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TIP OF THE DAY: Thawing Meat


Grilling favorites: Defrost them correctly
for the juciest results. Photo courtesy
Allen Brothers.

  May is National Barbecue Month. Millions of Americans are firing up the grill to cook burgers, steaks, franks, chicken, kebabs and other favorites.

Many of us purchase meat in advance and freeze it. There are different meat thawing techniques: on the counter at room temperature, under running water and in the microwave.

But the best and safest way to thaw meat is in the fridge. Cuts for the grill will thaw in 24 hours or less (a general guideline is 5-6 hours per pound).

Slow thawing:

  • Allows the meat to retain all of its natural juices, which are essential for the best flavor.
  • Prevents the growth of bacteria, which multiply during quick temperature changes and at room temperature (more about this below).
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    How To Thaw Meat
    Take the meat from the freezer, keep it in its wrapping and place it in a baking dish for the thawing process. You could use a plate, but a dish will catch raw meat juices that can drip on (and contaminate) other foods. Rinse the meat under cold water and pat dry before seasoning and cooking.

    Food Safety
    Bacteria grow most rapidly in the “Danger Zone,” the range of temperatures between 40°F and 140°F. They can double in number in as few as 20 minutes.

    That’s why the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline advises us never to leave food out of refrigeration for more than two hours. If the temperature is above 90°F, food should not be left out for more than one hour.

    If you have specific questions, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1.888.MPHotline (1.888.674.6854), or email mphotline.fsis@usda.gov.

    Also from the USDA: How Temperature Affects Food.

    More ways to celebrate National Barbecue Month.

    Our favorite barbecue sauce is sold on TheNibbleGourmetMarket.com: Grandville’s—so thick it’s called a “barbecue jam” instead of a barbecue sauce.

    It’s a great gift for Father’s Day, in either a two-pack or all six flavors.

    Use promo code DAD2011 to get a 10% discount at checkout.

      




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