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Old 03-30-2009, 11:59 AM
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Default Thawing meat QUESTION


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sass Muffin
Never thaw meat on the counter or let it sit out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. In the summer, reduce this time to 1 hour. Never defrost meat in hot water.

There are 3 Safe Ways To Defrost Meat:

* In the refrigerator
* In cold water
* In the microwave

Thawing in the Refrigerator-

As long as the refrigerator temperature is between 34° and 40°F, thawing in the refrigerator will be safe. Use a plate or pan under thawing meat to make sure dripping does not spill on foods, especially foods to be eaten without additional cooking.

After thawing in the refrigerator, ground meat should be used as soon as possible. Once meat has been frozen and thawed, it will deteriorate more rapidly than if it had never been frozen. Whole meat cuts (chops, roasts) will remain useable for another 3-5 days in the refrigerator before cooking.

Meat defrosted in the refrigerator can be re-frozen without cooking, although some quality may be lost. The USDA recommends that meat defrosted by other methods be cooked before refreezing.

Thawing in Cold Water-


Meat can be safely thawed in cold, not hot, water. Be sure to thaw meat in a leak-proof package or bag. Submerge the bag in cold water, changing water every 30 minutes so that is stays cold. It is important to keep the meat out of the food spoilage temperature range of 70° to 100°F.

After defrosting, refrigerate or cook promptly. Unlike meat thawed in the refrigerator, meat thawed by the cold water method should be cooked before re-freezing.

Thawing in the Microwave-

Meat can also be safely thawed in the microwave, although it may be more difficult to retain meat quality, especially if the microwave power is set too high.
Remove store wrap and foam trays before defrosting in the microwave. Thaw on low power so that microwave energy penetrates to the center of the meat. Most microwave ovens have a "thaw" setting and
may suggest an amount of time and turn schedule to prevent loss of meat quality. Meat thawed in the microwave should be cooked immediately after thawing


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Old 03-30-2009, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

That's good info Andy...:-)
Thanks for making it a thread in case it was missed.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Thank You Sass - Just wish I could spell first time.

Andy
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

i thought you werent suppose to thaw in cold water anymore?
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Quote:
Originally Posted by BamsBBQ View Post
i thought you werent suppose to thaw in cold water anymore?
Why's that Jeff?
Gosh that's the way I did it for years in a pinch (pre-veg days)--never killed us LOL

I used to take a roast or chops out of the freezer and immerse them in a sink of cold water for a few hours.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

I tried thawing some meat in a sealed bag under running cold water. I did not like the way it came out. I think using one of those aluminum "thawing plates" sitting on the counter retains the meats freshness as it thaws much better. That's my experience anyway. Fish is a different thing. I have no problem with fish that's been thawed under running water.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sass Muffin View Post
Why's that Jeff?
Gosh that's the way I did it for years in a pinch (pre-veg days)--never killed us LOL

I used to take a roast or chops out of the freezer and immerse them in a sink of cold water for a few hours.
i know i do the same thing but i thought i heard somewhere that it wasnt advisable anymore...time for some research..lol
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

I started to ask a question and was afraid, I'll do it anyway.

Here is my scenario, Suppose that you had a half chicken breast and two thighs. I make them flat and seal them in a FoodSaver bag. Then it is frozen. Now we come to the thawing.

While I understand everything that was posted above, I am not trying to start a war. I do not understand why it woul dbe wrong to plunk the whole sealed bag in a bowl of hot water. That amount of meat woul ddefrost tnough to put on a platter, season and be in th eoven in 20 minutes. Cold water would not be faster and partially thawed meat would be "out" longer. A microwave coul dpartially cook the meat or at the very least make the meat much hotter than the hot water method.

Again, I am not arguing, I am just trying t ounderstane why.

Andy

P. S. This all assume sthat the meat is cooked untill properly done and checked with a thermometer.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adillo303 View Post
I do not understand why it woul dbe wrong to plunk the whole sealed bag in a bowl of hot water.
Because bacteria love warm/moist conditions.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Would the same not be true in a microwave?
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

The reason is that you should not be taking the meat into the "window". I can't right now remember the numbers - something like between 20C and 63C. Food is not supposed to spend more than two hours in this zone - the zone of optimum bacteria growth.

The reason for cold water rather than hot water is that the cold water will probably not be in this zone and that the hot water will bring up the outside of the meat almost immediately into the zone while the frozen middle may take more than the two hours to defrost, thereby risking food poisoning.

Having said that, in your example the meat should be defrosted very quickly and this would not apply. It more applies to whole chickens & joints of meat.

Over here the official line is to defrost in the fridge.

I will say that I don't tend to, I use the microwave to defrost most of the way and then cook or leave in for about 30min/1hr before cooking of I leave the meat out overnight in a cool place and fridge it the next day.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:57 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adillo303 View Post
Would the same not be true in a microwave?
I wouldn't think so Andy.
Remember, if you nuke something, it's already beginning to partially cook from the inside out, and it's quicker too, thus lessening the chances of bacterial growth.
That's my reasoning anyway.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

I can understand what you said Mini. For a whole bird, or a larger piece of meat, averything makes perfect sense. I also agree, fridge is the way to go.

I understand the two hours in "the Zone". My problem is / was in the quick dinner scenario above, We are talking 30 minutes, tops.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

I would personally say that is OK, so long as you cook it straight away - however the official food police will not like it (not referring to anyone on this forum - rather the government regulations)
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Thank You Sass - I am just having trouble getting my mind around such a small quantity.

I don't want to get sick and I don't want to take unnecessary changes, just trying to understand.

Andy


Good discussion, this is an important subject and by getting ideas out those the rad this later and have their questions and some buts answered as well.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowhound View Post
I tried thawing some meat in a sealed bag under running cold water. I did not like the way it came out. I think using one of those aluminum "thawing plates" sitting on the counter retains the meats freshness as it thaws much better. That's my experience anyway. Fish is a different thing. I have no problem with fish that's been thawed under running water.
my mom uses those thawing plates all the time...the black ones like this one


and so far we havent been sick. she has been using it for about 15 years now.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adillo303 View Post
Thank You Sass - I am just having trouble getting my mind around such a small quantity.

I don't want to get sick and I don't want to take unnecessary changes, just trying to understand.

Andy


Good discussion, this is an important subject and by getting ideas out those the rad this later and have their questions and some buts answered as well.
I wouldn't want you to get sick either Andy.. otherwise you might need me to make a housecall. haha!!

Yep, good discussion and a very important one as well.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Some of it relates to where you get your meat from - if the supply chain is really effective, the contaimination should be less. Also the cut of meat is important, the less exposed elements the better. Steaks & joints are better than ground beef.

The important thing (according to the food safety courxe I did) is the two hour window - less is better.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Good thread with good advice. I made this one a sticky.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

I should be so lucky Sass
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Ok, I’m with Adillo and need to try a little harder to get my head around this. If you defrost in warm water, or on the counter, or leave it out too long, I understand that outer skin temps can get about 40 degrees (F) and stay there until the core is defrosted. This is the bacterial play ground.

But, bacteria is killed at 160. So if you cook the meat to 175 or above, what happens then? It’s my understanding that nearly all food pathogens are killed at 160. Mad Cow is an exception since it is a protein folding deformity and no amount of heat can change that.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

There is a two fold issue, one is ensuring that the food is cooked to a high enough temp to kill the bacteria. The second is that some of these bacteria produce toxins that can cause the illness. I need to find my food saftey course booklet so I explain more accurately.

As I remember the commonest forms of food poisoning are from post cooking, either cross contamination or leaving food over the two hour window.

I will be back.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Can't find my booklet. Here are a few websites with information on.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/conditions/foodpoisoning1.shtml
http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/healthissues/foodpoisoning/abugslife/
http://www.storingandfreezing.co.uk/Defrosting-food-safely.html
Now it appears that the key issue with defrosting is knowing that the whole thing is fully defrosted. This is so that you can be sure it all cooks. Now for a joint of meat, that does mean using a meat thermometer if you are not sure and making sure the whole piece is fully cooked. ie avoiding the undercooked turkey problem.
You can have the issue of bacteria leaving toxins in uncooked meat if you leave it out too long.

Most food poisoning is down to poor food hygiene & cross contamination and leaving hot food out too long without been cooled down fully or kept hot enough.
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

About thawing trays:
http://www.elementarychef.com/those-...thawing-trays/
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Thawing meat QUESTION

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miniman View Post
The reason is that you should not be taking the meat into the "window". I can't right now remember the numbers - something like between 20C and 63C. Food is not supposed to spend more than two hours in this zone - the zone of optimum bacteria growth.

The reason for cold water rather than hot water is that the cold water will probably not be in this zone and that the hot water will bring up the outside of the meat almost immediately into the zone while the frozen middle may take more than the two hours to defrost, thereby risking food poisoning.

Having said that, in your example the meat should be defrosted very quickly and this would not apply. It more applies to whole chickens & joints of meat.

Over here the official line is to defrost in the fridge.

I will say that I don't tend to, I use the microwave to defrost most of the way and then cook or leave in for about 30min/1hr before cooking of I leave the meat out overnight in a cool place and fridge it the next day.
In terms of safety, I believe that it is best to thaw in the refrigerator as well. I do not like thawing in the microwave because it always partially cooks the meat and I do not like the change in texture.
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