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How to Properly Thaw Meats

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You left for work in a rush and forgot to take out your fish, chicken or beef from the freezer to thaw. Now you're in a pinch to warm up that protein quickly, but what's the safest way to do so?

Believe it or not, the way in which you thaw your meats can have a big impact on taste and texture. More than that, certain methods of thawing can actually create a breeding ground for germs. If you want the best advice, start here.

Plan Ahead - Use the Fridge
Bar none, the most effective way to defrost your food is to plan in advance and leave it in the fridge. This allows your food to thaw without leaving it at risk of becoming contaminated by bacteria. If you simply take your meat out of the freezer and leave it on the counter, it could go bad quickly due to the temperature, especially if it's not vacuum sealed.

Fish, beef, chicken, pork - it can all be thawed using the same methods.Fish, beef, chicken, pork - it can all be thawed using the same methods.

In a Bind, Use Cold Water
For quick thawing, plenty of cooks choose to immerse their protein in water, which can turn the process into a two-hour wait instead of a five-hour wait or longer. There are two very important considerations, however.

First, never use warm or hot water for the same reason you wouldn't leave your meat out all day on a hot counter. Warm water is perfect for bacteria and germs to multiply, and that's not how you want to enjoy your fresh food.

Second, always use a vacuum sealed bag. Plastic wrap and other materials may let water into the seal, which can make your meat soggy and affect taste. With the vacuum seal provided by a FoodSaver® Vacuum Sealer, you'll never have to worry about the texture of your protein being compromised by a little liquid - even if you're soaking the package for hours on end.

FoodSaver® bags give you a perfect seal that won't be breeched while thawing in water.FoodSaver® bags give you a perfect seal that won't be breached while thawing in water.

For the Quickest Fix, Use the Microwave
You may have heard that microwave thawing isn't the best for your meats. It may not be ideal, but it's actually much less detrimental than you may have heard. Does that mean you'll want to throw that slab of Kobe beef in the microwave? Maybe not. But the microwave is the perfect solution for a pack of pork chops you forgot to move from freezer to fridge.