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    • calleyw
    • By calleyw 12th Mar 18, 5:23 PM
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    calleyw
    struggling with defrosting food
    • #1
    • 12th Mar 18, 5:23 PM
    struggling with defrosting food 12th Mar 18 at 5:23 PM
    Good evening Everyone,

    As per the title I am struggling with defrosting stuff. I never seem to know how long or where. I already have anxiety about cooking stuff and keeping it cool as I am paranoid about giving food poisoning to someone.

    To my shame I have even throw food away as its part defrosted and not sure if I should put it back in the fridge to finish off or not.

    Thanks in advance everyone

    Yours

    Calley X
    Hope for everything and expect nothing!!!

    Good enough is almost always good enough -Prof Barry Schwartz

    If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try -Seth Godin
Page 1
    • Wizzbang
    • By Wizzbang 12th Mar 18, 5:54 PM
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    Wizzbang
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 18, 5:54 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 18, 5:54 PM
    I honestly think there's too much paranoia peddled about by 'experts' these days. I'm like you - sometimes chuck stuff rather than eat it because I feel unsure. There was a recent experiment on a foodie programme, think it was on channel 4 where they basically said you should only defrost stuff in the fridge, otherwise it's potentially unsafe. But having tried this - it takes days for a joint of meat to defrost like that and I don't ever think it defrosts in the middle. By the time it's defrosted, I'd want to chuck it because I'd think it's past the 3 days!

    Anyway, I stick to what my Mum does and I've not made anyone (or myself sick, ever!) I take out what I want to use, the morning I want to use it and leave it to defrost on the side, under a fly cover or in the microwave. If it's not fully defrosted by the time I want to use it, I finish it off in the microwave and then I'm immediately re-heating it or cooking it, so it doesn't matter if it warms round the edges.

    Obviously I'd be extra cautious if it was the height of summer and I wouldn't leave something in direct sunlight. I leave things out for less time in the summer because it's generally warmer.

    I always re-heat or cook everything until it's piping hot all the way through.
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    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 12th Mar 18, 6:33 PM
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    PasturesNew
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 18, 6:33 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 18, 6:33 PM
    If I remember to defrost stuff it's often not finished before I need to cook it - that's what the microwave on a defrost/low setting's for.

    I usually defrost from frozen in the microwave and once it's fully defrosted I'll then start the cooking bit.

    I think you're over-worrying. You didn't say what you're trying to defrost. But the only thing you need to worry about is that it's defrosted enough and/or then cooked enough to ensure that it's all hot all the way through IF the product involved is a "tricky one" like rice or chicken or pork.

    If I were defrosting an apple pie, say - then there's nothing to worry about there even if I hit a block of ice in the middle as I was spooning it into my mouth because .... still frozen apple's not going to be a problem at all, just a disappointment

    As for "where to" - it depends how long it's to be defrosted and what it is. Gateau for tea, out on the worktop to get it done fast/er; chicken for tomorrow, in the fridge; frozen apple pie for later today, out on the worktop; frozen apple pie for tomorrow, in the fridge and see how it goes by 1-2 hours before it goes into the oven and then drag it out onto the worktop.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 12-03-2018 at 6:41 PM.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 12th Mar 18, 6:38 PM
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    Tom99
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 18, 6:38 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 18, 6:38 PM
    I always defrost in the fridge for 1 or 2 days depending what it is.
    • Serendipitious
    • By Serendipitious 12th Mar 18, 6:56 PM
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    Serendipitious
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 18, 6:56 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 18, 6:56 PM
    I have a defrosting tray, a bit like this

    https://www.robertdyas.co.uk/thawboard-defrost-tray-for-food

    I use it a lot.

    But I don't use it for whole chickens or large joints of meat, I'd defrost those in the fridge, but it's fine (and very fast) for chops, sausages, mince, home-made frozen meals, and so on.
    “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”




    • calleyw
    • By calleyw 12th Mar 18, 9:00 PM
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    calleyw
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 18, 9:00 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 18, 9:00 PM

    I think you're over-worrying. You didn't say what you're trying to defrost. But the only thing you need to worry about is that it's defrosted enough and/or then cooked enough to ensure that it's all hot all the way through IF the product involved is a "tricky one" like rice or chicken or pork.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Sorry my fault should have said its the tricky ones I have issues with defrosting, meat. I have been know to eat things like cake and biscuits and donuts straight out the freezer

    My mum use to take the joint out the night before and bung on the draining board to cook the next day.

    I do that and it never seems to defrost. Might be I just have a cold kitchen.

    Yours

    Calley x
    Hope for everything and expect nothing!!!

    Good enough is almost always good enough -Prof Barry Schwartz

    If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try -Seth Godin
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 12th Mar 18, 9:08 PM
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    suki1964
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 18, 9:08 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 18, 9:08 PM
    Im one who gets stuff out of the freezer and leaves it out to defrost

    On a summers day Ive been known to leave stuff on the patio table to defrost

    Call, either your kitchen is freezing, or you are buying huge joints

    I will get a chicken out Saturday night and its defrosted by Sunday lunch no bother, and I rarely heat the kitchen

    Something like a turkey I will defrost slowly over 48hrs in the empty bath
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • Wizzbang
    • By Wizzbang 12th Mar 18, 9:11 PM
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    Wizzbang
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 18, 9:11 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 18, 9:11 PM
    Sorry my fault should have said its the tricky ones I have issues with defrosting, meat. I have been know to eat things like cake and biscuits and donuts straight out the freezer

    My mum use to take the joint out the night before and bung on the draining board to cook the next day.

    I do that and it never seems to defrost. Might be I just have a cold kitchen.

    Yours

    Calley x
    Originally posted by calleyw
    This is why I prefer to buy meat fresh, even if it means it costs more because I can't buy in bulk. I buy good quality, free range stuff from my local butcher and just as needed. I also don't have a lot of room to be freezing big joints. It tastes better fresh too.
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    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 12th Mar 18, 10:18 PM
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    purpleivy
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:18 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:18 PM
    I express defrost in a sink or bowl of tepid water. It gets done quickly then in fridge to chill. Obviously only stuff like fish or meat, not gateau
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • caronc
    • By caronc 12th Mar 18, 10:47 PM
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    caronc
    Popping food on a metal tray (either in the fridge or on the counter) significantly speeds up defrosting as does putting (sealed) food in a bowl of quite heavily salted cold water.
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    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 13th Mar 18, 12:55 AM
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    jack_pott
    it takes days for a joint of meat to defrost like that and I don't ever think it defrosts in the middle. By the time it's defrosted, I'd want to chuck it because I'd think it's past the 3 days!
    Originally posted by Wizzbang
    Not just me then! It annoys me when labels say defrost in the fridge overnight: it's still frozen solid by the next day. I usually kick-start the process in the microwave and then put it in the fridge. That's another problem: if you try and do it all the way in the microwave you just end up with patches cooking whist the majority is still frozen.
    I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.
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    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 13th Mar 18, 1:30 AM
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    badmemory
    I wouldn't keep defrosted meat even 24 hours before using it, but I think the most important part about defrosting meat is that you should make sure it is throughly cooked. I wouldn't defrost meat & then serve it rare, I'd buy it fresh & cook & eat it the same day. As for the defrosting method, well any as long as it doesn't take too long.
    Last edited by badmemory; 13-03-2018 at 1:33 AM.
    • calleyw
    • By calleyw 13th Mar 18, 10:35 AM
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    calleyw

    Call, either your kitchen is freezing, or you are buying huge joints

    I will get a chicken out Saturday night and its defrosted by Sunday lunch no bother, and I rarely heat the kitchen
    Originally posted by suki1964
    Suki,

    I must just have a cold kitchen. I do put it in water to try and speed it up.

    Defrosting in the fridge never seems to work for me. Well it might if I want it in a weeks time!!!!

    There are only two of us so never buy massive joints say 1.5 kgs and up to a 2KG chicken. My partner is like its fine. But I am just very anxious about giving some one food poisoning. Might why I over cook stuff as well I will make sure its cooked properly

    Its a reason why I like the cook from frozen ranges no defrosting.

    Yours

    Calley x
    Hope for everything and expect nothing!!!

    Good enough is almost always good enough -Prof Barry Schwartz

    If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try -Seth Godin
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 13th Mar 18, 11:30 AM
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    suki1964
    Cally, a chicken will be fine, as will the joint at that size

    Put your hand in the cavity , if its not crunchy with ice - its defrosted and a joint off the bone will give

    If your kitchen is really that cold, then stick the joint in the roasting tin and move to somewhere warmer to defrost. I don't have the heating on over night so I have no qualms about leaving meat out. Its going to be cooked that day, not sat around waiting for any bacteria to multiply to dangerous levels

    Im also more then happy to cook previously frozen meat rare

    I have never made anyone sick, and I have cooked for loads of people over the years, elderly and infirm as well as the fit and healthy
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 13th Mar 18, 11:45 AM
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    Slinky
    I think modern fridges work a lot better than older ones and the advice to 'defrost overnight in the fridge' doesn't work as well as a result.

    I'm one for taking out what I need in the morning, leaving it on the side to defrost, when it looks like it's defrosted either cook it, or put it in the fridge to keep fresh for cooking later that day.
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 13th Mar 18, 12:29 PM
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    pigpen
    I chuck stuff in the fridge to defrost and use it when it is defrosted.. more often than not.. I hoik frozen meat into the slow cooker and cook it.. pork, chicken, beef.. everything! The only thing I am a bit twitchy about is takeaway rice.. it made me ill once but it was my own fault.. 3 day old takeaway rice in the microwave tastes ok but it isn!!!8217;t!!

    In ye olden days freezers were warmer than they are now so stuff was less frozen than it is now so it takes longer to defrost.

    There is waaaay to much paranoia bandied about around food storage and prep.. just chill!! (Pun intended) .. you are all intelligent enough to know when meat is off.. it smells like death! You cannot mistake it! If you have stored it in a clean area it is unlikely to have picked up bugs of any sort and will be fine...

    However... covering with a fly net thing does not keep germs off unwrapped meat and that is more likely to make you ill!!

    Trust your senses that is what they are there for!! And cook to a high enough core temp to kill bugs!! A meat thermometer is an idea if you struggle to know if it is adequately hot.
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    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 13th Mar 18, 5:25 PM
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    buildersdaughter
    I think it helps to get a broad rule of thumb. My own 'rule' is greatly helped by a meat thermometer.
    The best way to defrost is fairly slowly and steadily. Think like this - the higher the temperature, the faster the bacteria are multiplying. So you mainly want to avoid a fast defrost, then leave it hanging around.
    Anything thinnish / smallish I defrost for about 12 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge + 3-4 hours at room temp.
    Joints etc. are 24 hours in the fridge (a slow defrost helps texture as well). Then, if very frozen, it comes out to room temperature for 6-12 hours. if almost defrosted then I keep checking it, and it comes out to room temp when unfrozen but cold.
    Most meat is fine for 24 hours at room temp. chicken & fish 12. I don't tend to leave them for that long, but say so that you get an idea of how long it would be 'safe' for.
    I don't keep using a meat thermometer (wouldn't be good for the meat) but I have one for cooking, and will occasionally use it when defrosting.
    Something else which I think helps food safety is a vacuum packer (though they are expensive and only worthwhile if you are going to make good use of them otherwise. I vacpack almost all meat & fish that goes into my freezer, and I don't break the vacuum until ready to cook / marinade. A lot of meat bought from farmers' markets is vacpacked, and independent butchers will vacpack meat for you.
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 13th Mar 18, 5:59 PM
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    purpleivy
    Cali, I used to over cook things quite often, as you say, bettter than under done.
    But now I have a temperature probe which can be used. I also use it for cold as well as hot....to see if the turkey was defrosted all the way through. Quite reassuring!

    I use it for all kinds of things.... is the lemon curd thick enough ? Is the milk hot enougn/cool enough for yogurt? Other things too.
    Suki,

    I must just have a cold kitchen. I do put it in water to try and speed it up.

    Defrosting in the fridge never seems to work for me. Well it might if I want it in a weeks time!!!!

    There are only two of us so never buy massive joints say 1.5 kgs and up to a 2KG chicken. My partner is like its fine. But I am just very anxious about giving some one food poisoning. Might why I over cook stuff as well I will make sure its cooked properly

    Its a reason why I like the cook from frozen ranges no defrosting.

    Yours

    Calley x
    Originally posted by calleyw
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • calleyw
    • By calleyw 13th Mar 18, 7:48 PM
    • 8,739 Posts
    • 15,727 Thanks
    calleyw
    Thanks guys you have been helpful. I can see I am not the only person to have anxiety over defrosting food.

    The only person I am really happy cooking for is my partner. I cooked for his parents at christmas and was very anxious about it but it was fine.

    I am 45 years old so you would have though by now I would be able to manage stuff like this. But I think my confidence gets less and less as each year passes.

    Yours

    Calley x
    Hope for everything and expect nothing!!!

    Good enough is almost always good enough -Prof Barry Schwartz

    If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try -Seth Godin
    • Wizzbang
    • By Wizzbang 13th Mar 18, 7:56 PM
    • 4,364 Posts
    • 9,923 Thanks
    Wizzbang
    I chuck stuff in the fridge to defrost and use it when it is defrosted.. more often than not.. I hoik frozen meat into the slow cooker and cook it.. pork, chicken, beef.. everything! The only thing I am a bit twitchy about is takeaway rice.. it made me ill once but it was my own fault.. 3 day old takeaway rice in the microwave tastes ok but it isn!!!8217;t!!

    In ye olden days freezers were warmer than they are now so stuff was less frozen than it is now so it takes longer to defrost.

    There is waaaay to much paranoia bandied about around food storage and prep.. just chill!! (Pun intended) .. you are all intelligent enough to know when meat is off.. it smells like death! You cannot mistake it! If you have stored it in a clean area it is unlikely to have picked up bugs of any sort and will be fine...

    However... covering with a fly net thing does not keep germs off unwrapped meat and that is more likely to make you ill!!

    Trust your senses that is what they are there for!! And cook to a high enough core temp to kill bugs!! A meat thermometer is an idea if you struggle to know if it is adequately hot.
    Originally posted by pigpen
    Here we go again with some 'great' advice.....

    Freezing anything, meat included does not kill any bacteria it merely makes it dormant. As soon as you start the defrosting process then those bugs will wake up again and start multiplying. It has nothing to do with whether you have stored it in a clean area - other than the obvious.

    Therefore, particularly putting frozen meat into a slow cooker is dangerous because it doesn't get up to high enough temperatures to kill bugs and it also won't keep it there for long enough, it will hover in the warm danger zone. You also cannot ensure using any cooking method that a frozen meat product has reached an even and high enough temperature all the way through.

    The reason you shouldn't re-heat takeaways, particularly rice as it's the most risky of all foods - is because you don't know how they were cooked and stored before you purchased them. They could already have been frozen and thawed, or reheated. You should never reheat food more than once and I personally don't even take the risk of ever reheating rice. It contains spores of one of the most deadly food poisoning bacteria which cannot be killed by heating.

    Also, by the point that meat smells awful - it should be in the bin anyway. You cannot tell from looking at a food item or a surface, whether it is contaminated with food poisoning bacteria. So that advice it just rubbish! Best before dates are different- but please don't play around with high risk foods (and your life).

    https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/multimedia/pdfs/fsw11presentation.pdf

    Plus who would ever leave unwrapped meat out - it would oxidise and discolour, plus it would dry out. You should use a fly net to keep flies off your food because they carry some nasty germs.
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