What happens when, on the spur of the moment or at the last minute, you decide to have a barbecue, perhaps because you’ve got unexpected guests? How can you get away with meat that’s frozen solid? Well, there are a few ways to tackle this challenge.
Using a microwave
There are many ways that microwaves make our lives easier. When it comes to defrosting meat, you can use the defrost mode on your appliance. If your microwave doesn’t have one, reduce the power using the appropriate setting and set the time according to the meat’s thickness. Obviously, the thinner it is then the less time it will need.
This is a quick method but there are a few disadvantages, such as the risk that some parts of the meat will start cooking, especially if it isn’t a uniform thickness. The thinner parts will cook somewhat because the thicker parts need extra defrosting time. Also, you need to be ready to start cooking the meat in the oven or on the barbecue right away.
Cold water is an efficient defrosting method and, when done this properly, it won’t change the meat’s texture. Place the meat in an airtight bag then immerse it completely in cold-water container. If it hasn’t completely defrosted after 30 minutes, change the water so it stays cold and does not expose the meat to warmer temperatures and bacteria coming in. Repeat this process until the meat is thawed then simply cook it right away.
Cooking from frozen
Yes, you’ve read that correctly. You can cook beef, chicken, pork and lamb from frozen, although this technique is better in an oven than on a barbecue because it needs a slower and longer cooking period. Add 50% extra time over and above the initial cooking time recommendation. Be aware that result, particularly the meat’s texture, probably won’t quite live up to your expectations.
Defrost in the refrigerator if you have time
Your good old refrigerator is always a safe and suitable method for defrosting meat if you plan your meals in advance. Take your food out of the freezer at least 24 hours in advance and, for large pieces of meat, base your defrosting time on 10 hours per kilo or 4 to five hours per pound.