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The Best Way to Defrost Meat

Freezing is a great way to keep meat fresh and tasty until you are ready to eat it. But what is the best way to thaw meat and fish? Should you just put it in the fridge overnight, or run water over it? Is the microwave a viable alternative? In this article, we will guide you through some often-used methods, answer common questions, bust a myth or two, and give our recommendation on the best way to thaw frozen meat and fish.

Common ways to defrost meat

Before we reach a conclusion, let’s start by having a look at some of the most well-known defrosting methods and what they involve:

The refrigerator method:

Defrosting food in the fridge is a simple, safe, and reliable way to go. This method is not ideal if you are impatient or busy, however, as it can take a day or two for the meat or fish to thaw completely, depending on the size of the item.

The cold-water method:

Cold water, right out of the tap works great. It doesn’t matter if you’re using an expensive vacuum-packed steak or ground beef from the grocery store – it’ll work wonders. Just seal it in plastic, put your frozen item in some cold tap water, and leave it alone until it’s thawed out completely.

The microwave method:

Most microwaves come with a defrost setting which works as a quick alternative to thaw your meat. However, since microwaves heat food unevenly, it is not recommended as a good way of defrosting meat or fish.

Which method works best for thawing meat?

Many internet sources advise that the best method for defrosting meat and fish is to leave it in the fridge overnight, but experts, such as the researchers at the Food and Bioscience unit of SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden disagree. They conclude that the best way to thaw frozen meat or fish is to wrap it in plastic, preferably vacuum sealed like our Papa Earth meat and fish delivery, and put it in cold water. This will leave the meat juicier and better tasting. The explanation is simple. It is common knowledge that food should be frozen as quickly as possible, to retain quality and flavor. The same turns out to be true when it comes to thawing frozen food, too – and water is a better conductor of heat than air.  

Thawing meat ordered online

All meat and fish ordered from Papa Earth come flash frozen and individually packaged in vacuum-sealed BPA-proof bags. This means you can submerge it directly in the sink or a bowl of cold water and wait for the thawing to do its magic. If it is a larger cut, it is recommended to change the water every 30 minutes for an optimal thawing process.  

Frequently Asked Questions about defrosting meat

How long should I keep it in the water?

It depends on the size of the cut. Small packages can thaw in less than an hour, while large roasts may take up to 3 hours. The best way to tell if your meat is thawed is to feel the outside of the packaging. If it feels warm, it’s ready to be used.

Can I use hot water?

It is advisable to use cold water, as hot water could start to cook the meat and change its texture.

Why is it so important that I defrost my meat before cooking?

When you cook frozen meat, the outer parts will be overcooked by the time the inside has reached a safe temperature. The result is often an unevenly heated cut that doesn’t taste as good as fresh meat and can even be harmful to your health.

Hungry yet? Build your own meat and fish box online and start eating local.