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When preparing dinner in the evening, I pour the desired amount of any frozen vegetable that I plan to serve into a colander, set the colander into a bowl, and add hot water.
Any type of solid pewter platter or tray can be used to quickly thaw even the thickest cut of meat, including roasts and Boston butts. Just set the meat on the platter and let it do all the work. Most meats are relatively thawed within 1 - 2 hours.
By April from Albany, GA
Thanks for this excellent tip. I have seen those defrosting platters on the infomercials. They cost a fortune, this one wont. I have a pewter platter in my cupboard...woo hoo! Thanks again and Good Luck
If time is limited and you need to defrost in a hurry, take the meat out of the package, place it in water, and sprinkle salt into the cold water. Your meat will be thawed out in no time. Also, your meat will not be salty.
By Lady Jay from Jacksonville, FL
My husband worked in an a restaurant this last summer and he told me this! I have not tried it, I still use the microwave.
A hair dryer is a great aid in defrosting your frozen meats.
When defrosting any frozen item, I put the it in the fridge a few days before I will need it. I do this instead of using my microwave on defrost. This cools off the inside temperature of the fridge, and means less energy is used to run it.
By Susan from Giddings, TX
It is also safer to defrost food slowly in the refrigerator. There is much less risk of food poisoning. A little forward planning goes a long way, and probably saves money on food.
It's easy to thaw meat in the microwave, but it's just as easy to place it on a refrigerator shelf overnight. It thaws by dinner time the next day...
Uh, oh! You're home and forgot to defrost something for dinner. You grab a package of meat or chicken and use hot water to thaw it fast. But is this safe? What if you remembered to take food out of the freezer, but forgot and left the package on the counter all day while you were at work?
When defrosting beef, or chicken in the microwave, use one of those plates that are used to cook bacon on (for the microwave). As you defrost the beef or chicken the juices go into the little wells and make less of a mess than a plate would make.
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My family uses skim, 2%, and whole milk for different purposes and different people. We don't use them up fast enough, so I decided to buy them in the gallon size, pour half into pitchers for the frig, and put the remaining gallon container (which is now just half-filled) into the freezer.
I have tried thawing the containers in the frig, but it takes several days. I have tried thawing them on the counter (and shaking the container throughout the day), but that also takes a long time. Has anyone tried using the defrost cycle on their microwave to thaw frozen milk? Does this work? Is there any reason I should "not" do that? Thanks for sharing any experiences you might have that are similar to my family's milk situation.
By Tina from Ashland, OR
Hello Tina. We also use different percentages of milk fat products for different uses and yes, we freeze them all. The real trick is to plan how you want to use them and give them each enough time to thaw slowly in the fridge - and yes it could take a few days, depending upon the container size, to fully defrost.
I wouldn't consider using the microwave (see redhatterb and OliveOyl's concerns) but suspect that defrosting in a warm waterbath (BigEar's comment) might work with small containers. I think this hits the nail on the head: Freezing in smaller containers, rather than half gallons, might work better for your family needs if you don't have a detailed, preplanned menu and as you gradually use these products on an as needed basis.
Hope you find a solution that works for you and yours! Good luck.
Thanks everyone! I hadn't thought about the whole "plastic in the microwave" health issue, and I am so glad you guys thought about it. I definitely won't be doing that. Changing to everyone in the family using the same milk isn't an option in our situation due to health issues and wasn't really the question I was asking, but thanks for responding anyway. I like the whole idea of filling the sink and thawing there. I do that with frozen fish fillets, so I don't know why I didn't think of that method myself. In reading over your tips, though, I remembered that I have 1-quart and 2-quart canning jars that would be perfect for freezing milk as long as I leave the head space, and those would likely thaw well in the water-filled sink. Thanks so much for all the advice. It was really helpful. :)
Here's some food for thought, milk (along with most perishable items) should NOT be left out of the refrigerator more than 2 hours. After 2 hours it will start to develop bacteria which will lead to a foodborne illness. Keep that in mind when reading these suggestions. According to the FDA: Never thaw foods on the counter. Thaw foods in the refrigerator, under cold running water (40 degrees or less), or in the microwave.
I accidentally started to defrost spare ribs on the counter and they sat out about 5 hours. They were still partially frozen when discovered. Are they OK to use?
By Katie from Chicago, IL
Probably not..check this out:
Even though the center of the meat may still be cold, the outer layers likely are warmer after five hours than the 40 degrees or below the meat needs to be so bacteria don't go hog-wild.
Partially frozen meat is ok to refreeze--but only if it's been under refrigeration the whole time.
No. If it is over the absolute 2 hour rule, out of fridge after being cooked, think of how quickly the bacteria/Ecoli, etc. only needs a little time for encouragement to become full blown. It is not within the safety of your own life to chance it. Look at the lawsuits in our world due to unsafe food. Don't do it in your own kitchen. Cargill just settled a case here in Minnesota because of the bacteria in the meat, the young gal is paralyzed for life. The bacteria ravaged through her body. She will never be able to do anything on her own again.
Refreezing: if you have a frozen meat out for a short time, like less than an hour it can be put back. Always thaw in the fridge. I take a couple days of meats out at the same time, put into Tupperware, on a plate, etc. so the juices don't touch anything.
My mother would tell you go to ahead and eat it, but then my mother 'is always sick to her stomach from something. The flu, when I tell her it must be something she ate. Drastically said: Better safe than dead.
You mean there is another way to defrost meat? Just kidding, but if that would be harmful, my family would have been dead long ago.
I've been cooking 40 years, so far, no one has gotten sick. Take care and good luck.
Is it safe to freeze meats in the Styrofoam tray that comes from the supermarket? Or should the meat be removed from the tray and frozen in a Ziplock bag or foil?
I used to do it once in a while when I was lazy. Then I heard it wasn't good to do it so I stopped. I thought they said it dried out or got freezer burn faster with the foam tray but I dont really remember. Usually meat that is wrapped on those trays have pockets of air under the wrap anyway so it is best to transfer it.
I just did a quick search and it said if you planned on using the meat within a month it was OK to freeze on the tray but otherwise not to. And if you do freeze it as is from the store you still need to wrap over it as the store wrap isn't enough for the freezer.
Repackaging off of the tray also helps to divide into more usable portions and making flatter packages that stack in the freezer and ones that will thaw quicker in the fridge.
I usually take and leave as is and put in freezer if I know I will be using it in a day or two. If it will be longer then I leave as is and wrap it in heavy duty tin foil. But as I have gotten older I like my meat straight from the store and fix it then. It helps to have a son who is a meat cutter so my meat comes from him!
I like to buy meat in large packages and freeze it in portion sizes. I wrap it in plastic wrap and then freezer paper. The plastic wrap helps keep it from getting freezer burn and also from "bleeding" as it thaws, and the freezer paper is another layer too keep air and water crystals out. Plus you can write in it with a permanent marker. I like to record what it is (chicken thighs, etc), how much (2 lbs.), and when I packaged it (month and year), to make sure nothing is left in the freezer too long. Most meat is good for a year.
What is the best way to defrost frozen pancake batter?
Because pancake batter has raw egg in it, it is probably best to defrost it in the refrigerator. Once defrosted, the batter might be watery, in which case you would have to add more pancake flour to bring it back to the proper consistency. Pancakes made with frozen batter are not as good and do not rise as high as those made with fresh batter. A better idea might be to cook the pancakes, then freeze them between layers of waxed paper.
I agree to finish making the pancakes, however, I just leave the finished pancakes kinda spread out on a plate in the freezer for a bit and then put them in a Ziploc freezer bag. I reuse the bags. I just leave them in the freezer, they are marked with what was inside. I do that for my waffles as well. There has never been a problem with them sticking together.
I would suggest making the pancakes ahead of time and freezing them on cookie sheets then putting in a ziploc bag. That way you can pull out as many as you want and pop in the microwave and they are read to eat. Sherry
How long is chicken good for in the fridge after defrosting?
Stacie from Simpsonville, SC
If it were me, I would use and cook the chicken within 1-2 days of being unthawed.
Please don't wait any longer than the next day. If you originally froze the chicken yourself, and it wasn't frozen by the store, then thawed by them before you bought it, it may be good for another day.
I usually put my frozen piece of meat (beef, chicken, etc.) in the fridge the evening before to defrost for the next day. If something comes up and I don't use the item that day, I have used it on the following day with no problems. After that I would disgard it as unsafe. In order to save money I buy meats, and other items, on the last day of sale [usually for half price] and freeze them at once. If the item you are defrosting is a last day of sale item, use it the day you defrost it. KayD
Tips for thawing meat. Post your ideas.
When I thaw out meat I put it in a plastic grocery bag and then on a plate. That way if it leaks out of the package it doesn't get all over my fridge!
By Michelle Draveski
I always seem to forget to take something out for dinner......I often use the electic burners on my stove.....OFF of course....they draw the cold from the meat and they thaw pretty fast...I usually get home from work between 2 and 3 so if I place the sealed package of steak or what have you on the burner they thaw just enough to be cooked around 5 when my husband gets home....and cheaper than a "thawing pan".......