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Safe Thawing Methods

As soon as raw meat begins to thaw and become warmer than 4 °C, bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to multiply.
Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter or in hot water and must not be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
There are safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator and in cold water.

Refrigerator Thawing

Sausages 500g 12h
Steaks 300g 12h
1kg Meat Blocks 24h
2kg Meat Blocks 2-3 days
Frozen Turkey 24h per pound

Planning ahead is the key because a large frozen turkey for example requires at least 24 hours for every 5 pounds.
Small amounts of frozen food such our sausages or steaks or boneless chicken breasts — require a full day to thaw
Food will take longer to thaw in a refrigerator set at 1 °C than one set at 4 °C.
After thawing in the refrigerator, items such as ground meat, stew meat, poultry should remain safe and good quality for an additional day or two before cooking.
Red meat cuts (such as beef, pork or lamb roasts, chops and steaks) should remain safe and good quality 3 to 5 days.
Food thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking, although there may be some loss of quality.

Cold Water Thawing

Sausages 500g 30 min
Steaks 300g 30 min
1kg Meat Blocks 1h
2kg Meat Blocks 2h
Frozen Turkey 30 min per pound

This method is faster than refrigerator thawing but requires more attention.
The food must be in it's original leak-proof package or plastic bag. If the bag leaks the meat tissue may absorb water, resulting in a watery product.
The bag should be submerged in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes so it continues to thaw.
Small packages of meat — about 500g — may thaw in 1 hour or less.
A 1 or 2kg block may take 2 to 3 hours. For whole turkeys, estimate about 30 minutes per pound.
Once thawed food must be cooked immediately. Foods thawed by the cold water method should be cooked before refreezing.
Do not refreeze after thawing with cold water as there is a big loss of quality.

It is safe to cook foods from the frozen state.

The cooking will take approximately 50% longer than the recommended time for fully thawed or fresh meat and poultry.
If you cook our patties from the frozen state you need to cook it very low and very low flame or indirect flame on the grill.
Remember although the outside of the meat is already cooked, the inside might still be frozen.
Make sure the center of the meat reaches a temperature higher than 60 °C.
This also goes the other way around: even though the center of the package may still be frozen as it thaws on the counter, the outer layer of the food could be in the "Danger Zone," between 4 and 60 °C — temperatures where bacteria multiply rapidly.

The original source of this content is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Safety and Inspection Service.


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