forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Mon 12 Feb 07 11:25am


Member since Sat 10 Feb 07

Unfreezing and Cooking Meats

Morning all,

There's a load of different meats in my freezer, some white, some red, but I don't know exactly what they are, they're all in different unlabelled bags.

How long prior to cooking should I take these out of the freezer to defrost? Then how's the best way to cook them after that?

I've seen various TV Chefs cooking red meats before, where they've 'sealed' the meat in a frying pan first, then cooked them in the oven. Can anyone tell me more about this?

Problem is, I've only ever seen Chefs seal meats on a gas cooker, where it gets very hot very quick, I have an electric cooker, which is slow, so I don't know if I'll be able to seal meats because they might start to cook rather than seal?


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#2 Mon 12 Feb 07 11:50am

Alex G

Forum champ
Occupation Student/Commis chef
From Brighton/ Bournemouth
Member since Sat 29 Oct 05

Re: Unfreezing and Cooking Meats

I usually take them out of the freezer the night before.

I have an electric hob aswell, I just leave it for 5 minutes on a high heat and it seems to work.

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#3 Mon 12 Feb 07 12:10pm


Forum champ
Occupation Registered nurse
From Australia
Member since Thu 24 Jun 04

Re: Unfreezing and Cooking Meats

You must have alot of meat to not know whats what!! When I bag up the meat for the freezer I pile certain meats together so I know whats what. I dont buy too much at once as it ends up sitting in there for ages.

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#4 Mon 12 Feb 07 12:31pm


Forum champ
From Germany
Member since Mon 13 Mar 06

Re: Unfreezing and Cooking Meats

Basically you take out the meat the night before as Alex says, and then cook them just like you would cook meat that was never frozen before.

When I freeze meat I usually wrap each piece in cling wrap and then put all pieces of the same kind (e.g. pork chops) in a freezer bag. Things I don't usually buy (and might not be able to tell when frozen) I label by writing on the said freezer bag. (Big pieces like a roast go right into the freezer bag without the foil - that's just so that I can take out individual portions.

I usually always have chicken breast, pork chops, minced meat and bratwurst in the freezer, but never in big amounts so that they get eaten before they develope freezer burns. I usually use up one kind completely before buying more, so that it gets used up and doesn't get confused witht he newer batch. You could of course just write the date on the packages, too wink

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#5 Mon 12 Feb 07 1:22pm


Forum champ
From Switzerland
Member since Fri 15 Apr 05

Re: Unfreezing and Cooking Meats

I tend to remember that my meat's frozen about an hour before I want it, so I usually stick them (in the packaging) in the sink and let hot water run over until thawed.  Probably not the safest way of doing things but no one's got salmonella yet!

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#6 Mon 12 Feb 07 3:00pm


Forum champ
Occupation Duty Free Lancome and Fragrance sales
From Greater Vancouver
Member since Mon 23 Oct 06

Re: Unfreezing and Cooking Meats

I buy freezer paper and tape so when I buy large amounts I wrap in our family portion sizes, usually 3 pieces of meat to 4 people, depending, and then I label what it is on the paper then put into a large ziplock. The freezer paper helps a lot to prevent freezer burn I find.

I have a good defrost function on my microwave so I do it that way at times but usually do what the others do and take it out the night or 2 before. Try and completely defrost before cooking though.

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#7 Tue 13 Feb 07 1:30pm


Member since Sat 06 Jan 07

Re: Unfreezing and Cooking Meats

Anna wrote:

I tend to remember that my meat's frozen about an hour before I want it, so I usually stick them (in the packaging) in the sink and let hot water run over until thawed.  Probably not the safest way of doing things but no one's got salmonella yet!

Absolutely not the right way to defrost meat Anna!!! I guess you have been lucky in the fact that you have had the sense to cook it straightaway. Ideally, as we all know meat should be defrosted slowly in a refrigerator, but that's if you live in a ideal, well organised world!!
like you Anna i am guilty of the last minute (or couple of hours) freezer rummage, and would like to let you know that for smaller cuts of meat
like chicken or pork chops and things,
can be defrosted in COLD water in a lidded pan and works perfectly.
you can even refresh the water every half an hour to speed things up even more.
Try it.  wink

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#8 Tue 13 Feb 07 1:43pm


Occupation Web Gimp
From W Yorks
Member since Mon 14 Aug 06

Re: Unfreezing and Cooking Meats

'Sealing' meat doesn't seal anything in. All you are doing when you 'seal' meat is browning it, you brown meat to give it a certain 'grilled' flavor! it doesn't matter whether you use electric or gas for this, the pan must be hot otherwise the meat will just boil. COOKING TIP: Though the hotter the meat gets, the more moisture is squeezed out. thus a well done steak is dry as an old dogs bolix.  As for frozen meat, out the night before, in the fridge. cook it the next day though. I'd avoid freezing steaks where you want to cook it rare as it just seems nasty and potentially a death trap (especially defrosted under hot water(help) (IMHO).


Last edited by itsdanny (Tue 13 Feb 07 1:44pm)

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#9 Tue 13 Feb 07 9:19pm


Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Unfreezing and Cooking Meats

Always defrost in cold water if you are in a hurry.

Make sure the meat is well wrapped, and immerse in cold water - I let the tap dribble into the pan.

This way works faster, and is safer, than defrosting on the countertop, and much safer than defros in hot water!

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#10 Thu 15 Feb 07 12:33am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Unfreezing and Cooking Meats

The best way to defrost meat is in the fridge overnight (in a dish deep enough to catch any juices). The alternative is microwave defrosting and then cooking immediately. You can also cook directly from frozen but it does take more time and some styles of cooking don't suit it. You should not defrost on the bench for more than 2 hours; and running hot water over it is also not a good idea (see second link regarding cold water). As is putting meat in the sun (had a neighour who put a lamb leg (wrapped in plastic) on her front porch in the sun - our dog got it; probably a good thing because she'd have poisoned her family otherwise).

some food safety websites: … /index.cfm … e.htm#thaw

meat website

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