How To Defrost Steak Correctly And Safely

how to defrost frozen steak

Are you one of those people who are always running short of time for cooking? Do you often forget to take out the meat from your refrigerator until it’s too late?

Well, we all do face such situations in our daily life. But let me tell you something, knowing how to defrost steak correctly is not something many can do.

It takes time to properly and safely defrost the steak if you want it to be free from bacteria.

Defrosting in the wrong way may give you quick results, but at the same time, it can be really harmful to your health too.

So, please keep in mind it is essential to keep your steak within a safe temperature during defrosting to keep it from fast-growing bacteria.

However, you do not need to stress yourself as I have made this post specifically to teach you how you can safely and properly defrost the steak and that too in the least possible time.

So, let’s get started.

Why Is Refrigerating Steak Important?

Steak is a piece of meat, and meat comes from animals, this means they can carry bacteria that might affect our health and make us sick.

This is why it is incredibly important to refrigerate the steak to avoid bacterial growth. All of us know that bacteria can multiply very fast.

If steak is not stored properly, then the bacterial multiplication can spoil the food and make it unsafe for human consumption.

Bacteria can spoil the steak in several ways, such as changing its color and odor and producing toxins and slime in it.

However, sometimes the bacterium multiplies without causing any change in the color and odor of the steak.

Therefore it is important to store the steak at a temperature below 70 degrees F, a temperature where the growth of bacteria becomes very slow.

The ideal temperature at which the steak should be stored is 34 degrees F to 40 degrees F, at which the growth of bacteria nearly stops.

What Is Defrosting And Why Does It Need To Be Done Safely?

Defrosting, most commonly known as thawing, is when a frozen product is taken out of the freezer to let its temperature come back to room temperature, i.e above 0 degrees C.

You can more appropriately consider defrosting as the opposite of the freezing method. However, as opposed to the freezing process, the process of defrosting has an inherent hitch.

We all know that most of the bacteria responsible for food spoilage or food poisoning rests on the surface of several foods.

In the process of freezing, the multiplication of bacteria or bacterial growth is limited due to the rapid reduction in surface temperature. Below -10 degrees C, the bacteria turn completely inactive.

However, in the process of defrosting, the bacterial multiplication can start again due to the rise in the temperature of the surface area, which is why defrosting safely is very important for your health.

Defrosting Steak Safely

There are several ways to defrost or thaw your steak, but did you know that only a few of them are safe when it comes to your health.

The very famous method of defrosting on your kitchen counter is warned against by the Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S Department of Agriculture.

It is a widespread practice that many people follow to take out the steak from the refrigerator and keep it on the counter for few hours to defrost it.

But only a few people know that this method is not at all that safe and should always be avoided as it puts you at the risk of poisoning, due to the bacterial growth at room temperature.

So be very careful as any perishable food left on the counter for more than two hours is prone to bacterial growth.

Let me tell you about three basic defrosting methods that are considered to be safe.

Defrosting In The Refrigerator

Although the process of defrosting steak in the fridge is not as quick as defrosting on the counter of your kitchen, it will definitely protect your steak from any harmful bacteria.

The process itself is straightforward; all you need to do is take out the frozen steak, put it in the refrigerator, and wait. The time it takes to defrost in the refrigerator is dependent on the size of the steak.

Once the steak is defrosted, it can safely be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two before it can be cooked.

There are tips about defrosting the steak in the refrigerator. It is recommended to keep it tightly wrapped to avoid bacterial growth and make sure that it does not get in touch with other foods in your fridge.

Additionally, it is highly recommended always to keep steak on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator so that any dripping from the meat does not fall on any other items in the fridge.

Defrosting In Cold Water

Another safe method to defrost steak is with the help of cold water. Beware; I am talking about cold water, not just water or warm water.

Warm water or room temperature water will put your steak at risk of developing bacteria, while on the other hand, using cold water will restrict bacteria from growing.

Defrosting in cold water is faster than defrosting in the refrigerator but requires more effort. Please make sure the steak is properly sealed in an air-tight plastic bag with no holes.

Any holes in the plastic bag may let bacteria from the water infect your steak and the steak might also become watery which will not taste as good as it should.

To defrost steak in cold water, keep the wrapped steak in cold water until it is completely thawed. Please do not forget to change the water after every 30 minutes so that the temperature is maintained.

The time it requires to defrost steak in cold water depends on the size and thickness of the meat.

One tip to remember while defrosting steak in cold water is never to do it in your sink, as any bacteria from steak could potentially infect your sink as well.

Defrosting Steak In The Microwave

The method of defrosting steak in the microwave is the quickest amongst all other methods, but at the same time, it requires extra precautions.

Defrosting steak may leave your steak unevenly cooked, which is not something you would want.

So, whenever you intend to defrost your steak in the microwave oven, pay extra attention to the temperature and the time. Please make sure to put the steak in a container before defrosting in the microwave.

It is essential to note that after defrosting the steak in the microwave, do not touch the raw meat with your hands as partly cooked steak or newly thawed steak holds food-borne bacteria that may get transferred to other places of your kitchen through your hands.

Can Steak Be Refrozen After It Has Been Defrosted?

This is one of the most asked questions, and many people are confused on whether it is safe to refreeze the steak again after it has been defrosted.

Well, the answer entirely depends on the method you used for defrosting the steak.

Refreeze After Defrosting In The Refrigerator

It is wonderful to refreeze the steak and thaw it again at a later time if you have defrosted it in the refrigerator.

However, it must be noted that the quality of the steak is most likely to suffer if you refrigerate it again after it is defrosted.

Therefore, do not refreeze your steak over and over again as this is the main reason that most people do not achieve restaurant-quality steak.

Refreeze After Defrosting In Cold Water

You should never refreeze steak if you have defrosted it in cold water; rather, you should cook it before you can put it back in the refrigerator.

Please note that this is by the guidelines of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Refreeze After Defrosting In Microwave

Just like thawing in cold water requires the steak to be cooked immediately, the same is the case with thawing in the microwave.

So, it is advised to refreeze the steak once it has been defrosted in the microwave.

Is It Safe To Cook Steak Without Defrosting It First?

Yes, it is absolutely safe to cook a steak right after you have taken it out of the refrigerator without thawing it first, but the time required to cook the steak would increase in that case.

Another drawback of cooking steak without defrosting is that the steak might end up being cooked unevenly.

We have now discussed various methods to defrost a steak correctly and safely so you can choose any one of these methods that suit your cooking needs.

In the end, I would again stress the need to safely and properly defrost the steak not only to maintain its quality but also to keep you and your loved ones away from any infection-causing bacteria.

I hope after reading this post, you exactly know how to defrost the steak that best suits your time constraints.

Other Popular Posts