9 Mistakes You Could Be Making When You Defrost Meat

We all know that purchasing frozen meat at the local store is way, WAY easier on the pocketbook, but there’s definitely a reason that it’s cheaper. You see, not everyone likes to take the time to endure the sometimes day-long defrosting and thawing process, especially if you want to sink your teeth into that frosty ribeye right away.

So, what do we all do when we want to thaw our meat quick? Honestly, some pretty dangerous stuff…

Don’t think you’re part of that group? Answer us this question, then: have you ever left a piece of frozen meat to defrost on the counter? If so, then you unknowingly exposed yourself and your family to potentially deadly bacteria! Sad, but true.

Here are 9 common meat defrosting mistakes that you need to stop making NOW…

  1. You are defrosting your meat in hot water

    Believe it or not, defrosting that primo ground beef in hot water can actually get YOU in hot water! The high temperatures in this “meat bath” serve as a ripe breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. Instead, place your packaged meats in a vat of ice-cold water to speed up the thawing process safely.

  2. You are defrosting your meat on the top shelf of the fridge

    Nope, this isn’t the aftermath of a bizarre murder scene that somehow involved a fridge– it’s simply a visual account of what happens when your piece of meat is left to defrost on the fridge’s top shelf. Unless you want to give your beloved ice box a VERY thorough cleaning, we suggest placing the meat at a lower height.

  3. You defrost your meat near its garnishings and spices

    The above picture might look like the makings of a good meal, but if that meat is still thawing, then it’s one that could make a lot of people really sick! Always take care that your meat is fully defrosted BEFORE you introduce any other ingredients to its plate, cutting board, or surface.

  4. You place your meat on the counter to defrost

    We’re always shocked by how often we see this mistake! Many aren’t aware that thawing at room temperature invites a ton of incredibly dangerous bacteria to breed on the meat. Instead, thaw in the fridge or ice-cold water–or, if you’re in a hurry, the microwave works well, too!

  5. You wash unpackaged meat to speed up the thawing process

    Believe it or not, there’s no reason to wash either frozen or even thawed meat. Doing so will only spread bacteria to your sinks, countertops, and sponges. Gross!

  6. You re-freeze a piece of meat that has been thawed at room temperature

    If you’ve been paying attention, then you already know that you should never, EVER thaw something at room temperature, right? So, it definitely makes sense that you wouldn’t refreeze it, just to let it thaw again on the counter. Talk about a double whammy– that could make you really sick!

  7. You defrost your frozen turkey with a blowdryer

    Yes, apparently thawing frozen turkeys with hot blowdryers is a “thing.” We can’t believe we have to tell you this–but, please don’t do it! Not only is this thawing method way too time-consuming for our taste, the meat will not defrost evenly, which can make for increased bacteria production.

  8. You defrost thick cuts of meat on the skillet

    Sure, you can get away with cooking ground and thinly-sliced frozen meats right on the skillet, but it won’t work out well for you if your cut is a thick one. In the best case, it will turn out tough, and in the worst, it could be severely undercooked at its center.

  9. You don’t wash your hands after handling defrosting meat

    Just because the meat is frozen solid doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of bacteria on its surface that can be spread all over your home later!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these meat defrosting mistakes. Are you guilty of making any of these flubs? If so, which ones? How do you safely defrost your meat?