Study Reveals Quicker Method for Thawing Frozen Meat
We've got good news for last-minute cooks -- there's a new way to thaw frozen meat that A) will save you valuable time and B) won't destroy your meat.
Until now, your options for thawing and defrosting have been relatively limited. Because most busy cooks don't have the foresight to defrost meat in the refrigerator 24 hours in advance, it's not uncommon to arrive home from work and realize dinner is frozen hard as a rock. Until now, the only options have been to:
1. Thaw meat in cold water (40 degrees Fahrenheit or below), which can take hours. Or ...
2. Toss it in the microwave and "nuke" it, basically destroying the meat before you even give it a chance.
But now, Harold McGee has flagged a new study that suggests you thaw frozen meat in a hot water bath. The method claims to be fast and easy, and it doesn't compromise the quality of your meat. And better yet, this new method can defrost a steak in as little as 10 minutes.
Though this method hasn't officially been approved, it comes from a study sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, and has been published in the Journal of Food Science and in Food Control.
As part of this study, scientists in a U.S.D.A. test lab thawed more than 200 one-inch-thick beef strip loin steaks three ways, finding the following results:
|37- to 40-degree F refrigerator||18 to 20 hours|
|Circulating water bath, 68 degrees F||20 minutes|
|Hot water bath||11 minutes|
Cooks worried about meat sitting in the forbidden temperature "danger zone" needn't be worried. The danger zone rules state that food should never sit out between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit in excess of four hours, or else bacteria will begin to rapidly multiply. So clearly, the 11-minute water bath will not breed any dangerous bacteria.
An added bonus to this new method? Scientists noticed that the water-thawed steaks actually leaked less than the air-thawed steaks.
How do you thaw frozen meat? Let us know below!