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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 September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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