Ever wondered if you’re doing it properly? Take the guesswork out of defrosting food with these handy pointers.
1. Defrosting in the fridge is the best way
Defrosting in the fridge is the slowest and gentlest way, and food stays safely chilled even after it’s thawed. This is the best method for meat, poultry and fish. If you’re not sure how long it needs, the easiest thing to do is take it out of the freezer the night before and leave to defrost in the fridge overnight.
2. Sit food in a deep-sided bowl, or you will live to regret it
Your defrosting dinner is likely to release juices in the process. Raw meat and fish juice do not a delicious accompaniment make, so don’t make the mistake of letting them mix with other fridge goodies – just place in a bowl or deep-sided dish. Also, meat and fish should be kept at the bottom of the fridge.
3. Leave no frozen bits
Be thorough, be vigilant. This is a marathon, not a race, and fully thawed food is your finishing line. So check the middle of things with a sharp knife, if it’s harder in the centre than the outside, it needs more time. If your food’s not fully defrosted it won’t cook evenly.
4. But whatever you do, don’t leave anything to defrost at room temperature
What with winter heating, you can’t be sure that the air temperature is cool enough to prevent bacteria growth. Just don’t risk it.
5. Thankfully, some stuff can be cooked straight from frozen
Not got the time for this time-consuming thawing business? Stock up on some of these handy ingredients that don’t need defrosting: peas, spinach, green beans, sweetcorn, mixed peppers, chopped onion, herbs.