Quite often, we return very tired from the office and just pull out dinner from the freezer. Let this frozen dinner thaw at the kitchen counter until we catch up with the family or take a quick nap. But, it is not a very safe way to thaw the food because as soon as the harmful bacteria, who are staying dormant at low temperatures, experience a warmer temperature, they start to multiply.
So, when thawing the food properly, be cautious not to expose it to temperatures at which bacteria can breed comfortably. Here are the safest ways to thaw frozen foods.
If you can plan correctly, thawing foods in the refrigerator is a great way to unfreeze it. It is a very time-consuming method, and some foods can even take up to a day to thaw. But, it is also a very convenient and safe way, as practically no efforts are needed to unfreeze food with this method. And, even if you have a change of plans, you can let the food stay safely inside the refrigerator without worrying about its spoilage.
Place sealed frozen packs of food in a large container containing cold water. This is a tedious method as you will have to change the water every 30 minutes until the food gets wholly defrosted.
Thawing the food in a microwave may result in uneven patches of unfrozen food, which can even trigger bacterial growth. Use this method to unfreeze only if you are positive to cook it then eventually. Food also starts to get cooked when you microwave it for thawing purpose. Berries and frozen fruits can be thawed using microwave to serve them immediately.
A few foods can be thawed using this method, including breads, fruits, and pastries, but it takes two to four hours to do so. Never try to thaw fish, meat, and vegetables using this method.
Placing frozen food under cold, runny water can be used as a medium to thaw only meats. Try not to attempt thawing any other food with this method.
Best way to safely thaw the meat
Keeping the frozen meats in the refrigerator until it is completely thawed is the best way to thaw meats. By doing this, you prevent the meat from reaching a temperature range where bacteria can grow freely, which is between 41 to 135 degrees F. This method also helps the meat to reabsorb ice crystals formed between the fibers, giving it a more delicate texture upon cooking.
Alternatively, you can also try out this method to thaw the meat.
Unwrap the frozen meat and then place it in a large bowl. Fill the container with lukewarm or tepid water, around 105 degrees F in temperature. Place this bowl in the sink and under a faucet, which is dripping slightly cold water. This way, the water around meat will be at a constant temperature, and it speeds up the thawing while keeping the bacterial count to a minimum. Leave the meat this way for 20 minutes or longer until it is completely thawed, but no longer than four hours. Lastly, clean your sink thoroughly after the work is done.