defrost meat

The 3 best ways to defrost meat

Frozen meat is convenient for cooking and easy to store. However, if you don’t thaw the meat properly, you risk the growth of harmful bacteria on your food. First, thaw food slowly and evenly in the refrigerator. This method takes the longest but is also the safest and easiest. Alternatively, thaw frozen meat in a bowl of cold water. This method is quicker than using the refrigerator and gentler than using the microwave. Finally, to heat things up quickly, use your microwave’s “defrost” feature. Check on the food regularly to make sure you’re not accidentally cooking the thinner pieces.

Thaw meat in the refrigerator

For a slow, even defrost, choose the refrigerator.

This method is easy and safe and requires very little time in which you have to do something actively. Plus, you don’t have to worry about cooking thinner cuts of food or overheating the meat. However, food can take a long time to thaw, especially with larger cuts of meat like a turkey or roast pork. If you don’t have at least 24 hours to thaw the meat, choose a faster method.

Place the frozen meat on a plate.

Choose a large, sturdy plate big enough for all the meat. The plate prevents moisture from thawing meat from getting into the fridge. If the cut of meat is very large, such as a turkey or roast pork, place it in a large saucepan. Leave the plastic wrap on. This protects the meat from falling food or debris in your fridge.

Chill the frozen meat.

Place the plate of frozen meat in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Calculate 24 hours per 2.5 kg of meat for larger cuts of meat. After the first 24 hours, check the meat regularly to see if it’s thawed. Poke the meat through the plastic or turn it over to see if it’s fully defrosted or not. Wash your hands before and after handling frozen meat to avoid contamination.

Cook the meat or freeze it again.

Because refrigerator thawing is so gentle, you don’t have to cook the meat right away. Instead, you can refreeze it for later or cook it later. Example: Poultry, fish and minced meat can be kept in the fridge for a further day or two. Beef, pork, lamb, or veal will keep in the fridge for another three to five days.

Defrost meat with cold water

Choose the cold water method.

This allows you to defrost much faster than in the fridge. Five pounds or less of meat can be defrosted in an hour, while larger cuts can take two to three hours. Also, you don’t risk cooking thinner cuts of meat like you would in a microwave. However, once thawed, it must be cooked immediately.

Place the meat in a resealable bag.

This protects the meat from bacteria in the air or water. First, choose a large, sealable freezer bag. Next, seal the meat inside, squeezing the air out of the bag first. You don’t need to remove any plastic wrap before sealing the meat in the bag.

Submerge the bag in a bowl of cold water.

Choose a large bowl and place it in the sink. Fill the bowl with cold tap water. Then place the bag of meat in the water and submerge it completely. Leave the meat in the water until completely thawed. Pour out the water and refill with fresh cold water every 30 minutes. A pound or two of meat can be defrosted in 15 to 30 minutes. Larger cuts of meat may take 2 to 3 hours.

Cook the thawed meat immediately.

Even when the meat was submerged in cold water, it was exposed to warmer temperatures. Therefore, the meat must be cooked immediately after defrosting. If you want to refreeze it, you have to cook it first.

Defrost meat in the microwave

Use the microwave for quick defrosting.

This method works best with smaller, evenly cut pieces of meat. The microwave defrosts the meat in a few minutes. However, with this method, the meat can become partially cooked or tough, affecting the quality of the dish. Defrosted meat must be cooked immediately after defrosting. If you can’t cook it right away, wait to defrost it until you need it.

Unwrap the meat and place it on a plate.

First, remove the plastic packaging. This packaging holds in moisture that “cooks” the outside of the meat. Next, place the meat on a large, microwave-safe plate. If they are thinner cuts of meat, place them in the center of the plate so they don’t cook in the microwave. Microwave-safe plates include ceramic and glass plates that do not have metal hardware or embellishments. Sometimes the frozen meat is on a styrofoam sheet. This is not microwave safe and should be discarded.

Microwave the meat.

Microwave ovens are a little different. However, most cookers have a special “defrost” feature. Then you have to enter the weight of the meat in the microwave. This determines how long it takes to defrost the meat. Read the user manual before using the “Defrost” function.

Check regularly for “hot spots” on the meat.

Stop the microwave every minute and check the meat. Gently touch the sides to see if they are warm. If so, allow the meat to cool for a minute before continuing to defrost. Once the thawing is complete, remove the meat from the microwave. Remove the plate from the microwave with a towel to avoid burning yourself. Wash your hands before and after handling raw meat to avoid contamination.

Cook the meat immediately.

When you defrost meat in the microwave, you expose the meat to warm temperatures that encourage bacterial growth. Therefore, the meat must be cooked promptly to avoid contamination. If you want to refreeze the meat, you need to cook it first.


Don’t thaw meat by leaving it outside or putting it in the oven. These methods encourage the growth of harmful bacteria.

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About the Author

Edison Greenwood

Edison Greenwood is a Outreach Editor for Freepromohub. He has worked for years in SEO and Digital Marketing and has a long history in e-commerce industry. When not writing he teaches yoga, editing videos, and DIY furnitures.