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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 28, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

    Con #4: Unique Distractions

    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

    Final Thoughts

    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

    More About Working From Home

    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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