How to defrost meat fast. Learn the best ways to do it!

If you like to carefully plan your meals ahead and have enough time to do so. Then defrosting and thawing ingredients that were previously stored in the freezer is not a problem for you. But, if you did not have the time to plan and is wondering how to defrost meat fast, we will teach you the best way to do it in this article.

Since meat is something that freezes very well and it is recommended to be frozen to increase its shelf-life. A lot of people prefer to do it so they can avoid food waste.

But, if you forgot to take out the meat portion you will need from the freezer or if an emergency popped up and now you need to prepare the frozen meat, there is nothing to worry about, since there are easy methods to defrost it fast.

So, see bellow the best tips on how to defrost meat fast.

The best method to defrost meat

Before we begin to with the tips on how to defrost meat fast. We will mention the best and most recommended way to do it.

If you have enough time in your hands, the safest way to defrost meat is by leaving it overnight in the fridge.

If you have even more time, leaving it for around 24 hours sitting in the fridge will guarantee that the meat is 100% defrosted.

By leaving in the fridge the meat portion will defrost evenly and slowly. Which will leave it with a better texture and taste. The fridge will keep the meat away from the higher temperatures that make it easier for bacteria to grow (around 40 F and 140 F).

The fastest methods to defrost meat

Now, if you do not have the time to leave the meat in fridge for more than 12 hours. Then the methods below will be the best for you.

Defrosting meat fast with cold water

The cold water method can be an easy way to defrost meat. If you do not have a microwave in hand or want to avoid using it.

This cold water works best if you are defrosting smaller portions or small cuts of meats, such as steaks, chicken breasts, ground beef, etc. Bigger cuts will not defrost well with this method.

  1. Remove the meat portion you will defrost from the freezer and take it out of its frozen package.
  2. Put the meat portion inside a clean and new airtight compartment e squeeze all the air out of it.
  3. Place the meat in a bowl with cold water for around 30 minutes or until the meat is completely defrosted.

It is important not to let any air inside the compartment before submerging it in the water or the meat will float and not defrost as well as it should.

It will take around 30 minutes to defrost one pound of meat. If you are defrosting more than one pound, then place it in separate compartments and separate bowls of cold water. This way it will defrost faster and better.

Do you wanna know how long can you freeze a chicken? Click here.

Defrosting meat fast with the microwave

The microwave can be a great ally to defrost meat in a matter of minutes. So, if you do not have enough time and need to go on with your recipe, use this method.

Most microwaves have a defrosting button and defrost mode. You can add there how many pounds will wish to defrost and it will calculate the time automatically.

But if your microwave does not have a defrosting mode. Let it in the low power, add the meat there and let it for a few minutes, check and add more minutes if necessary. Do this until the meat is completely defrosted.

Be incredibly careful when defrosting in the microwave. Since the meat can go from frozen to cooked in a matter of minutes. Keep a close eye on it and if you see that there are no more traces of ice in it, remove from the microwave.

Cook the meat without defrosting

If you do not have the minutes needed to defrost the meat in the water or with the help of the microwave, then you can add the meat into your recipe directly from the freezer. This method will only require some more minutes of cooking in the oven or stove.

This method is not recommended to slow cooking recipes. If you slow cook the frozen meet it will increase the chances of bacteria growing, which will lead to food poisoning if the meat gets consumed.

Final recommendations

There are plenty of options to defrost meat but defrosting it in room temperature is not an option to do it.

If left in room temperature in contact with the oxygen for a long period of time, the meat will be the perfect place to bacteria growth, which will lead to food poisoning later. Meat with bacteria should not be consumed.

Also, if you defrosted the meat portion once, do not freeze it again. The freezing process should only be done once to assure the safety and taste of the meat.


If you have time to defrost the meat portions you will need for your week dinner or even that especial recipe, then leaving the meat in the fridge to defrost completely is the safest and most recommended way. By defrosting it in the fridge you will keep the meat 100% safe from bacteria growth.

But, if you do not have enough time and need the meat defrosted fast, then you can use the microwave, the cold water method or using the frozen meat directly into the recipe.

Those methods are also completely safe and can be used to defrost all types of meats. If you take the precautions mentioned in the article, then you will be good to go.

And as mentioned in the article above, do not let the meat defrost in room temperature, because it can cause bacteria growth that leads to food poisoning.

Let us know if you used any of the methods from the article.

If you are looking for a steamed fish recipe. Check this post.

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