How To Thaw Frozen Meats Properly

We’ve all been there before – you come home from work and realize that you forgot to take the package of beef or chicken from your freezer to defrost in your refrigerator. What’s a chef in online cooking classes to do?

The United States Department of Agriculture gave three great cooking tips for getting meat down to the right temperature safely and effectively:

Cold water works
Don’t use hot or warm water when you’re defrosting, as the heat will start cooking your meat and result in an overcooked meal. Simply submerge the package in cold water, and change the water every half hour so that it continues to thaw.

Microwave defrosting
Make sure that if you choose this method, you are cooking the meat immediately afterward, as meat can stay in the “danger zone” – between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit – which is a breeding ground for bacteria. Most modern microwaves come equipped with a defrost setting that can have your meat ready to cook in minutes.

Cook from a frozen state
If you really don’t have the time to defrost at all, you can always cook meat from a frozen state safely. Just keep in mind that cooking times will be 50 percent longer than those for fresh meat.

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