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7 Ways You Thaw Frozen Food Wrong

7 Ways You Thaw Frozen Food Wrong

There are a lot of ways to thaw frozen food safely. Some people put it in the fridge, others put it in water, and others just opt to cook it straight from frozen. In order to keep you and your family safe, there are right and wrong ways to thaw frozen food. Below is a list of common but risky ways you might be defrosting your food from the freezer, as well as better methods to use.

1. You let your meat thaw at room temperature.

The Problem: Leaving food (especially meat) at room temperature puts it in the 40-140F temperature zone where bacteria will grow on it like nobody’s business. If the food isn’t properly cooked after that, there is a big risk that you’ll get sick.

The Solution: The USDA recommends three ways of thawing your meat. The first is using a cold water bath where you need to change the water out when it starts to get warm. The second is putting it in the fridge and waiting for it to thaw. The third is using your microwave, but you’ll need to cook it immediately afterward.

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2. You thaw your steaks before cooking them.

The Problem: Simply put, you’re thawing your steaks before you cook them.

The Solution: The video above has been circulating, showing that you can cook a fine steak straight from frozen. According to the video, steaks cooked from frozen lose less moisture, have less overcooked meat, and are actually tastier. Watch the video to learn more!

3. You thaw your fish before cooking them

The Problem: Apparently this applies to fish too. There are many websites dedicated to teaching people how to cook fish from frozen. When you thaw fish, there’s a very high chance it will get mushy and tasteless, which will wreck your dinner.

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The Solution: This website has all the information you’ll ever need on cooking fish from frozen. They include a variety of techniques and cooking styles so you can have that firm, delicious, perfectly cooked fish instead of some mushy garbage.

4. You’re not sure whether veggies need to be thawed.

The Problem: Don’t feel bad for not knowing this one because I didn’t. It’s a learning process. If you cook vegetables the wrong way, they turn into tasteless mush.

The Solution: The general consensus seems to be that steaming them is the best way to cook frozen vegetables. Be sure not to add frozen veggies to your dish until the very end; if they cook for too long frozen they’ll get mushy. When in doubt, steam them or Google it because different veggies seem to tolerate different cooking methods better than others.

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5. You put frozen food into hot oil before clearing the ice off.

The Problem: You take frozen foods out of the freezer and drop them right into the pan or fryer. This is a bad idea; frozen water and hot oil have a violent and potentially dangerous reaction that results in aggressive sputtering. If the oil sputters on the heating element, it can cause a fire.

The Solution: When you take food out of the freezer, try removing as much of the ice as possible. Scrape it off, or run some cold water over it to get the ice crystals off. The less ice on your food, the less sputtering when it’s dropped into hot oil and the safer you’ll be.

6. You cook frozen foods at the same temperature as their thawed counterparts.

The Problem: You have a dish that is frozen. You know what temperature to cook it at if it’s thawed, so you just cook the frozen version at the same temperature for a little longer. This results in overcooked food but you feel like you have to in order to get the whole thing cooked.

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The Solution: The general consensus is to reduce the cooking temperature by 25 degrees and extend the cooking time by 50%. If you typically cook something at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, cook the frozen version at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. That should reduce burning and overcooking while still cooking it all the way through.

frozen fruit defrost food safely

    7. You try to thaw fruit too fast.

    The Problem: Fruit is particularly fragile when it comes to thawing. Many people don’t think about thawing fruit until they need it, and this results in thawing them too fast. Thawing fruit too fast can lead to mushy, nasty fruit.

    The Solution: Try as hard as you can to anticipate your needs. The best way to thaw fruit is either under cold water or in the refrigerator. Both methods can take a while, so try to plan ahead!

    Featured photo credit: frozen food aisle/Business 99 via business99.net

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    Joseph Hindy

    A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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