When you’re running late, and forget to pull meat out for dinner earlier in the day, thawing frozen meat in a hurry can be a hassle. According to the USDA, you can thaw meat quickly, but you need to do it properly to avoid getting sick.
One quick tip from “America’s Test Kitchen” will save you time and help keep foodborne illnesses at bay.
Simply boil water on the stove to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a kitchen thermometer or a finger test (you should only be able to keep your finger in the water for a few seconds before it gets too warm) to get the temperature right.
Turn off the heat and put frozen meat, sealed in a storage bag, into the hot water (use ziplock or other storage bags). Chicken should thaw in about 10 minutes and other meats should thaw in about 12 minutes. Meat should not be left in the water for more than 45 minutes, according to “America’s Test Kitchen.”
“We don’t recommend this method for larger roasts and whole birds because they’d have to stay in the water for too long,” Danielle DeSiato-Hallman said on “America’s Test Kitchen.”
Other safe methods for thawing your meat include refrigerator thawing, which can take several hours to a day or more; cold water thawing, which takes about three hours and requires more attention; or microwaving thawing. The USDA recommends that you immediately cook any meat you thaw in the microwave to avoid bacteria growth.
The USDA also notes that it is safe to cook food that is frozen though it may take up to 50 percent longer to cook.
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