Memorial Day is the unofficial start of all things summer, and when it comes to grilling and enjoying a good old fashioned picnic with family and friends this particular weekend, gets the barbeque creative juices flowing! The most highly prized pieces of your picnic puzzle will probably be ground beef or chicken, maybe steak for the more ambitious amongst us. Grab your chef hat and let’s go to the fridge freezer and check out the possibilities.
Got the star of your grilling extravaganza in hand? Okay, let’s thaw the goods. Exactly how does one go about defrosting frozen meats and poultry? Many of us simply toss the main course onto the counter and leave it to thaw at will. Some amongst us wait till the last minute to decide what’s for dinner, and resort to filling the sink with hot water and doing a quick thaw. Are either of these options the best way to go about it?
If you’re smiling and nodding right now…. Negative! Perishable food items should not ever be thawed out in hot water, nor on a countertop. And please, please do not leave it sitting out at room temp for over two hours. The center of the package may very well still be frozen solid, but as it performs the countertop thaw, the outer edgers will be hanging out in danger zone temps between 40 and 140F. Know what happens in then? Your dinner may very well now be playing host to dangerous bacteria keen to multiply, and they’re pretty snappy about it. Never, ever thaw out poultry at room temp, peeps! That’s risky business all the way around if it’s left out too long.
How exactly do we keep this from happening then?! The best way to defrost safely is by keeping the meat or chicken cold during the process. Okay fine, so how do you defrost something yet keep it cold at the same time? The centerpiece of the kitchen appliances, your refrigerator, holds the key to the safest method to this madness. Our last blog discussed the how’s and why’s of the vegetable crisper drawers. We discuss that other drawer hanging out under the veggie crispers and check out some meat drawer stats.
The meat drawer, located towards the bottom of the fridge in most models, is designed specifically to keep food colder than the rest of the unit. Perfect spot for meats and poultry! If your drawer has settings, use the coldest one to keep things fresh for a longer period. Also good to know is using the meat drawer in your fridge to defrost food will take a bit longer. You will indeed need to plan ahead just a bit for meals. Larger items (i.e. the Thanksgiving turkey) may take at least a full day per every 5 pounds, and if it’s too large for the drawer, a shelf is fine for this holiday staple. Ground meat or boneless chicken needs a full day to get the job done. Oh, and be sure to leave it in the drawer until completely thawed. If you’re worried things are still a little crunchy cold in the middle, or you’ve simply run out of time, then take it out of the package and put it under some cool running water. This will speed things up and wash away unwanted bacteria at the same time.
So the best way, the safest way to defrost all the meats and poultry is slowly in the meat drawer of your refrigerator. If you have any questions, please call us at Guinco Service and we’ll be glad to go over it all with you! Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend, from our family to yours!