quicker. In less than 15 minutes, you’ll be able to see its transformation from rock-solid to completely thawed and ready to use for your tasty beef recipes. But you can also defrost your beef by leaving it in the fridge or using the cold water method if you’re not in a hurry. These are all safe ways for you to prepare this meat for cooking.

    Your child called to say a friend is coming for dinner. Normally, an extra serving of casserole or two extra tacos would be no big deal. You make plenty for leftovers night as it is.

    But tonight, you had planned to cook steaks with grilled vegetables, so there’s just one problem: You are short one steak, and the clock is ticking.

    If you know how to thaw steak fast, you can still get the beef on the grill with time to spare. Thanks to this no-fail steak-thawing method, dinner is saved.

    The Fastest Way to Thaw a Steak Safely

    In all situations, the ideal way to thaw a steak is in a refrigerator. The meat will stay at a constant, cold temp while it defrosts. This keeps it at a safe temperature, and you won’t run the risk of becoming ill from bad bacteria.

    In the event you don’t have time for this lengthy process (it typically takes 24 to 36 hours), you can speed things up with this USDA-approved method:

    1. Grab a steak from your stash and place it in a zip-top bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag.

    2. Place the steak in a large bowl. If you’re thawing more than one steak, you can speed up the process by giving each steak its own bowl. Fill the bowl or bowls with cool water, not hot or even warm water. Cool water is safest. The higher the temperature climbs, the closer you get to the danger zone, or when bacteria growth accelerates.

    3. Leave the steak in the water for 30 minutes. Place a spatula or wooden spoon on the meat to keep it submerged. After that half-hour, check the steak. If it’s not completely thawed, empty the water, and fill the bowls with fresh cool water. Because the water’s temperature is cool, you don’t have to worry about any discoloration of the meat, and it’s not hot enough to start the cooking process.

    Plan for about 30 minutes per pound of meat. Thinner steaks will be fully thawed in 30 minutes. Thicker ribeyes or filets might need more time. You can speed up the process by separating individual pieces from each other when they’re thawed enough to pry apart.

    4. Remove the bag from the water. Open the seal and remove the steak. Season and cook the meat just as you typically do. If the center remains a bit icy, that’s OK. You can still cook the meat. Just give it a few extra minutes to reach temperature.

    Which Fast-Thawing Methods for Steak Should You Avoid?

    While your microwave has a defrost option, it’s best not to use it when you’re trying to get a steak thawed. The heat from the appliance will thaw the meat, but it can also quickly begin cooking the steak. This will affect the meat’s color (it’ll turn gray) and the texture (it could become chewy). Use this method only as a last resort.

    Certainly do not leave the steak on the counter at room temperature for any length of time. Even cool rooms like a basement or garage are far too warm. The outside portions of the meat will rapidly warm to the danger zone—40°F to 140°F—and dangerous bacterial growth may start. This could lead to food poisoning.

    Some cooks recommend placing an unwrapped steak in a bowl of water with a steady stream running into it. This will certainly help keep the water around the steak at a constant cool temperature—and prevent it from reaching the danger zone—but it also means all the juices a steak naturally releases while thawing will be lost for good. Ultimately, that could mean you have a dry, stringy piece of meat.

    Is it Safe to Cook Steak That is Still Frozen?

    Yes, if you don’t even have time to thaw steak fast in bowls of water, don’t fret. You can absolutely cook the steak from frozen. You’ll need to account for about 50 percent more cook time for the meat, so put it on the grill first if you want it to come off at the same time as the other steaks.

    How to Defrost Ground Beef in The Microwave? Defrosting ground beef in a microwave is one of the easiest things to do! Simply place the beef in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with cling wrap. Use the ‘Defrost’ option on your microwave and defrost for about 3-5 minutes per pound. There you have it – quick, perfectly defrosted ground beef!

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    If you have ground beef in the freezer that needs to be thawed, you may be wondering if it is safe to do so in the microwave. You can definitely thaw ground beef in the microwave, as long as you follow a couple of important rules.

    In this post, I will discuss how to thaw ground beef in the microwave safely and how long it will take for different-sized batches. I will also talk about whether or not it is safe to refreeze thawed ground beef.

    So, let’s get started!

    Is it safe to thaw ground beef in the microwave?

    Yes, it is perfectly safe to thaw ground beef in the microwave. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when using this method.

    First, make sure to thaw the beef in a microwave-safe dish.

    Secondly, cover the beef with cling wrap while it is thawing. This will help keep the moisture in and prevent the beef from drying out.

    Lastly, ensure that your beef is thawing evenly on all sides by using a meat thermometer. That’s all! It’s as safe as thawing beef in any other way.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Can I refreeze my thawed ground beef?

    Yes, you can definitely refreeze thawed ground beef. I’ve done it myself quite a few times when I’ve accidentally thawed more beef than I needed.

    However, it is important to note that the quality of the beef may not be as good after being frozen and thawed.

    Refreezing will also reduce the shelf life of the beef so don’t keep it for too long in the freezer. Ideally, use it within 3-4 days after refreezing.

    How long to defrost 1lb ground beef in microwave?

    It will take about three to five minutes per pound to thaw ground beef in the microwave. Remember to use the ‘Defrost’ setting on your microwave and flip the beef every few minutes to ensure even thawing.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    What you’ll need:
    1 lb frozen ground beef

    How to quickly thaw ground beef:

    Take the frozen ground beef out of the freezer and place it on a microwave-safe dish.

    Cover the dish tightly with cling wrap. Alternatively, you can also place the ground beef in a Ziploc bag and then place it on the microwave-safe dish. This will ensure that your meat retains all of its juices and does not dry out while thawing.

    Keep the ground beef inside the microwave and use the ‘Defrost’ option. Set the timer for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, check to see if the beef is properly thawed. If not, you can defrost it for another 2 minutes after flipping it over.

    Use a meat thermometer to check if all parts of the thawed beef are at 40F or slightly under.

    Cook the beef immediately for the best results. If you’re not going to cook it right away, store it in the fridge for later use. It will be good for a day or two.

    Note – If your microwave does not have a defrost option, you can also heat the beef at 50% power for 2-3 minutes, flipping it every 45 seconds.

    1. Home Appliances
    2. Home Appliances

    How To Properly Defrost Items In The Microwave?

    Reliable Microwave ovens are some of the most sought-after home appliances in modern homes.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Whether you want to heat up your frozen pizza or defrost ground meat for your dinner, a microwave can often be your best friend when your short of time. This is particularly true when it comes to defrosting as it helps speed up the cooking in a safe way. Using a combination microwave can be a great choice for thawing a wide range of food items right from the freezer.

    Microwaves these days are often highly intelligent machines that can defrost any food type at the push of a button. This is particularly true for Panasonics range of intelligent inverter microwaves however with some of the older more basic microwaves around the defrost function can often leave your meals unevenly defrosted and even slightly cooked while still being half frozen. Below we’ve provided a few tips on manually defrosting food when your microwaves defrost setting just doesn’t quite cut it.

    Defrosting Food Items in the Microwave Oven

    Firstly, when looking to defrost using a microwave make sure to use a microwave safe container. You should always make sure that you are heating food properly and safely in order to ensure warm healthy meals that are safe to eat.

    If you are new to using the basic microwave oven, here are some expert tips on defrosting food items using the simple microwave oven in your kitchen.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    в—Џ Place the food item in a microwave-friendly container: to ensuring the given plate or container is microwave-friendly, you can check its bottom for the safety labels. Runny or liquid-based food items should be placed in deeper containers or bowls in order to avoid spillage.

    в—Џ Defrosting time is dependent on the size and the type of the food you are defrosting. Place the food item in the microwave oven and decrease the power to around 30-50% depending on what you are defrosting. User the lower 30%-35% settings for larger more dense food items such as large pieces of meat and the higher 45%-50% settings for smaller loose food that can be mixed throughout in order evenly distribute heat, foods like frozen vegetables.

    *When you use low power settings, it allows the food to warm gradually and evenly throughout without cooking the outside.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    ● Once the food is in and the settings have been updated set a two-minute timer and hit start. As the food is defrosting make sure to keep an eye on it and regularly check the distribution of heat as food can often be warm on the outside but cold on the inside. It’s a good idea to keep going with one to two-minute time increments as various parts of the meal or food items defrost at different rates. With larger pieces of meat and more dense foods more time is needed therefore start with five to eight minutes and then go to two-minute increments checking occasionally.

    ● Lastly, for loose foods it’s a good idea to remove the parts that are defrosted and continue microwaving the parts that are still frozen. Removing these pieces speeds up the process by allowing the microwave to focus its energy on the leftover frozen pieces and ensures the pieces that are already defrosted don’t start to cook due to being left in the for too long.

    в—Џ Once everything is defrosted make sure to cook everything properly and enjoy.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Safety Measures While Defrosting Items in a Microwave

    If you want to ensure the best outcomes for defrosting frozen food in the microwave, it is essential to follow some basic safety rules.

    в—Џ Use a thermometer for ensuring that you are defrosting the food items at the right temperature
    в—Џ Once you have defrosted a packaged food item, cook the same within one day
    в—Џ Avoid re-freezing any raw food item after defrosting the same
    в—Џ Clean the microwave oven once you are done defrosting to get rid of any lingering bacteria

    There you have it a quick guide on how to manually defrost food in a microwave. We hope you find it helpful, go forth and defrost safely.

    It’s simple to freeze and defrost beef so it retains its greatness. Not sure where to begin? Our chefs and butchers have joined forces to share their brilliant tips.

    What you need to know

    How to freeze fresh beef

    • Trim beef to ensure safe and even defrosting.
    • Separate cuts into meal-size portions.
    • Flatten butcher’s mince before packing, so it defrosts evenly.
    • Place beef in good-quality plastic bags and wrap in foil for extra protection.
    • Remove excess air and seal securely.
    • Label the bags with the cut name, weight, amount and date of packaging.
    • Freeze up to the recommended storage time for your particular cut.

    Freezer storage times for fresh beef

    Freezer

    Ideal temperature -18°C to -15°C

    Fresh beef cuts

    Cooked beef dishes

    Safety Matters!

    Freezing beef prolongs storage time because it prevents microbial growth. Follow the recommended storage times to enjoy beef at its best and safest.

    Kitchen Science

    Why freezer storage times for cooked beef dishes are shorter than fresh beef

    Certain flavours in cooked dishes, such as onion and garlic, oxidise in the freezer over time – it’s known as flavour tainting. Because many cooked beef dishes contain one or both of these ingredients, we recommend storing for no more than one month to keep the flavours tasting fresh.

    How to defrost raw beef in the fridge

    The best way to defrost beef is to leave it in the fridge until completely thawed. You’ll need to plan ahead, but the tender, juicy results are worth the wait!

    • Remove beef from freezer and separate portions.
    • Keep beef in freezer wrapping and place it on a dish.
    • Store on bottom shelf of fridge until thawed and consume within the recommended fridge storage time.

    Frozen fresh beef average thawing times

    Beef cut
    Thawing time

    How to defrost raw beef in the microwave

    Pressed for time? Defrosting beef in the microwave is a saviour when you need to speed things up.

    • Remove freezer bag or wrap. This prevents your beef from sitting in ‘drip’ and stewing while defrosting.
    • If freezer wrap doesn’t come off easily, wait a few minutes and try again.
    • Discard any Styrofoam trays – they’re not microwave safe.
    • Use the pre-programmed ‘defrost’ setting on your microwave.
    • When defrosting mince, remove outer portions from the dish as they thaw, and set aside.
    • If the edges of cuts feel warm, stop microwaving and allow beef to stand for a few minutes until the edges are cold again.
    • Cook beef immediately after defrosting. Make sure it doesn’t stand for any length of time at room temperature or in the fridge.

    Safety Matters!

    Refreezing defrosted raw beef

    Always cook defrosted beef before refreezing to ensure the greatest beef experience and avoid any microbial risk.

    Kitchen Science

    Beef cuts contain a high percentage of water. When frozen, tiny ice crystals form within the meat’s structure. These crystals rupture the fibre of the meat, causing it to leach water when defrosted. That’s why, apart from being potentially unsafe, repeated freezing causes beef to dry out.

    How to reheat cooked beef in the microwave

    Pre-prepared meals are a lifesaver when you need to get that hot meal on the table in minutes. For a fast, safe and tasty result, follow our expert tips:

    • Reheat your beef dish in individual portions.
    • Place veggies in the centre of the plate and the beef around the outside.
    • Sprinkle beef with a little water or stock to prevent it drying out.
    • Cover with a microwave lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap to trap steam and keep the meal moist.
    • Place plate towards the outside of the microwave turntable.
    • Reheat meal for 2 minutes on high, and then stand for 1 minute.
    • Feel the centre bottom of the plate to ensure meal is thoroughly heated.
    • To assist with even heating, turn plate halfway through the cooking time.
    • Take care when removing the lid or plastic wrap – the steam released can burn!

    How to reheat casseroles in the microwave

    • Place casserole in a deep-sided dish. Cover dish to speed reheating and trap moisture.
    • Position casserole dish on the outside of the turntable.
    • Reheat on a high setting. Timing will vary on the casserole quantity.
    • Stir occasionally during reheating to distribute the heat.
    • Wait until the casserole is piping hot and has bubbled for at least 2 minutes.
    • Look out for the hot steam when removing the lid!

    Safety Matters!

    Microwave reheating

    Have you noticed how you get cold spots in food when you’re cooking in the microwave? Pesky microorganisms can survive in these cold spots. Make sure you:

    • Follow microwave or ready-meal cooking instructions.
    • Trap steam by covering food with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap.
    • Stir food and turn large items over during cooking. Rotate the dish once or twice – even if you have a rotating turntable.
    • Cut food into similarly sized pieces or arrange thicker pieces on the outside of the dish.

    Don’t forget – food continues to cook after microwaving. Always wait 3–5 minutes, or for the recommended standing time, before tucking in.

    The Best Way to Defrost Steak and Other Meats

    A slow thaw in your refrigerator is the ideal way to defrost steaks, other cuts of beef or any meat. Our FlavorLock™ system guarantees our steaks are frozen at their peak; allowing them to thaw out slowly maintains that superior quality. Simply remove your steak from its packaging, place it on a plate to catch any liquid, and thaw in your refrigerator. For the best flavor, we recommend you cook your steaks immediately after defrosting.

    • Defrost steak, burgers and ground beef in your refrigerator for at least 24 hours
    • Defrost roasts in your refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, depending on size

    You know your steaks are ready for the grill when they “give” when you press them with your thumb.

    How to Defrost Meat Fast

    But what if you don’t have the time to thaw out meat slowly? The following techniques will get your steaks on the grill in a hurry.

    • Cold Water Defrosting. If your steaks are still in their original, sealed packaging, this is the best way to thaw meat fast. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Submerge the meat, in its packaging, in the water. Change the water periodically. Your steaks should be ready to cook in 45 minutes to 2 hours. Remember, the water should be cold; using warm water may be faster but will create an environment that’s perfect for bacteria.
    • Microwave. While not recommended, this is the fastest way to defrost meat. Follow your microwave defrosting instructions. Watch carefully – you want to thaw the steak, not cook it!

    You know your steaks are ready for the grill when they “give” when you press them with your thumb.

    We do not recommend thawing steaks or roasts on the countertop.

    How to Cook Frozen Steak or Burgers

    If you really have no time to thaw meat beforehand, you can grill or cook frozen steaks and burgers. While not ideal, we understand that sometimes it’s the only option!

    • Follow our usual instructions for how to cook steak. No matter which cooking method you choose, simply allow more time…about 50% more time. The meat will have to thaw as it cooks. Be sure to cook to the internal temperature recommended for desired doneness.

    Remove the meat from its packing and lay it on a dish. Microwave the meat at 50 percent power for 2 to 3 minutes, turning and flipping the beef every 45 seconds, until it is completely thawed and cooked through.

    – Before defrosting, remove the food from its packing. – Place the meat in a dish that can be microwaved. – Because some sections of frozen food may begin to cook during the defrosting process, it is important to prepare meat, poultry, egg casseroles, and fish soon after they have been defrosted in the microwave oven.

    How to defrost ground meat in a microwave?

    The most effective technique of defrosting ground beef in a microwave is to place the beef on a microwave-safe plate inside the microwave and begin defrosting it at a power level of 30 percent while the microwave is on.

    How long does it take to defrost ground beef?

    Putting Ground Beef in Cold Water to Defrost If you need to thaw ground beef somewhat rapidly, but not nearly as quickly as defrosting the meat in the microwave, the submersion method may be the best option for your situation.It normally takes between half an hour and two to three hours, depending on the quantity of meat, and it does not result in nearly as much loss of quality as traditional methods.

    How long do you cook frozen ground beef in the microwave?

    Microwave ground beef for 2 minutes at 50% power in a microwave-safe dish. Remove any frozen pieces of meat and continue cooking at 30 percent power, heating beef for 1 minute for every 1.5 pounds (0.68 kg) of meat, until the beef is well heated. Scrape off any parts of meat that look to have defrosted every 30 seconds or until the pan is clean.

    How do you know when meat is done defrosting?

    Keep an eye on the meat while it defrosts. You should never just ″set it and forget it″ while thawing meat in the microwave. It is possible that meat that has not been thoroughly defrosted will not cook correctly. If your microwave plate does not rotate automatically, rotate the meat each time it is flipped to ensure even cooking.

    Is it safe to defrost beef in the microwave?

    Yes, it is safe to defrost meat and poultry in a microwave oven without risking food poisoning. When thawing meat and poultry in the microwave, make sure to cook it right away since some parts of the meal may become heated and begin to cook before the rest of the food.

    How do you defrost meat in the microwave?

    Chicken, beef, pig, and fish defrosted in the microwave: a step-by-step guide.

    1. Make sure your meat is out of the freezer.
    2. Placing your meat in a microwave-safe container is recommended.
    3. Defrost your microwave by pressing the defrost button.
    4. Set the timing for the cooking process.
    5. When thawing meat in the microwave, make sure to keep an eye on it.

    How long does defrosting in the microwave take?

    Defrosting will take between seven and eight minutes per pound of food, depending on the wattage of the microwave and the size and thickness of the food item being defrosted. It is possible for the edges of food to begin to thaw or somewhat cook while the center of the meal stays frozen while defrosting in the microwave while defrosting in a conventional oven.

    How does microwave defrost work?

    Most of these ovens now offer a defrosting mode, which slowly warms the food at a low power level (usually below 350 Watts). Using an alternating pattern of wave emission and rest, the microwave oven’s defrosting program gives conduction enough time to act and the food’s temperature to become more consistent.

    How do you safely defrost beef?

    Most of these ovens now offer a defrosting mode, which gently warms food at a low power level (usually below 350 Watts). Using an alternating pattern of wave emission and rest, the microwave oven’s defrosting program gives conduction enough time to act and the food’s temperature to become consistent.

    Can I cook a steak from frozen?

    According to the culinary magazine, not only is it possible to cook a frozen steak without first thawing it, but it also tastes better that way. When the editors put science to work, it was determined that frozen steak does not develop the dreaded grey band and maintains more moisture during the cooking process.

    How do you defrost steak in a hurry?

    How? Take two metal pots or pans and set your vacuum-sealed steak flat on one of them. Turn the other over and repeat the process with the other pot or pan. Then, fill the other pot or pan halfway with water and set it on top of the steak, topside up, to steam it. Because of the weight of the water and its warmth, which is carried by the metal, thawing will be accelerated.

    Can you defrost meat in a plastic bag in the microwave?

    How?Remove the steak from the vacuum seal and set it on the bottom of one of the metal pots or pans (bottom up).Repeat with the other metal pot or pan (bottom up).Once you’ve filled the other pot or pan halfway with water, set it on top of the steak so that the water runs down the sides.Thickening will be accelerated by the weight and warmth of the water, which will be passed through the metal.

    Can you defrost meat in packaging?

    Simply set your meat on a platter in your refrigerator the night before you want to cook it, either in its original plastic wrapping or removed and wrapped in plastic wrap to keep it fresh. By using a plate, you can prevent any moisture created during the thawing process from accumulating throughout your refrigerator.

    How to defrost beef quickly?

    1. Putting it in a bath of ice water. The cold water bath provides a few of advantages over the hot water bath.
    2. It’s being melted in the microwave. The microwave is not only a quick and convenient way to defrost beef, but it is also THE quickest method.
    3. It’s just not thawing in any way. Yes, you are correct.
    4. Final comments on thawing.

    Is a longer defrost better than microwave defrosting?

    1. Spread the shrimp out evenly without overcrowding or stacking them on top of one another.
    2. Avoid purchasing frozen cocktail shrimp that are covered in ice crystals or that are smashed around the outside.
    3. The microwave, as opposed to cold water, is one of the more expedient techniques for thawing frozen foods.
    4. Cover the shrimp in the dish with a cover or plastic wrap that is safe to use in the microwave.

    Can I reheat beef in microwave?

    – Place the remaining hamburger on a platter that can be heated in the microwave. – To reheat the burger, select the reheat option from the menu. If you use a microwave, this timer will normally last between two and four minutes, depending on the model. – Finally, flip the burger halfway through to ensure that it is heated evenly.

    Of the three safe methods for thawing ground beef, defrosting meat in the microwave is by far the fastest. But be aware that it’s also the most limiting and the most damaging to the quality of your finished recipe. It’s limiting in that you must promptly cook the meat. You can’t refreeze it because when you defrost hamburger in the microwave, it starts partially cooking, making it susceptible to rapid bacteria growth. And, it’s damaging because the beef loses a significant amount of moisture, turns a little rubbery and often ends up unevenly cooked since portions get a head start during thawing.

    Thawing Meat in the Microwave

    You can freeze ground beef in its store packaging, but you can’t defrost hamburger in the microwave in it because neither plastic wrap nor foam trays are microwave safe. Unless you’ve already frozen the meat in a microwave-safe container, transfer it to a microwave-safe plate.

    The defrost function on microwaves generally aren’t all that reliable, so skip it. Instead, microwave the frozen ground beef at 50 percent power for two minutes, flipping it over once halfway through. Check it, remove thawed portions, and rearrange the remaining meat into a layer of even thickness as best as you can. Then, continue microwaving the meat at 30 percent power, checking it every 30 seconds or so and removing thawed sections until it’s defrosted.

    It’s OK if there are some small areas of meat that are mostly, but not entirely thawed. The less time in the microwave, the better. Remember, now you need to cook the meat right away.

    Defrosting Ground Beef in Cold Water

    If you need to thaw the ground beef fairly quickly, but not quite as quickly as defrosting the meat in the microwave, consider the submersion method. Depending on the quantity of meat, it typically takes between half an hour and two to three hours, and it doesn’t result in nearly as much loss of quality.

    Keep the ground beef in its airtight packaging and submerge it completely in a large bowl or pot of cold water. Dump the water out and refill with fresh, colder water every 30 minutes. Ground beef thawed in this way must still be cooked right away, and it should be fully cooked before refreezing any portion of it.

    Thawing Ground Beef in the Refrigerator

    Whenever you’re able to plan far enough ahead, defrost ground beef by putting it in the refrigerator 24 hours ahead of time. While it’s much slower than thawing meat in the microwave or submersion thawing, it results in the least loss of moisture and quality. Plus, you can keep it in the fridge for a day or two between thawing and cooking, and you can refreeze unused portions without cooking them first.

    Unsafe Defrosting of Ground Beef

    Raw meat should never be left out at room temperature for more than two hours or for one hour in an environment over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. And when meat is held between 40 and 140 F, it’s considered to be in the danger zone where bacteria multiplies rapidly. With enough time in the danger zone, bacteria can grow beyond the point where the food is rendered safe by cooking.

    This means that you can’t defrost ground beef by just letting it sit out on the kitchen counter. Another unsafe option is to use warm or hot water for the submersion method in an attempt to speed up the thawing process. Both of these methods can easily keep the meat in the danger zone for too long.

    How to defrost food safely

    Most – but not all – foods need to be defrosted before you can cook them.

    Here’s what you need to know to make sure that food is thawed safely.

    1. The safest way to defrost food is in the fridge

    • Allow at least 24 hours for every 2-2.5 kg (4-5 lbs).
    • Once the food has thawed, cook or eat it within 24 hours. Do not refreeze it.
    • It is not safe to defrost at room temperature.

    2. Defrost food in the microwave only if you are going to cook and eat it straight away

    • When you defrost food in the microwave it can get warm enough to allow harmful bacteria to grow. Cooking the food immediately will kill any bacteria, but if you leave it the bacteria will continue to multiply.
    • Be sure to check the microwave setting and time in your microwave manual.

    3. Check the package before defrosting

    • Some food is best cooked from frozen. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on pre-packed foods.

    4. Make sure poultry is completely thawed before you cook it

    • If poultry is still partly frozen when you start to cook, it will cook more slowly and might not reach a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria.
    • Check whether the meat feels frozen by using a fork or skewer.
    • When defrosting a whole bird, make sure there are no ice crystals in the cavity.

    5. Defrost meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge

    • Put it on a plate away from other foods. When meat thaws, lots of liquid can come out, which can spread bacteria to any food, plates or surfaces that it touches. Keep the meat covered so that it can’t touch or drip onto other foods
    • Only defrost meat in the microwave if you’re going to cook and eat it straight away.
    • Cook the raw meat within 24 hours of defrosting.
    • If you defrost raw meat and then cook it, you can freeze it again. Never reheat foods more than once.

    6. Do not refreeze food that has defrosted

    • You should never refreeze food that has defrosted.

    ​7. Always cook frozen berries before using

    • Imported frozen berries should be boiled for 1 minute before eating them or adding them to smoothies. This is because they have been associated with outbreaks of norovirus and hepatitis A across Europe in recent years.
    • This is particularly important when serving them to vulnerable people.

    Sign up for our latest healthy eating and recipe updates.

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    3 Ways to Defrost Food Safely

    You can hardly wait. The juicy rib-eye steaks you picked up a few weeks ago have been sitting in your freezer, just waiting to be grilled. Tonight, you plan to fire up the barbeque and do just that.

    But first, you’ve got to defrost the steaks. And you need to take special care: Some approaches to thawing food, like leaving it on the counter all day, are unsafe and can cause illness.

    You’ve got 3 choices for safely thawing any type of food. Here’s what you need to know about each:

    1. Refrigerator Thawing

    This is certainly the easiest method for defrosting frozen food — just stick it in the fridge and wait until it’s thawed.

    But you may be waiting longer than you thought. It usually takes an entire day to thaw even a small amount of frozen food, such as a pound of ground meat or boneless chicken breasts. For large items, like a whole turkey or ham, it’ll take about 24 hours of defrosting time for every 5 pounds of food.

    All that waiting does have a payoff, though. A major advantage of refrigerator thawing is that you don’t have to cook the defrosted food right away — especially helpful if you’re faced with a last-minute change in plans.

    Poultry, fish and ground meat that’s been defrosted in the fridge can be kept for an additional 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator before cooking. Beef, pork, lamb or veal (roasts, steaks or chops) will keep refrigerated for another 3 to 5 days after thawing.

    Another plus: If you decide not to cook the thawed food, you can safely refreeze it within these same time limits.

    2. Cold Water Thawing

    The upside to this approach is that it’s much faster than refrigerator thawing. The downside is that it requires a lot more attention on your behalf.

    To thaw the food, submerge the bag in cold tap water. Never use hot water, as that can cause the outer layer of the food to heat up to a temperature where harmful bacteria begins to multiply . You’ll need to change the water every 30 minutes to ensure that it stays sufficiently cold.

    Using this thawing method, small packages of frozen meat or poultry (about a pound) can defrost in one hour or less. For larger items, you should estimate about 30 minutes of defrosting time per pound of food.

    Once the food is thawed completely, you’ll need to cook it immediately . If you have a change in plans, you can safely refreeze the food once you’ve cooked it thoroughly.

    3. Microwave Thawing

    The microwave, as you might expect, offers the speediest method of defrosting food.

    Set your microwave to the “defrost” or “50 percent power” setting while thawing to ensure that the outer edges of the food don’t become cooked while the remainder is still frozen. If you’re defrosting a package of meat, poultry or fish that is in pieces, separate them as the food thaws.

    If you use the microwave thawing method, you’ll need to cook the food immediately after it’s thawed. Once you’ve cooked the food, you can safely refreeze it if you like.

    How Not to Thaw Food

    It may be tempting to just leave your frozen food out on the cupboard to thaw — it’s easy and it’s fast. Don’t do it. Nor should you thaw food in hot water.

    The problem with both of those methods is that the outer layer of the food can sit between the bacteria-breeding temperatures of 40°F and 140 °F for far too long to be safe.

    For more information on safe defrosting, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Web site.

    Information on freezing dairy products, egg and other foods for best results. Garden-Robinson FN-616; FN616; food; nutrition; safety; dairy; eggs; freezing; preservation; NDSU; NDSU Extension Service 11.9999

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Did you forget to take the meat out of the freezer for dinner? When you need to thaw meat quickly, there are a few options. In about an hour, smaller cuts of meat can defrost in cold water, while a microwave makes the process even faster. You can also safely cook frozen meat. With any of these methods, a few tips and tricks will ensure the meat remains safe to eat.

    Refrigerator Thawing

    Though it may be too late for tonight’s dinner, it’s good to remember that the safest way to thaw meat is in the refrigerator. In an ideal world, everyone would plan ahead and set tomorrow’s dinner in the fridge overnight. The constant temperature allows the meat to defrost slowly and evenly, producing a better texture and taste when cooked. The cold also keeps it out of the “danger zone” for bacterial growth (between 40 F and 140 F).

    Depending on the size of the meat you need to thaw, this method may take a full day or longer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food safety guidelines state that a whole turkey requires a full day for every 5 pounds, while 1 pound of ground beef typically thaws in one day. Also, keep in mind that food stored in a chest freezer may take longer to thaw.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Cold Water Thawing Method

    When you need food on the table tonight and don’t have or want to use a microwave, the cold water approach is the best option. This method works best for small cuts of meat such as steaks, chicken breasts, ground beef, pork loin, etc. It’s not effective for whole birds and large roasts.

    1. Remove the meat from its packaging, and place it in a clean plastic sealable bag.
    2. Check the bag for leaks and press out as much air as possible before sealing—excess air will cause the bag to float, and the meat will not thaw as quickly.
    3. Submerge the bag in a bowl of cold water.
    4. Change the water every 30 minutes, until the meat has thawed.

    One pound of meat will often thaw in 30 minutes and shouldn’t take much more than an hour. To speed the process along, separate the individual pieces or cuts of meat as soon as they are thawed out enough to pull apart. If you are thawing more than a pound of meat, divide it up between multiple bowls of cold water, if possible.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Microwave Thawing Method

    Use the defrost setting (50 percent power) on your microwave to thaw meat in a matter of minutes. Most microwaves allow you to enter how many pounds of meat you need to thaw and will automatically calculate the recommended defrost time. If your microwave does not have a defrost mode, use the lowest power setting and heat the meat in short increments until thawed.

    When using this method, keep a close eye on things because defrosting can quickly cross over to cooking. You may need to interrupt the cycle to reposition the meat to get more even thawing.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Cooking Meat Without Thawing

    If you have a whole turkey, chicken, ham, or roast that you need to get on the table posthaste, your best bet is to cook it from a frozen state. It’s perfectly safe to cook frozen meat, but it will take about 50 percent longer. That’s a pretty good deal when you consider that it typically takes two days to thaw out a 10-pound bird in the fridge.

    Use a meat thermometer to determine when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature:

    • Chicken: 165 F
    • Turkey: 165 F
    • Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb: 145 F
    • Ground Meat: 160 F
    • Cooked Ham: 140 F
    • Uncooked Ham: 145 F

    Do not cook frozen meat in a slow cooker. It thaws the meat too slowly and increases the chance of introducing bacteria, making it unsafe to eat.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Do Not Use These Thawing Methods

    Never thaw your meat at room temperature or in a cool area such as outdoors, garage, or basement. Don’t use hot water to thaw meat or leave defrosted meat at room temperature for more than two hours—refrigerate it immediately.

    Bacteria that can cause food poisoning will begin to multiply on meat that is above refrigerator temperature. The exterior may reach the danger zone while the interior remains frozen. You don’t want your meal or feast to result in misery, or even worse, so it’s always best to practice safe thawing methods.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

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    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Microwaves sure do come in handy when we’re in a hurry to eat. Oatmeal can be made in two minutes. Soups can be reheated in two minutes. Even chicken dinners can be heated in just a couple minutes. But can microwaves safely thaw raw food?

    According to the USDA, microwaving is one of the three safe ways you can thaw your food to avoid foodborne illnesses. The other two methods considered OK are submerging in cold water and defrosting in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.

    While there are some foods you should never freeze, raw meat is a common freezer item and an integral ingredient in meals made completely from the freezer. But if you don’t have the time to thaw in the fridge or in cold water, then make sure you thaw safely in the microwave without ruining your meat.

    In order to safely thaw it in your microwave, you should first remove it from the packaging or plastic wrap it’s in.

    Put the raw meat on a microwave-safe plate and use the defrost button on your microwave. If you don’t have a rotating plate in your microwave, pause the microwave halfway through to rotate the plate yourself. This will ensure that every angle of the meat gets an even amount of heat.

    If your microwave doesn’t have a defrost button, turn the power level down to 30% and cook for about five to nine minutes depending on how thick the meat is.

    The important part of defrosting your meat this way is that you are prepared to cook immediately following this process. This is because the raw meat will have started cooking in the microwave, and to get it to a safe temperature to kill bacteria, you’ll need to keep cooking it through.

    Raw meats are just a few items that require proper defrosting. Wondering what else you’ve been defrosting incorrectly? Here’s how to thaw your foods the right way.

    It’s almost dinner time, and your ground beef is still in the freezer. Before you can get cooking, the beef has to be completely defrosted. Raw meat has to be thawed safely, to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. We’ll share with you 4 safe and easy ways to defrost frozen ground beef.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Ground beef is a super versatile and inexpensive meat that can be used to create delicious meals your entire family will love. Whether you’re making casseroles, pastas, burgers or tacos, ground beef is a great ingredient to keep in your freezer for a quick and easy dinner.

    Best Ways to Defrost Ground Beef

    Method 1: Thaw the ground beef in the Refrigerator

    This is a foolproof method of safely defrosting ground beef. Simply move the meat from the freezer to the fridge. Let it thaw overnight. By keeping the meat cold while it’s defrosting, you can prevent the growth of bacteria.

    Method 2: Thaw it in the microwave

    When you’re in a time crunch, there’s nothing more convenient than using a microwave for defrosting. Most microwaves have a pre-programmed defrosting option that makes it super easy. Time should be adjusted based on the weight of the beef and the wattage of your microwave.

    Method 3: Defrost in the cold water

    This is a safe and easy method of defrosting that allows the meat to stay cool, thus preventing the growth of bacteria. Place the meat in a watertight plastic bag and fully submerge it in a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the beef is completely thawed.

    Method 4: Use sous vide to defrost ground beef

    If you have a sous vide cooker, you can use it to defrost ground beef and other meats. Set the thermostat to a low temperature of around 35°F and allow the cool water to gradually and safely defrost the meat.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    How to Defrost Ground Beef Fast?

    When you’re pressed for time, the microwave is your best bet for defrosting ground beef. For best results try to break the frozen meat into smaller chunks, which will allow it to deforest more evenly and quickly. Go ahead and use the pre-programmed defrost button, and be sure to adjust the timing based on the weight of the beef.

    How to Quickly Defrost Ground Beef in a Microwave?

    The microwave is a quick and easy way to defrost meat if you forgot to take it out of the freezer before dinner time. It’s important to note that if you use the microwave, you should be ready to cook the beef right away, since some of the meat may actually begin cooking during the defrosting process. Use your microwave’s built-in defrost feature to remove the guesswork.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    How Long to Defrost Ground Beef?

    How long it takes to defrost ground beef will depend on the weight of the weight and the method you’re using to defrost. For a 1 pound package of ground beef, it takes about 24 hours in the refrigerator, while using a microwave will take about 3 minutes. When defrosting ground beef in a bowl of water, you will need about 90 minutes.

    How to Thaw Hamburger Meat?

    Hamburger meat can be thawed using the same methods used to defrost ground beef. You can use the refrigerator, sous vide, microwave or a bowl of cold water.

    Ground Beef Temperature

    Ground beef should be stored at freezing temperatures and ideally no higher than 40°F. For safe, fully cooked meat, ground beef needs to reach a temperature of 160°F.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    How to Cook Frozen Ground Beef Directly in an Instant Pot?

    When using an Instant Pot, you can cook ground beef without any prior thawing, making it a convenient option for busy weeknights. Add a cup of water to the Instant Pot and assemble the trivet or steamer insert. Add the frozen beef, close the lid and cook on high pressure for about 20 minutes. Allow an additional five minutes for the pressure to release naturally. If the meat is not fully cooked, discard the liquid from the pot and wipe the pot clean. Add some oil and use the sauté function to cook the beef until browned.

    How Long Does Ground Beef Last in the Fridge?

    If you have leftover ground beef, be sure to package and refrigerate it as soon as it’s cooled. Cooked ground beef can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, making it an ideal option for meal prep and large families.

    Can you defrost frozen cooked meat in the microwave? Why You Shouldn’t Defrost Meat in the Microwave
    The USDA says that thawing in the microwave is safe, but because it can quickly bring meat into the “danger zone” where bacteria multiply most rapidly, meat defrosted that way should be cooked immediately as soon as it’s thawed.

    How do you defrost cooked food in the microwave? To thaw out food in the microwave, remove the food from any store wrapping (foam trays or plastic wrap) that may release chemicals into food. Thaw on low heat for 6 to 8 minutes per pound of food. Once the food is defrosted, you can reheat it on high heat.

    How do you defrost precooked meat? Place the frozen cooked beef on the lowest shelf in the refrigerator. Segregating the beef from other foods prevents cross contamination. Allow approximately 30 minutes of defrosting time for every pound of frozen cooked beef. Cooked beef has less moisture than raw beef, which leads to shorter thawing time.

    How do you defrost something that is already cooked? It is recommended that you defrost ready-cooked foods in the fridge overnight or use the ‘defrost’ setting on a microwave. When freezing cooked food, freeze it in smaller portions to reduce the amount of time it will take to thaw. Defrost cooked foods separately from raw meat to reduce the risk of contamination.

    Can you defrost frozen cooked meat in the microwave? – Related Questions

    Is it safe to defrost cooked meat in the microwave?

    Yes, it is safe to thaw meat and poultry in a microwave oven. When microwave-thawing meat and poultry, plan to cook it immediately because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook. Foods thawed in the microwave may be refrozen after they are cooked.

    Can you microwave food from frozen?

    As food is defrosting in the microwave, the edges of the food may begin to warm or slightly cook while the inside of the food remains frozen. It is not safe to thaw food in the microwave and then put it in the refrigerator or a cooler to cook or grill later. Always cook microwave defrosted food immediately.

    Can you refreeze cooked meat that was previously frozen?

    You can cook frozen meat and fish once defrosted, and then refreeze them. You can refreeze cooked meat and fish once, as long as they have been cooled before going into the freezer. If in doubt, do not refreeze.

    Can you eat frozen cooked meat without reheating?

    It’s safer than eating cooked meat than has been stored in the refrigerator. More bacteria grows in the refrigerator than the freezer. You can eat it without any food safety concern with proper defrosting/thawing of course.

    Do you have to defrost cooked meat before reheating?

    Make sure they’re thoroughly defrosted before heating, by leaving them in the fridge or using a microwave. Reheat food until piping hot throughout.

    How do you unfreeze meat?

    The absolute best way to thaw frozen meats is by leaving it in the fridge until it’s completely thawed. If you’re crunched for time, take the meat out of it’s package, put it on a plate, and place it under cool RUNNING water.

    Can you reheat cooked chicken from frozen?

    The general rule is – one reheat after cooking. So the fact that you thawed it before cooking is not relevant. You can cook it and eat it, cook it and freeze it again or cook it, let it cool then reheat it. One you’ve reheated it once, you shouldn’t reheat it a second time – that CAN lead to food poisoning.

    Can you reheat stock from frozen?

    Once the stock has finished its cooking time it should be strained immediately. The stock can also be frozen for up to 3 months for later use, but again it is safest to reheat it only once after thawing.

    What meat can you defrost in a microwave?

    Press the defrost button on your microwave. If you don’t have a defrost button, set your microwave to cook at 20-30 percent of its full power. Set the cooking timer. Keep in mind that most meats, such as chicken, beef or pork must defrost for 8 – 10 minutes per pound.

    How do you defrost meat without a microwave?

    The Cold Water Method (One Hour)

    This is the best way to quickly and properly defrost meat without a microwave. Place your frozen cut of meat in a resealable plastic bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Fill a large bowl with cold water and submerge the bag in the water.

    How do I cook frozen food?

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the food from the packaging and put it in an oven-safe container. Cover the container with foil so the food doesn’t dry out. Once the oven is up to temperature, bake for about 30 minutes or until the bowl reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

    Is it bad to defrost chicken in the microwave?

    Why You Shouldn’t Defrost Meat in the Microwave

    The USDA says that thawing in the microwave is safe, but because it can quickly bring meat into the “danger zone” where bacteria multiply most rapidly, meat defrosted that way should be cooked immediately as soon as it’s thawed.

    Why can t you freeze meat twice?

    The effects of thawing and refreezing meat. Refreezing meat can be done safely, but the quality of the meat may be affected. For example, freezing and thawing meat more than one time might cause color and odor changes, moisture loss, and increased oxidation of its fat and protein ( 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 ).

    What is the only acceptable way to thaw food products?

    When thawing frozen food, it’s best to plan ahead and thaw in the refrigerator where it will remain at a safe, constant temperature — at 40 °F or below. There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave.

    Is it safe to eat frozen food that has thawed and refrozen?

    You can safely refreeze frozen food that has thawed—raw or cooked, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing. To safely refreeze, the thawed product must have been kept cold at 40 degrees or below for no more than 3-4 days.

    Can you eat frozen meat without cooking?

    of Agriculture (USDA) advises: Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods.

    Can you cook pre cooked frozen chicken?

    According to the USDA, yes, you can safely cook your frozen chicken, as long as you follow a couple general guidelines. In order to skip the thawing step and turn your frozen chicken into a fully-cooked, safe-to-eat dinner, use your oven or stove top and simply increase your cooking time by at least 50%.

    Can you eat frozen food without cooking?

    Although frozen products might appear to be precooked or browned, they should be handled and prepared no differently than raw products and must be cooked. Even if you are preparing a cold salad, frozen produce must be cooked first. Check that frozen food in your freezer has not been recalled.

    Can you cook cooked meat from frozen?

    Yes! It is perfectly safe to cook meats from frozen. Cooking time will be approximately 50% longer than the recommended time for fully thawed or fresh meat and poultry. For more information on thawing, visit the USDA website.

    Does meat thaw faster in cold water?

    Thawing in cold water, 40 degrees or below, is safe and much faster — water transfers heat far more efficiently than air — but it can still take hours. All you need is hot water.

    What meat can you cook from frozen?

    A: Yes. It is perfectly safe to cook beef from frozen. As well as frozen steak, other beef cuts and joints. Whole cuts of meat, such as steaks and joints, only ever have bacteria on the outside surface of the meat.

    There is a microwave oven in just about every household. It has become a precious commodity around the world. You can do so many things in a microwave, such as cooking and reheating food! You can even fix cooking mistakes with a microwave! It seriously is a multitasking machine of amazingness! One of the things that a microwave can also do is help you when you’ve forgotten to thaw your meat the night before. That’s right! If you ever forget to thaw out meat in time to cook it, you can have peace of mind knowing that your microwave can save the day! Microwaves are made with a defrost button. This defrost button was designed to do exactly what it says. It defrosts frozen items! You can defrost different kinds of foods, including different kinds of raw meat! Do you want to know how to defrost meat in microwave ovens? Just use the defrost button! It is very easy, but let’s learn about safe and unsafe defrost methods first.

    Dangerous Ways to Defrost Your Meat

    It is very important to know the proper ways to defrost meat and how some ways can be dangerous. First of all, meat can go into something called a “danger zone.” This is when the meat falls within a range of temperature that promotes bacterial growth. This bacterial growth can make the meat toxic and make you sick when you eat it. The key to proper defrosting is to avoid the meat going into the danger zone. Let’s learn what methods forces meat into the danger zone that makes it an unsafe method to defrost.

    Don’t ever defrost your meat in hot water. It might sound like a great idea to thaw out your meat in a bowl of hot water to speed up the process; unfortunately, this is a foolproof method of making your meat toxic by putting it in a danger zone. The other unsafe method, that many people are tempted to do, is sitting your meat on your countertop at room temperature. If you need to cook the meat that evening, you might be tempted to sit it on top of your kitchen counter and let it slowly thaw out throughout the day. As easy and simple as this sounds, it too can put meat in the danger zone. You definitely don’t want to spoil your meat from unsafe defrost methods; so learn the many different safe ways that meat can be defrosted.

    Safe Ways to Defrost Your Meat

    There are several different ways to safely thaw out your meat without it going through the danger zone. It’s easy to keep your meat from encouraging bacterial growth, and one of those methods requires water. It is not using hot water though; because we’ve learned this method is dangerous. One of the ways you can thaw your meat using water is by placing it in a bowl of cold water. Hot water spikes the meat temperature into the danger zone, but cold water doesn’t. It keeps the meat in safe temperatures, while it also begins the thawing out process. It takes longer than hot water would, but that’s the point. It needs to slowly thaw to be safe. Make sure to never thaw your meat in hot water, but remember cold water is safe.

    The other safe and very popular method of defrosting your meat is simply sitting it in the fridge overnight. You just take the meat out of the freezer and sit it in the fridge. This gives the meat time to thaw out slowly and in safe temperatures. It won’t put the meat through the danger zone, and it will be ready to be cooked the next day. You plan ahead what you’re going to cook so that you get the meat ready to thaw out in the fridge the night before. Life happens! I know that things happen, and you might forget to thaw the meat overnight. That’s okay! Because the other popular method of thawing out meat is using that amazing little defrost button on your microwave.

    How Does Microwave Defrost Work and How to Use It

    The microwave defrost setting is a very popular way of defrosting your meat. You might be wondering how to defrost meat in microwave ovens without cooking the meat on the outside? Well, the way it works is that the defrost setting puts the microwave at a lower power. It is usually around 30%-50% of the full power. The lower power setting helps to start thawing out the center of the meat without cooking the outside. The microwave defrosts it for as many minutes as the meat’s weight; which is why it usually requests for you to input the weight of the meat when you go to defrost.

    If you want to thaw out meat in the microwave, you simply place the meat on a microwave-safe plate, sit it in the microwave, push the defrost button, input the weight of the meat, and hit start. Easy peasy! It’ll be thawed out and ready to cook with a few minutes. If you have an older microwave, and it doesn’t have a defrost button; you can still thaw out your meat in it. All you need to do is set the power setting of your microwave between 30% and 50%. Then microwave it for 8-10 minutes for each pound of meat you have. That is it! Microwaving meat to defrost is super easy! The only contingency to defrosting your meat in the microwave is that you have to cook it immediately!

    No More Stressing About Frozen Meat

    Now that you know how to defrost meat in microwave ovens, you no longer have to stress about your meat still being frozen when you go to cook it. Having to cook all the time, serve yourself and/or your family, washing dishes, and cleaning up is enough to worry about. Who can remember every single thing that needs to be done in a day anyway? If you don’t want to thaw your meat in the fridge overnight or if you forget to, you can just pop it in the microwave to defrost it. Microwaves continue to be essential in the family. You can reheat and cook in them, and now you know that you can defrost frozen meat in them as well! There are endless possibilities for microwaves these days. They’ve even started making microwaves that work like convection ovens as well. It is amazing! The next time you need to make you and your family a meal, remember that your microwave is indeed your friend.

    Defrosting meat can be done safely and easily with one of these four methods: refrigerator thaw, cold-water, microwave or cook meat frozen. When you need to get dinner on the table quickly, you need the fastest way to thaw meat.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Let’s talk about defrosting meat. This isn’t a very glamorous topic, but it’s an essential nuts-and-bolts topic that every home cook needs to know. If you’ve ever had questions like how to defrost ground beef, how to thaw steak fast, or can you thaw and re-freeze meat, this post is for you.

    One of the big benefits of buying beef in bulk from a farmer is having a freezer stocked with ground beef, well marbled steaks, and roasts. If you know how to thaw and defrost meat quickly, it makes it even easier to throw together a quick weeknight meal. However, when you do purchase farm-fresh beef, it is usually frozen due to USDA safety guidelines. That means you’ll need to thaw it.

    How to defrost meat safely:

    Please note, all of these recommendations come from the USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Services.

    #1. Refrigerator thawing (the best method)

    Refrigerator thawing is our go-to method for defrosting meat. It does require a little advance planning, but it’s the safest way to thaw. Plus, if you change your mind about cooking the thawed meat, it is safe to rethaw with this method (note: it’s not safe to rethaw with any other defrosting method)

    With refrigerator thawin, you simple place the beef in the refrigerator until it’s thawed. Be sure to place the package on a plate to catch any drippings or juice that sneaks out as the meat defrosts.

    As you would expect, the amount of time it takes to thaw in the refrigerator is dependent upon the refrigerator’s temperature. Food will thaw faster in a refrigerator set a 40 °F, compared to 35 °F.

    Smaller cuts like a pound of hamburger or steak will take about 8-9 hours to thaw in a refrigerator. Larger items like roast and brisket will take a full 24 hours, maye longer.

    #2. Cold-water thawing

    This is our second favorite method of thawing beef. We use cold-water thawing whenever we haven’t planned ahead and don’t have time to do refrigerator thawing. Thankfully, cold-water thawing is very easy to do.

    Simply, place cold water in a bowl or pan and submerge your beef in the water until it’s thawed. Make sure the water is cold, not hot.

    In order to make sure the water stays cold while the beef is thawing, you can place the bowl under a faucet and let cold water trickle on it as it thaws.

    If you don’t like the idea of leaving your facuet on, you can also change the the cold water bath every 30 minutes so that the water remains cold and the meat keeps thawing.

    Make sure that the water stays cold. You don’t want to thaw beef in warm water. Although it would thaw faster in warm water, it also makes it more likely to get bacteria on the outer layer of beef.

    One pound of beef will take about one hour to defrost in a bowl of water, then it should be cooked right away.

    You should not refreeze meat that has been thawed using the cold-water method.

    #3. Microwave thawing

    This is our least favorite method since the beef usually starts to cook a little while you’re trying to thaw it. Only use this method if it’s a must.

    That said, thawing with a microwave does get points for being the fastest method. Simply press the defrost button and monitor your meat closely so that it doesn’t start to cook.

    Also, make sure you plan to cook the beef immediately after microwaving for food safety reasons. Unlike the refrigerator thawing method, you cannot refreeze meat that has been thawed in a microwave.

    #4. Cook it frozen

    Yes, you can cook frozen meat! You’ll love the results. We do it all the time with just about every cut of beef.

    In fact, some studies show that grilling steaks from frozen can be even better than traditional cooking methods.

    The biggest thing to remember if you do this is that the cooking time will take approximately 50% longer.

    Since the timing will be different than what you’re used to, be sure to closely monitor the temperature with an instant read thermometer so that you don’t overcook or undercook the meat.

    Is it ok to leave meat out to defrost?

    No! It is not safe to thaw meat on the counter. Do not thaw meat at room temperature.

    According to the USDA, “perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter, or in hot water and must not be left at room temperature for more than two hours.

    Even though the center of the package may still be frozen as it thaws on the counter, the outer layer of the food could be in the “Danger Zone, between 40 and 140 °F — temperatures where bacteria multiply rapidly.”

    Can defrosted meat be refrozen?

    Did you change your mind on what you’re having for dinner, and you want to refreeze the meat? You can only refreeze the meat if you used the regrigerator thawing method, and it’s important to note you may loose some of the meat’s quality.

    All other methods, you should cook the beef before refreezing to ensure that harmful bacteria doesn’t occur. , depending on how you thawed the meat.

    Why is it bad to thaw and refreeze meat?

    Although you can refreeze meat after you’ve thawed it in a refrigerator, there are two reasons it’s not ideal.

    First, have you ever noticed that frozen foods don’t taste quite as good as their fresh counterpart? That’s because freezing ruptures some of the cell walls, which leaches out moisture and slightly changes the product.

    Second, freezing and thawing foods has a lot of government safety guidelines (for restaurants and any industry dealing with food) because of harmful bacteria. In short, whenever food goes between frozen to thawed, it passes through the USDA and FSIS’s “Danger Zone,” between 40 and 140 °F.

    A cook’s overall goal is to reduce the amount of time spent in the Danger Zone AND minimize the number of times food passes through this danger zone so that there’s less chance for bacteria to develop. When you thaw and refreeze, or reheat and cool, food repeatedly, the food moves through the danger zone multiple times, which can lead to harmful bacteria.

    One more thing!

    Did you know we have an entire ebook about beef that goes through purchasing and preparing beef from a farmers perspective. Get it here.

    If you’d like to keep up with our farm, we have a weekly e-newsletter where we share about farm happenings, beef recipes, and when our next beef will be available to order. When you sign up, you’ll get a cheat sheet with 9-must-ask questions before buying beef directly from a farmer.

    Yes. Using your microwave to defrost food is safe, but you must cook the food immediately after it’s done defrosting. … Also, don’t microwave defrost any food that has already been sitting out of the freezer for more than 20 minutes. Instead, slowly defrost it in the fridge or in a bowl of cold water.

    How do you defrost cooked meat?

    Place the frozen cooked beef on the lowest shelf in the refrigerator. Segregating the beef from other foods prevents cross contamination. Allow approximately 30 minutes of defrosting time for every pound of frozen cooked beef. Cooked beef has less moisture than raw beef, which leads to shorter thawing time.

    Can you defrost frozen cooked meat in the microwave?

    Yes, it is safe to thaw meat and poultry in a microwave oven. When microwave-thawing meat and poultry, plan to cook it immediately because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook. … Foods thawed in the microwave may be refrozen after they are cooked.

    How do you defrost something that is already cooked?

    It is recommended that you defrost ready-cooked foods in the fridge overnight or use the ‘defrost’ setting on a microwave. When freezing cooked food, freeze it in smaller portions to reduce the amount of time it will take to thaw. Defrost cooked foods separately from raw meat to reduce the risk of contamination.

    Does defrosting meat in the microwave make it tough?

    Microwave ovens have a tough time thawing evenly, even at reduced power levels, so quickly repositioning the food makes a big difference. For raw meat, you want it to be thawed but still cold throughout. If only a small portion is still icy, stop thawing and start cooking.

    Can you defrost cooked meat in the oven?

    And finally, Meatsafety.org declares: “It is safe to cook frozen meat or poultry in the oven, on the stove, or grill without defrosting it first; the cooking time may be about 50 percent longer.

    Do you have to defrost cooked meat before reheating?

    Make sure they’re thoroughly defrosted before heating, by leaving them in the fridge or using a microwave. Reheat food until piping hot throughout.

    How do you reheat frozen cooked meat?

    To reheat frozen meat, do so in a 350F degree oven, covered so it doesn’t dry out. Insert a knife into the thickest part of the meat and if it’s hot to the touch you’ll know the inside is too. Freeze meat right in its marinade and let it soak up the flavour as it defrosts.

    Most microwave ovens have an Auto (sometimes called Weight) Defrost feature. Auto Defrost or Weight Defrost is a quick and easy way to defrost foods. You can use Auto Defrost or Weight Defrost for meat, poultry and fish up to 6 pounds in weight. Auto Defrost or Weight Defrost automatically sets the defrosting times and power levels to give even defrosting results for meats, poultry and fish.

    Depending upon the age and design of the microwave, there are several different ways to set up the Auto Defrost or Weight Defrost feature. See the Owner’s Manual for model specific instructions for using this feature on your microwave.

    Some models with Auto Defrost will allow you to select the type and weight of the item to be defrosted.

    The following steps are typical of this type of Auto Defrost:

    Touch the AUTO DEFROST pad.

    Enter the proper code (one for meat, two for poultry or three for seafood).

    Enter the weight ( .1 pounds to 6 pounds) per the weight listed on the food’s packaging.

    Press the START/PAUSE pad.

    The oven will signal as a reminder to turn or stir the food midway through the cycle. After turning or stirring the food, close the door and press the START/PAUSE pad again.

    Some models with Weight Defrost only have you enter the weight of the item to be defrosted.

    The following steps are typical of this type of Weight Defrost:

    Touch the WEIGHT DEFROST pad.

    Enter the food weight per the weight listed on the food’s packaging. Some models have you enter the weight in pounds and other models have a conversion chart that have you enter the weight in pounds and ounces.

    Press the START/PAUSE pad.

    There are also some older models that use six different codes for the Auto Defrost function. As mentioned, you should check the Owner’s Manual for your specific model for instructions on using the Auto Defrost or Weight Defrost feature.

    The Auto or Weight Defrost feature is a great way to defrost meat, poultry or fish quickly so you can then prepare it for a meal.

    Do you need advices on how to use or maintain your appliances? Are you looking for a tip for choosing the best product according to your needs? Write to us and we will answer your questions.

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    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Freezing and defrosting meat

    The Covid-19 pandemic has changed lots of our habits, and grocery shopping is no exception. In order to avoid stores and to shop less frequently, we now tend to stockpile meat, and the freezer has become our best friend in the kitchen. This is why it’s important to know how to defrost food items at best and safely in a microwave, another kitchen must-have.

    Keep reading to discover more.

    Defrost function

    Pork chops, hamburger, chicken legs, veal roast. All types of meat can be easily frozen, but what about the defrosting process? It is as easy and quick as putting something in the freezer: just follow our suggestions. First of all, make sure that your microwave comes with the Defrost function: usually, you can find the defrost symbol (a snowflake or a snowflake with a drop) on the control panel. Then, take your piece of meat out of the freezer and place it in a microwave-safe container. After that, set the dedicated settings. Candy microwaves, for example, let you choose between two options:

    • Defrosting by weight. Select the weight of your produce (from 100 g to 2 kg) and the appropriate defrosting is automatically set;
    • Defrosting by time. You can choose the defrosting time from 10 up to 95 min.

    Steam defrosting

    Have you ever tried to steam defrost your meat? If not, you should.

    Thanks to the steam accessory suitable for microwaves, you can get amazing defrosting results. In fact, this process guarantees a very uniform thawing, as well as the preservation of your meat nutrients.

    Here are the detailed instructions to defrost meat at best with the Candy microwaves:

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    *Results tested with Candy COOKinAPP steam edition.

    Precious tips

    We have just learned the basics of meat microwave thawing. Here’ a roundup of useful tips that can ease and improve the defrosting process:

    • cook the meat immediately after defrosting it in the microwave;
    • refreeze microwave thawed food only after cooking it.;
    • use only containers, lids and wraps that are clearly marked as microwave-safe;
    • before defrosting, remove the food from unsafe packaging, such as polystyrene trays, plastic wraps that touch the food, and freezer carton boxes.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    Although defrosting meat in the refrigerator is the preferred and safest method, if your stew beef is frozen and you are in a hurry to use it, you can use the microwave to defrost your meat. Stew beef chunks have the advantage of being easier and faster to defrost than large, single pieces of meat and are less likely to develop overcooked areas. Once you defrost the stew beef, use it immediately to prepare your favorite stew.

    Video of the Day

    Step 1

    Remove the frozen stew beef from its wrapper. You may need to briefly dip the package in cold water to loosen the frozen mass from the wrapper.

    Step 2

    Place the frozen stew beef in a microwave-safe dish and place it in the microwave. If your microwave has a special defrost shelf, insert the defrost shelf into the microwave before putting the dish on it.

    Step 3

    Press the “Defrost” button. Enter a weight amount, a defrost time or both. Each microwave is different, so consult your microwave instructions for the exact procedure. If your microwave offers a list of suggested defrost times, enter one minute less than the suggested time to make sure you do not cook the stew beef. A pound of beef may take five to seven minutes to defrost in an 1800 watt microwave oven.

    Step 4

    Pause the microwave halfway through the defrost cycle and separate the pieces of meat, turning them over and moving them around, so that each piece is evenly defrosted. Turn the dish 180 degrees if your microwave does not have a carousel. Continue defrosting until the pieces are soft but still cold. It is okay if some pieces still have a few ice crystals.

    Step 5

    Remove the stew beef from the microwave and let stand for about five minutes on the counter. Use the stew beef immediately.

    Err on the side of having slightly frozen pieces rather than partially cooked pieces. Check the meat every minute and be prepared to pull your beef out before the cycle is complete.

    Once cooked, you can freeze the stew, but do not refreeze defrosted raw meat.

    Warning

    Never defrost meat on the counter as this can lead to the growth of bacteria.

    How to defrost meat in the microwave

    I grew up quickly defrosting meat — without a microwave. In fact, I’ve almost never used a microwave to defrost meat.

    That’s because my method is often faster than a microwave and defrosts the meat more evenly.

    Nothing’s more annoying when it’s time to cook dinner than discovering your “defrosted” meat has a frozen center and cooked edges. Am I right?

    With this method, you won’t have that problem again.

    Wouldn’t fresh, never-frozen meat be better?

    There’s no way around it. I keep a freezer full of meat from grass-fed and pasture-raised animals in my garage.

    Every year, we buy a heritage breed hog from one of our friends, buy half a cow from a local rancher whose cattle are grass-fed, and buy however many pasture-raised hens we have room for.

    They’re all processed by a local butcher and stored out in our freezer.

    This is the only way to keep the meat affordable (I’m usually paying less than $3/lb for these beauties).

    So, while I’d love to have “fresh, never frozen” meat, that’s just not Real Life.

    I know I’m not alone in this.

    Don’t have a local grass-based farmer to buy bulk meat from?

    I recommend buying online from the folks at US Wellness Meats. I’ve been recommending them to readers for going on a decade now, and they’ve never failed to provide outstanding customer service and receive glowing reviews.

    They’ve got everything from grass-fed, sugar-free, nitrate-free hot dogs to pasture-raised chickens to your basic grass-fed ground beef.

    (Click here to check out US Wellness Meats!)

    Are there really only two ways to defrost meat?

    Any time I share a Facebook post about kicking your microwave to the curb, I inevitably get a comment like this one:

    “I really want to do this. But how do you defrost meat quickly without a microwave?”

    Many of my readers seem to think that defrosting is something that can only be done one of two ways:

    1. Meat is moved from the freezer to the refrigerator, where it slowly defrosts over the next 24 hours.

    2. Meat is defrosted in the microwave.

    I don’t use either method.

    That’s because option #1 requires planning ahead, and I’m really terrible at that.

    And option #2 usually defrosts unevenly (plus I hate microwaves).

    So, what’s the big trick?

    How do I defrost meat quickly?

    I use hot water.

    Perhaps you’ve heard that quickly defrosting meat this way isn’t safe. That’s simply not true.

    USDA researches have tested various methods for defrosting meat using 200 one inch thick beef steaks:

    Air-thawing in the refrigerator took 18 to 20 hours, while the room-temperature water bath thawed the steaks in about 20 minutes, and the hot-summer-day bath in 11 minutes. These water-bath times are so short that any bacterial growth would remain within safe limits.
    (source)

    Notice that the warmer the water was, the quicker the defrost time.

    In fact researchers at Utah State took it a step further, defrosting chicken breasts in 140F degree water.

    That temperature is hot enough to eventually cook the breasts to medium-rare, but if you remove them when they’re defrosted (usually within 3-5 minutes), they’ll show no signs of cooking (source).

    I usually opt for a middle ground.

    I use the hottest water available from my kitchen sink tap. In my case, that’s 118F because that’s the temperature we’ve set our hot water heater to.

    Defrosting meat quickly using hot water: step-by-step instructions.

    It’s super simple, really.

    • STEP ONE: Run kitchen tap water until it’s as hot as it can get.
    • STEP TWO: Plug the drain and fill your sink about half full with hot water.
    • STEP THREE: Submerge your frozen meat in the hot water to defrost.

    The length of defrost time will vary based on a few factors:

    1. How thick the cut of meat is. As a general rule of thumb, meat that’s an inch thick takes about 10 minutes to defrost this way. If it’s half an inch thick, it takes half that time. If it’s a couple inches thick, it takes twice that time.

    2. How the meat is packaged. If it’s got insulating layers of plastic or paper wrap around it, it will take slightly longer to defrost. If it’s at all possible, I generally remove the packaging and place the frozen meat directly in the hot water bath.

    3. The volume & movement of the water. The more hot water you have, and whether or not you occasionally stir your defrosting meat can also impact length of defrost time. That’s because the frozen meat can form a “cool spot” in the water. So if you stir the water and meat every couple minutes, you’ll help displace the cool spot and keep your meat defrosting more quickly.

    Do you ever feel guilty eating meat? Don’t!

    Did you know that your brain needs saturated fat to function? And that multiple studies show that saturated fat does not cause heart disease like we used to think?