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7 Ways You Thaw Frozen Food Wrong

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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.

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    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 January 27, 2022

    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

    Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

    “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

    Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

    Food is a universal necessity.

    It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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    Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

    Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

    Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

    Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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    The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

    Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

    This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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    Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

    Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

    Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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    So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

    Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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