Freezing meat is a great way of preventing it from spoiling if it is close to its use-by date, and you can build up a back stock. However, when you want to use it, you have to deal with defrosting, and this is a crucial step. Defrosting your meat too quickly will make it too soft, which can make it lose its juice, making it dry and less flavorsome. Certain techniques can be catastrophic in terms of bacteria. First of all, note that is is important to wash your hands and utensils after handling or coming into contact with meat.
In terms of taste and texture, defrosted meat will never be the same as meat that has never been frozen (to be completely honest), but there are a few techniques that will help you limit the damage.
It is best to avoid defrosting meat at room temperature or near a heat source (such as a radiator), if you don’t want to create a nest for bacteria.
This is a practical and fast option, but it can be difficult to get it right, as microwaves start to cook the outside of the meat, while the inside remains frozen. This will thus affect your cooking. Choose the temperature well and set the microwave to the ‘defrost’ setting.
Also remember to take the meat out of the packaging. By putting it on a plate, it will spend less time in its own juices, and thus lose less flavour. During defrosting, open the microwave at regular intervals to see how things are going and turn the pieces of meat over if necessary.
3) In water
Hot water: Heat the water to 60° and remove it from the heat source. Soak the meat, wrapped in a freezer bag, until the meat is thawed. This method is fast (it takes around 10 minutes), but it makes the meat less tender.
Cold water: This is far better than hot water! Soak the meat in a bowl of cold water, making sure it is fully immersed. Monitor the temperature of the water to make sure that it stays cold. The time it takes to thaw will depend on the size of your cut of meat.
4) The fridge
Defrosting your meat in the fridge offers a temperature between 0 °C et + 4 °C maximum, and remains the best and gentlest option for risk-free defrosting. It takes more time, but it is the best way.
Find a tip in this article for conserving meat in the fridge.