We have often discussed how frozen beef is abused on the supply side and demonized on the customer side. But let's assume you got ahold of some freshly frozen protein such as the one we sell, which comes vaccum sealed. There are proper ways to defrost meat without ruining it and we're going to show you how.
How To Properly Thaw Meat?
In an ideal world, you want to freeze quickly and thaw as slowly as possible. So the BEST way to thaw out meat is by leaving it on your refrigerator at a temperature of 40 °F or less. Most steaks and roasts will thaw out in a few hours, but a big roast such as a whole prime rib or a suckling pig or Turkey can take as long as 3 days. A good rule of thumb is, it will take a day for every 6 lbs.
Being closer to 40 °F is better. Your home refrigerator will usually be set at around 36 °F so either increase the temperature or place it close to the door. Note that some areas of the refrigerator are cooler than others. In this instance, you want to place your protein in the least cold area.
Foods thawed out in the refrigerator, which are properly vacuum sealed may be re-frozen. In fact, is it very unlikely you will even notice a change in quality.
How To Defrost Meat Fast?
What happens if you don't have the time to thaw your meat overnight (or you forget) and you need it for your next meal?
The most common reaction is to leave the meat outside at room temperature while you do something else. You may even think leaving a frozen hunk of meat thawing out in the sun is a good idea. But NO, this is NOT a good idea.
You are better off just placing the vacuum sealed protein in a bowl of cold water, or even better, under running cold water from your sink.
The bag should be submerged in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes so it continues to thaw. Small packages of meat, poultry or seafood — about a pound — may thaw in an hour or less. A 3-to 4-pound package may take 2 to 3 hours. For whole turkeys, estimate about 30 minutes per pound. If thawed completely, the food must be cooked immediately.
Foods thawed by the cold water method should be cooked before refreezing.
Can You Defrost Meat In The Microwave?
No. Just don't. While the USDA deems it safe, this is a good way of destroying a good steak. First off, to thaw in the microwave you will need to remove it from the vacuum seal. Next up, the microwave.... well, they're microwaves (!), meaning it will defrost your steak by cooking it.
Moreover, by thawing the steak in the microwave it will be thawed out in the so-called "danger zone" temp, which is anywhere between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit which will allow for contamination and exposure to bacteria.
So while you technically can defrost meat in the microwave, do you really want your amazing Meat N' Bone steak to be partially cooked and potentially bacteria-ridden? No. No you do not.
So stick to the tried and true "cold water" method or plan ahead!