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Food Handling Lesson Polls Poll based lessons. See what misconceptions our general population has regarding food safety and preparation.


View Poll Results: How do you thaw your frozen meat? Check ALL that apply!
In refrigerator 31 88.57%
In sink with hot water. 6 17.14%
In sink with running cold water 20 57.14%
In microwave 14 40.00%
Wrapped, on clean cutting board or counter overnight 5 14.29%
In front seat of car on hot summer day 1 2.86%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 05-19-2006, 02:31 PM   #1
bbqjoe
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Default Thawing frozen meat.

There are a number of ways we all thaw frozen meat.


This poll will remain open all weekend.

Please, no discussion until poll closes!!!

And for all you ninnies who seem afraid to vote, get on board and join in!

The question is this: How do YOU thaw Your frozen meat?

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There may be a little butting of the heads here.....

The safest way to thaw meat is indeed in the refridgerator. Of course this takes a fair amount of time, so planning ahead is necessary.

What is happening here is that the meat is being allowed to raise in temperature outside of the danger zone.

Thawing meat in cold running water is the next most acceptable form of thawing. Letting the meat thaw in standing water is not considered acceptable by HIG.

Also thawing meat in a sink of hot water is an unacceptable practice.

HIG says that the microwave is an acceptable method, providing that the meat is to be cooked immediately upon being thawed. This is because even though the microwave is effective, it is also somewhat inconsistant in thawing all of the meat evenly.

Thawing on a counter overnight is an absolutely forbidden!
This is because the meat is sitting inside the danger zone for too long of a period of time.

So is "Getting it started" by letting it sit out and then placing it in the refridgerator. This is because the outside of the meat has been sitting at room temperature warming up. By placing it back in the fridge, you are cooling the warm meat back down, only to be warmed again.
HIG frowns on the practice of warming foods and cooling them down multiple times.
( I'm sure we have all done this at one point or another.)

Remember, the meat is thawing from the outside in. So by the time the center reaches a thawed state, the outside has been thawed much longer.

So now we have a gray area here.

If the meat is to be cooked right away, why can't we thaw it in hot water?

In order for this whole thing to be addressed and discussed, it will be necessary for me to reveal part of the next threads answer in a way.

You are asking, what is the time frame of this danger zone thing?
HIG says that meat left inside the danger zone over four hours must be discarded.

But wait... A 20 lb turkey or a 15 lb brisket is surely going to take more than four hours to thaw in cold running water!!!!!

Yes, I know. Here is part of our gray area.

Why is it ok for meat to be in 70* running water, when 70* is obviously inside the danger zone?

We have other folks here who also have credentials in food handling.
Maybe they can further the explanation on some of these points.

Let the discussion begin!!!!!

P.S. If you voted for the front seat of the car on a hot summer day, we all ask that you go sit inside that car with your meat as it thaws.

Last edited by bbqjoe; 05-22-2006 at 12:54 PM..
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Unread 05-19-2006, 08:09 PM   #2
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I've tried the refrigerator for three days and it's still frozen.I let it sit on the cutting board for a few hours to get it started and then put in the fridge.
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Unread 05-22-2006, 12:56 PM   #3
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Let the discussion begin!
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Unread 05-22-2006, 02:28 PM   #4
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It wasn't an option in the poll, but many times I will START the defrosting on the countertop, on the following basis.

Coming out of my freezer (not the freezer compartment of the refrigerator, which is warmer) my meat will be at -10 to -20 degrees.

Putting it on the counter, condensation immediately begins to form on the packaging, in the form of frost on the outside. As long as there is frost on the outside of the package (and starting out at 10-20 below, this will be several hours) the entire package of meat is still solidly frozen and not in the danger zone. When the frost on the outside starts to melt (as it goes above 32 degrees) then it will go into the fridge or microwave to finish.

The other options are leaving it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days depending on the size, or microwaving it. Microwaving when starting out at this temparature usually ends up cooking part of the outside of it while the middle is still frozen.
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Unread 05-22-2006, 02:29 PM   #5
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Cold water in the sink for as long as it takes. And I change out the water.
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Unread 05-23-2006, 01:37 AM   #6
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if im in a hurry which is most of the time, hot water it is then cook it as soon as it is thawed. but when i do pull it from the water it is still cold to the touch. i have never gotten sick from it. but i know it is nothe proper way to thaw meat. so i am tryin to get better at plannin ahead by puttin it in the fridge or even cold water.
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Unread 05-23-2006, 07:07 AM   #7
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Sorry I missed out on the vote but I normally thaw out meet in the refrigerator , time permitting. Else I set it on the counter wrapped. (this is for home consumption) I would asked that although we are discussing this as applies to competition, catering, or restaurant which is dictated by fear of litigation more than reality or common sense why are the rules becoming more strict as the care feeding and cleanliness requirements are going up as well. The chance of germs that cause the problems are poisoned and or radiated and the chances of being around compared to say my grandmothers day (when cooked meat was left out for days at a time) are slim. Are we as a society killing our selfs with clean?
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Unread 05-23-2006, 08:08 AM   #8
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Alton Brown did a bit on a show about the fastest way to thaw something. He used frozen 'rubber duck' shapes to prove the point, and the most even, quickest thaw was done via cold, running water. I try not to use this method as I'm on a cistern, and I only have 2500 gallons at a time... running water for a couple of hours cuts into that a bit! I generally do the refrigerator thing, but I will sometimes jump start it by laying the food on anodized aluminum to start.
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Unread 05-23-2006, 10:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieBeasley
Sorry I missed out on the vote but I normally thaw out meet in the refrigerator , time permitting. Else I set it on the counter wrapped. (this is for home consumption) I would asked that although we are discussing this as applies to competition, catering, or restaurant which is dictated by fear of litigation more than reality or common sense why are the rules becoming more strict as the care feeding and cleanliness requirements are going up as well. The chance of germs that cause the problems are poisoned and or radiated and the chances of being around compared to say my grandmothers day (when cooked meat was left out for days at a time) are slim. Are we as a society killing our selfs with clean?
This is a very good question. IMO I think the answer is yes. We as a society are probably weakening our immune systems by not being exposed to as many things as we used to. Henceforth making ourselves more suseptible in the future.
Again JMO
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Unread 10-25-2007, 07:11 PM   #10
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I set my frozen meats in cold water and change often until the meat thaws out.
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Unread 10-25-2007, 09:22 PM   #11
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Damn Joe, haven't been polled in a week and you closed this one early..............
Thaw in fridge if time allow's, otherwise have had great success under running COLD water.
P.S. Who's sitting in the car with their meat???
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Unread 10-26-2007, 12:48 AM   #12
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Joe, I'm with you 100 %. When I took my serve safe class they taught that you should wash your hands before putting on gloves. Immediatly after removing the gloves you should wash them again! I'm not sure why. It seems that when I was growing up my mom could cut up a chicken without hoseing down the entire kitchen and the car we drove it in with disinfectant! My dad would tell me that they spiced up rotten or old meat with alot of spice and called it sausage so it could be used instead of being thrown away! I fought constantly with my EX-WIFE about medical care for my 2 sons. Every time they got a runny nose she would take them to the doctor. She felt that we were paying for it so what the hell. They never built up any natural resistance to anything so to this day the are always sick. Can you tell you hit a hot button with me? See ya soon. John.
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Unread 10-26-2007, 12:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
Damn Joe, haven't been polled in a week and you closed this one early..............
Thaw in fridge if time allow's, otherwise have had great success under running COLD water.
P.S. Who's sitting in the car with their meat???
The problem lies herein: This lesson and poll is well over a year old.
But continuing comments are acceptable.
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Unread 10-26-2007, 12:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqjoe View Post
The problem lies herein: This lesson and poll is well over a year old.
But continuing comments are acceptable.
I'm a bonehead, just noticed the date
Still a good subject!!
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Unread 10-26-2007, 02:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqjoe View Post
This is a very good question. IMO I think the answer is yes. We as a society are probably weakening our immune systems by not being exposed to as many things as we used to. Henceforth making ourselves more suseptible in the future.
Again JMO

Joe, couldn't agree with ya more. One of my personal pet peaves. IMO we all need to eat a little dirt now and then.
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