There is nothing worse then coming home from a long day at work and craving a juicy steak, only to find that your steaks are all frozen!
Don’t despair, there are a number of ways to quickly and safely defrost a steak so you can still enjoy a good meat feed for dinner.
The Safest Option
Taking your steak out of the freezer and letting it defrost in the fridge is the safest way to defrost a steak, however this will take at least 24 hours depending on the thickness of the meat. Defrosting in the fridge will ensure the steak is always kept at a safe temperature whilst it defrosts and reduce any risk of contamination.
If you don’t have the time for this option then read on.
The Safest and Fastest Method to Thaw Steaks
- Take a steak from your freezer and place it into a zip-top bag. Seal the bag by releasing as much air as you can.
- Place the steak into a large bowl. You can speed up the process if you are thawing multiple steaks at once by making each one its own individual bowl. Use cool water instead of hot or warm water to fill the bowls. The safest water is cool. The danger zone is where bacteria growth accelerates.
- Let the steak sit in the water for at least 30 minutes. To keep the steak submerged, place a spatula/wooden spoon on top. Check the steak after half an hour. You can check the steak if it isn’t completely thawed. The water is not too hot to cook the meat and you don’t need to worry about it discoloring because of its cool temperature. For each kg of meat, allow for 45 minutes. Thinner steaks can be fully thawed within 30 minutes. Thicker filets and ribeyes may require more time. When the pieces are sufficiently thawed to be able to separate, you can speed up this process.
- Take the bag out of the water. Remove the steak from the bag by removing the seal. Season the meat and cook it as usual. It’s okay if the meat remains slightly icy in the middle. Give it another few minutes to reach the right temperature.
Defrosting methods to avoid
Your microwave may have a defrost function but it is best to not use it if you are trying to get a steak thawed. While the microwave will quickly thaw the steak, it will also heat up and cook it. The meat will turn gray and may become chewy. This is a last resort.
Don’t leave your steak at room temperature. Leaving meat out on the bench in the Australian summer will cause the meat to quickly heat up to dangerous levels. This could lead to dangerous bacterial growth. This could cause food poisoning.
Some cooks will suggest placing an unwrapped steak in a bowl of warm water, with a constant stream of water running over it. This may sound ok in theory, however, it will also mean that all the juices that a steak naturally releases during thawing will be lost. This could result in a dry and stringy piece and therefore is not recommend.