Many of us keep meat in the freezer and thaw it overnight in the fridge when we’re ready to use it.
But how long can you keep that thawed meat before cooking it?
Here’s the scoop from AG Local, which sells pasture-raised animals from family farms.
The best way to thaw meat is overnight in the fridge. Slow thawing retains the flavor and texture and keeps bacteria from growing quickly. Bacteria grows above 40°F, which is why thawing it on the kitchen counter isn’t a good idea.
But when you don’t have that much time, here’s the tip we learned from one of THE NIBBLE’s resident chefs, who in turn learned it in school in his food safety class:
Fill a bowl with tepid water and add the unwrapped, frozen meat. Place the bowl in the sink and let slightly cool water from the faucet drip over it. The dripping water keeps the water in the bowl at a constant temperature, which speeds up thawing; and the moving water helps to deter bacteria growth on the surface of the meat.
Leave the meat under the dripping water until it is completely thawed. Approximate thawing time with this method:
You need to keep watch, though, and be sure not to leave the meat out for more than four hours to prevent bacteria growth.
Recently, we received information about a gadget called the Vortex that helps with thawing foods.
You measure the food thickness, enter the corresponding number, submerge the frozen food in a bowl of water and click “start.” The Vortex accurately predicts when the food will be thawed and alerts you when done.
It does this via thermodynamics, circulating the cold water, which thaws the foods more quickly. We haven’t tried it, but you can check it out on Kickstarter.
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