3 Ways to Defrost Food
Defrosting food should never get warmer than 40° F before it's cooked, so leaving that hunk of frozen beef on the counter all day may not be the safest idea. Here, the three best ways to thaw things out.
In the RefrigeratorBottom line: There's no safer way to thaw any type of food, especially meat.
Bear in mind: You need to plan ahead. Allow eight hours of refrigerator time for each pound of meat.
In the MicrowaveBottom line: This method is fast. You can thaw a couple of lamb chops in less than five minutes flat.
Bear in mind: Because the defrost setting on a microwave starts the cooking process (raising temperatures to bacteria-friendly levels), it's essential that you go on to cook the food immediately.
In a Bowl of WaterBottom line: A gentler, low-tech alternative to the microwave, thawing in water is great for frozen soups and cutlets. Seal the food in a watertight bag and immerse it in a large bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes.
Bear in mind: Don't use this process for more than two hours or you'll risk bacterial growth.
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