If you're like us, you love steak, and you probably keep the freezer stocked up because it's more economical. But when cooking your prized possession, what is the best way to defrost your steaks for the best results? This post will explore How to Defrost Steak – The Best Way to Thaw Meat at Home.
There's nothing more satisfying than a big plate of juicy meat with all the fixings, and if you're hosting a barbecue this weekend, chances are you'll be grilling up some steaks. The best way to get the steaks ready for the grill is, unfortunately, long and slow in the refrigerator. The cool temperature allows the meat to gently thaw, which is better for its texture and safer because it keeps bacteria from growing.
What happens when you don't have a full day's warning and need to thaw steaks quickly because you just found out you have guests for dinner? Let's look at some quicker methods for thawing meat and what to expect.
How to Defrost Steak Quickly
1. Cold Water
A popular quick method of defrosting meat is to use a bowl of cold water. Place a single sealed steak in a bowl of cold water and let it sit to thaw. The time required will vary based on the thickness and size of the steak, thin steaks will be ready in 30 minutes, but generally, it takes 30 minutes per pound to thaw completely.
The emphasis is on the "cold water," as many of us have used lukewarm, warm, or even hot water to speed up the process. However, harmful bacteria can begin to grow as the steak warms that can deliver an unhealthy meal. Also, hot water can start to cook portions of the steak leading to discolorment and tougher texture.
This method works best with one steak or package of meat per bowl of cold water. If you require multiple steaks, plan on using multiple bowls simultaneously for uniform thawing and keeping the defrosting time to a minimum. If the steaks arrived in single vacuum-sealed packages, then you can put those in the bowls. Otherwise, place a single steak in a resealable bag, remove as much air as possible, and seal.
2. Five Minute Defrost Hack
When you're in a hurry, there is no better way to defrost your steak than this method that became popular after broadcasted by CTi, a Taiwanese cable channel. Using two metal pots, it can take only five minutes to thaw a medium-sized steak safely!
Grab two metal pots or pans, turn one pot over bottom-side up and place the frozen steak on it. Fill the other pot with water and put it on top of the steak. The resulting sandwich form of two pans with the steak in the middle will thaw the steak after 5-10 minutes, depending on thickness. The combined effect of the weight of the water and the conductivity of the metal pots on the surface of the frozen steak causes it to defrost rapidly.
The microwave should be the last resort for defrosting meat quickly as it yields inconsistent results with discoloration and undesirable texture. Today, most microwaves have automatic sensors and settings for defrosting that can help, but part of the meat will inevitably start to cook through the cycle. If this method is required, be ready to grill the meat immediately after to prevent spoilage or bacteria growth.
How to Defrost Steak Quickly - What NOT To Do!
When thawing steak at home, the worst method is probably the one most used because our moms and grandmas have done it our whole lives. Any beef, pork, chicken, lamb, you name it, should never be left out at room temperature on the counter to thaw.
As the edges of the meat thaw and warm, harmful bacteria can begin to grow, which escalates the warmer the meat gets, and it is too easy to forget to monitor it closely. The last resort for thawing meat quickly is in the microwave, and as awful as that is, it is still better than defrosting at room temperature.
How to Defrost Steak - The Best Way to Thaw Meat at Home
The best way to defrost a steak at home is overnight in the refrigerator. When meat is defrosted this way, you can safely store it for up to two days before cooking. Using this method requires time, a menu plan, and preparation, but it is the most gentle and preserving way to thaw your meat, yielding the best results of flavor, moistness, and texture on the grill.