How to Defrost Meat: A Step-by-Step Guide
Flip through our guide for defrosting meat, then watch our how-to video.
Follow these easy steps for success every time you defrost meat.
Step 1: Defrost Overnight
The best way to thaw meat safely is to plan ahead. Defrost it overnight on a plate in the refrigerator. By the next day, you're ready to cook.
Step 2: Safety Tip
Never keep meat at room temperature for more than two hours. Once you've thawed frozen meat, you can't refreeze it unless it's in a stock, soup or liquid.
Step 3: Cooking Frozen Meat the Same Day
If you have frozen meat you want to cook today, there is a faster way to thaw: the "cold water" method. Keep the chopped or ground meat wrapped tight. Note: Proper packaging prevents bacteria from forming and water from seeping in.
Step 4: Cold-Water Thawing
Place the wrapped meat in a large bowl and fill with cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes as the meat continues to thaw. A 1-pound package of meat can thaw in an hour or less. Packages of 3 to 4 pounds can take more than two hours.
Step 5: Ready to Cook
Remember, don't refreeze thawed meats. If you follow these tips, dinner will be ready in no time.
How to Defrost Meat 00:51
Forget to defrost? Get our tips for thawing chicken and all cuts of meat.