Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Safe Way to Thaw Meat

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cook's Illustrated magazine!  

I have watched America's Test Kitchen on PBS for a long time.....I LOVE this cooking show and have wanted a subscription to Cook's Illustrated magazine but did not want to spend the money.  

So, Cook's Illustrated finally sent me an offer that I could not resist.  And now I can't wait for each magazine to arrive in my mailbox.

Have you ever wondered if the way you thaw meat for dinner the next day is the best way to do it?  You are not alone.

Cook's Illustrated wrote the following "Kitchen Notes" that I want to share with you.

"A Hot (Water) Trick for Thawing Meat"
When meat is thawed overnight on the counter top harmful bacteria grows on the meat.  (So, if you have cooked dinner, had a stomach ache a few hours later, this might have been the culprit.)

There are 2 ways to thaw meat that will prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Method 1
If you are wanting to thaw a thick cut of meat (1 inch or greater) place the cut of meat in the refrigerator.  If it is a thinner cut of meat, place the meat on a heavy cast-iron or steel pan at room temperature.  The metal's rapid heat transfer will safely thaw the meat in about 1 hour.

Method 2 (the better one  :-)  )
Place the cut of meat you are wanting to thaw (chicken, steaks, chops, cutlets or fish fillets) in a glass bowl or dish.  Bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil in a tea kettle or on top of the stove (more depending on what size of a water pan you are using).  Use a stainless steel soup pan or dutch oven, pour the boiling water in the soup pan or dutch even.  Then place the glass bowl or dish in to the boiling water.  Cover with lid.  I think it took these 2 pretty thick chicken breasts about 20 minutes to completely thaw, which was a little too long as the chicken slightly started to cook.

Note:  Large roasts or whole birds are not suitable for hot thawing because in the time it would take them to thaw bacteria would begin to grow.

Information from Cook's Illustrated magazine January/February 2012 pg 30.

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