There are a few reasons you might be using frozen meat. Maybe you found a great buy one get one sale at your local grocery store, or perhaps you buy your meat directly from the farmer or from a co-op. Often directly-sourced meats are frozen as a safety precaution.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to learn about the best ways to prepare the meat to ensure a quality outcome. One YouTuber, Adam Ragusea, tested out four different methods for thawing out meat. Check out his YouTube channel for more fun, in-depth videos all about food and food preparation!
Let’s take a closer look at the four different methods used. The first method was putting the meat in the fridge. While this is a perfectly good method that will result in a delicious steak (or whatever meal you are cooking), the downside is that it takes forever. The steak used in the example took 13 hours to thaw! If you are using a larger cut of meat, it could take days.
Next up, leaving the meat on the counter. The key to this method is to use an aluminum pan. Why? Because the metal conducts heat, and aluminum is very good at conducting heat! However, it’s not great at keeping the heat. This actually makes it perfect for thawing out meat. This method took two hours for the steak to thaw, so it’s still pretty time-consuming.
The other issue people have with this method is bacteria forming on the surface. Depending on how you are preparing your meal, this isn’t a concern. For example, if you’re searing the meat, all of that potential bacteria will burn right off.
The next method was microwaving the steak. I have been guilty of thawing out meat this way, despite my results being less than stellar. However, it’s quick and convenient, which is basically the tagline for all things microwave. As expected, the microwave ended up cooking the outer edges of the steak while leaving the middle cold. Needless to say, this is not a good option.
The final option is to thaw the steak (or other meat) in a bowl of cold water. It takes about twenty minutes, it doesn’t cook the meat, and there’s no risk of bacteria forming! Why does this work so well? Heat is transferred when a hot particle comes into contact with a cooler particle, thus transferring the heat. Water has a ton of particles to get the job done! To speed things up even more, you can set the bowl in the sink and let a little trickle of water from the tap drip into the bowl. Once the water particles are moving, they create more heat to transfer.