Many of us cook at home, of course, we love fresh ingredients, but we might sometimes buy frozen food as it is more convenient to store. One of the risks of frozen food is that when defrosting, bacteria can develop and lead to food poisoning. How to correctly defrost then? Here are 3 ways to prepare a safe meal for the whole family.
If you are planning to cook on the next day,
The best (but also the longest) way to defrost food is to store it in the refrigerator, therefore respecting the cold chain. But make sure you do not want to cook on the same day. It usually takes one night up to 24 hours for a whole turkey, for example, to be entirely defrosted.
The advantage of defrosting in the refrigerator is that the food does not have to be cooked right away, you can keep it no more than 2 days if you have a last minute change in plan. You will also be able to re-freeze it in the same period.
If you are preparing lunch or dinner a few hours ahead,
you can thaw in cold water. It will take less time than the refrigerator, but will also require a lot more attention.
Submerge the frozen bag in cold tap water and change it every 30 minutes until the food is thoroughly defrosted to make sure it does not get too warm. Do not re-freeze it unless you cooked it.
If you are in a hurry and the kids need to eat as soon as possible,
then use the microwave! It is the fastest way to thaw food thanks to its defrost function. But make sure the outside doesn’t cook while the inside is still frozen.
As with the cold water thawing, you will need to cook the food immediately after defrosting, but you can safely freeze your dish afterwards.
What you should NOT do:
- Do not leave the frozen food outside, it might seem like the quickest way to defrost, but the temperature is too high and will develop.
- Do not defrost under hot water, for the same reason.
- Be careful, even for fresh meat, many packages mention that the food was frozen and defrosted before. In this case, do not put it back in the freezer.
You can now safely prepare meals for the whole family!