How to thaw ground beef

  • Floor beef may be safely defrosted within the fridge, a bowl of chilly water, or within the microwave.
  • Defrosting within the microwave is the quickest alternative, however then you should prepare dinner the meat straight away.
  • In case you thaw floor beef within the fridge, it’s protected to refreeze once more.

In case you, like many different dwelling cooks, hold a provide of floor beef within the freezer, you are probably aware of the defrosting course of — which suggests you are most likely additionally aware of the frustration that comes with forgetting to take the meat out of the freezer forward of time.

Defrosting floor beef correctly ensures you steer clear from potential dangerous micro organism. Dr. Darin Detwiler, a meals regulatory professional and professor at Northeastern College in Boston, Massachusetts, says that “there will never be an end to pathogens in our food, but we can change the culture around the future of food safety.”

Reading: How to thaw ground beef

The subsequent time you could carry your beef to room temperature, observe the strategies beneath.

Fast tip: In case you plan to make use of the bottom beef throughout the subsequent week or so, you’ll be able to freeze it in its unique packaging. Nonetheless, should you’re freezing your beef for greater than per week, take away it from its packaging and put it in a sealable freezer bag.

Technique 1: Within the fridge

“The safest way to defrost ground beef is to do so in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours,” Detwiler says. The fridge technique is most secure as a result of it “keeps ground beef out of the danger zone, which refers to temperatures between 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, where pathogens and bacteria can grow.”

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Detwiler says the fridge retains the meat safely cool and warms it sufficient to totally defrost, which is essential for “cooking the meat thoroughly to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which is required to kill any remaining pathogens.”

To defrost floor beef within the fridge, place the bundle of frozen floor beef on a plate that is massive sufficient to catch any attainable drippings from the meat because it defrosts. Subsequent, place the plate on a low shelf within the fridge, which can assist you to “avoid the possibility of juices dripping onto other foods.” The bottom beef ought to stay within the fridge for at the very least 24 hours to totally defrost.

In case you do not use the entire defrosted floor beef straight away, Detwiler says that it is protected to retailer the leftovers again within the freezer so long as you accomplish that inside 48 hours of the unique defrosting. Nonetheless, for additional security insurance coverage towards pathogens and micro organism, Detwiler advises to prepare dinner the meat totally earlier than freezing it once more.

Technique 2: In chilly water

You can not refreeze uncooked floor beef should you defrosted it utilizing the chilly water technique or the microwave technique.

If you could defrost your floor beef and do not have a full 24 hours to attend, you’ll be able to defrost it in a bowl of chilly water. This technique ought to take lower than an hour, and it is protected so long as the water is modified out because it warms to room temperature.

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To defrost floor beef in chilly water, be certain that the meat is sealed in a leak-proof bundle, like a resealable plastic bag. “Set the plastic bag with the frozen meat in a sink or, preferably, in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and weigh the package of meat down with something heavy,” Detwiler says. The weighing-down retains the meat submerged, which is crucial to maintain the meat at a protected temperature for even defrosting.

Depart the bundle submerged in chilly water for 20 to half-hour. After that, you’ll be able to “test” the meat’s readiness by gently poking it along with your fingers. In case you really feel ice crystals or stiffness, then it wants extra time (and a recent spherical of chilly water). As soon as the meat is thawed, take it out of the water bowl and prepare dinner instantly.

Technique 3: Within the microwave

For the quickest attainable defrosting technique, you’ll be able to defrost the bottom beef within the microwave. This technique yields safe-to-eat floor beef, however with one main caveat: it’s important to prepare dinner it straight away.

“Remove all packaging, then place the meat on a plate. Use the microwave’s defrost settings or set it at 50% power for two to three minutes, rotating and flipping the beef every 30 seconds, until it is fully thawed. Cook immediately and thoroughly to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit,” Detwiler says.

One necessary observe: You should not refreeze beef should you thaw it within the microwave. As a result of the meat is uncovered to excessive temperatures (and has due to this fact frolicked within the hazard zone), stashing it within the fridge to prepare dinner later is not a protected transfer, both. Save this technique for while you’re able to get cooking instantly.

What to keep away from

To make sure the highest quality and style, use your frozen floor beef inside 4 months.
  • By no means thaw floor beef at room temperature. “Some people leave frozen meat out on the counter to thaw and will leave it there for six to eight hours, thinking that this will definitely get the job done. In reality, this allows it to get too warm and allows pathogens to grow,” Detwiler says.
  • By no means thaw floor beef utilizing scorching water. Simply as thawing meat on the counter leaves it uncovered to hazard zone temps, so does thawing the meat in scorching water. The sudden shock of scorching water on frozen meat can have damaging results on its texture, and because the water cools down, the meat turns into weak to unsafe temperatures. Plus, the new water might start to “cook” the meat, which provides you a completely inconsistent block of floor beef that is partially cooked on the skin and nonetheless frozen on the within.
  • Do not hold floor beef within the freezer for longer than 4 months. It is tempting to imagine that floor beef may be stored within the freezer indefinitely. The USDA recommends utilizing it inside 4 months for the highest quality, style, and texture.

Insider’s takeaway

Defrosting floor beef within the fridge is the most secure possibility, but it surely takes a full 24 hours. For quicker outcomes, submerge the frozen floor beef in chilly water for one hour. The quickest technique is the microwave technique, which can defrost the bottom beef in just some minutes, however you will should prepare dinner the meat instantly.

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