Freezing meat will keep it from spoiling for up to six months past its expiration date. However, freezing meat prevents you from using it in most recipes without a lengthy defrosting process. Defrosting in the microwave will often half-cook the meat, using the refrigerator can take days, and leaving it out causes bacterial growth. Thaw raw meat in water to prevent it from spoiling and to defrost it in the shortest amount of time.
Things You'll Need
- Freezer bag or plastic wrap
- Cooking thermometer
Seal the frozen, raw meat in a freezer bag. If the freezer bag is too small, wrap the meat in at least four layers of plastic wrap to keep the water out.
Fill a sink with cool water. Check the water's temperature with a cooking thermometer. Adjust it until the temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Using water warmer than 75 degrees Fahrenheit puts the meat at risk for bacterial growth.
Place the meat in the sink and soak for 30 minutes. Drain the water from the sink and re-fill it with the same temperature of water.
Repeat the filling and draining process every 30 minutes until the meat is thawed. Never leave un-drained water in the sink for more than 30 minutes to prevent bacterial growth.
Use the meat immediately after it is defrosted.
Tips & Warnings
- If you need the meat thawed quickly, wrap it and leave it under cool, running water in the sink, flipping it every five minutes.
- "Cooking Basics for Dummies"; Bryan Miller, Marie Rama and Eve Adamson; 2011
- "The Complete Meat Cookbook"; Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly; 2001
- "Meat: A Kitchen Education"; James Peterson; 2010
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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