How many times have you asked yourself: Before cooking it, is it better to leave the meat at room temperature, in the fridge, or, again, cook it directly from frozen? Let’s find out together the tricks to defrost meat without damaging it, but, above all, without encouraging the proliferation of bacteria.
Defrosting meat: the most common mistakes
First of all, it is necessary to define the most common mistakes, absolutely not to be committed. Let’s put our hearts at peace: to obtain an optimal result, the first rule is to respect the times. Excessive haste could lead to irreparable damage to the taste, texture or, even worse, the wholesomeness of the meat. First thing, never put a frozen product under hot water to speed up thawing: this could favor the formation and rapid proliferation of bacteria, even causing the putrefaction of the meat. If, on the other hand, it has been frozen in a vacuum bag, it can be soaked in cold water without removing it from its wrapping. In this case, the absence of contact between meat and water will not affect bacterial growth.
From the freezer to the oven
Second mistake: if you don’t want to reproduce a shoe sole, as they say, you must avoid cooking the product directly, without waiting for it to be defrosted. In the remote (but really remote) case where you don’t have the time available, the best solution is the microwave, with the dedicated function. Even in this case, however, the slight loss of liquids could affect the juiciness and softness of the meat. In short, better than nothing.
Defrost the meat in the fridge
But then, what is the best method? If we want to obtain a product with good sensory characteristics, the only way is use the refrigerator. It is important, in this case, leave the meat in its original packaging, or place it in a tightly closed container: this will avoid cross-contamination with the other foods present. The time varies according to the size of the piece of meat and by the presence or absence of bones. This therefore ranges from 24 hours for a boneless chicken fillet or leg, to two days for larger pieces, such as roasts or whole chickens. In any case, it will be sufficient to pierce the meat with a toothpick or a fork to verify that it has effectively defrosted before proceeding with cooking. This method, in addition to ensuring safety, ensures that the pulp retains all its juices. The result? A tender, tasty (but also healthy) meat. Once defrosted, it can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days. Last tip: never refreeze meat. It must first be cooked and only then can it be put back in the freezer.
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May 25, 2023, 11:18 – Updated May 25, 2023, 11:23
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