K-State Research and Extension News
July 09, 2009
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Know Right Way to Thaw Meat

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Forget to take the meat, poultry or fish for supper out of the freezer?

“Stress not,” said Karen Blakeslee, a Kansas State University Research and Extension food scientist. “Using a quick-thaw method is preferable to allowing frozen meat, poultry or fish to thaw during the day on a kitchen counter.” 

Thawing frozen foods at room temperature invites bacterial growth, Blakeslee said.

To quick-thaw frozen meat, poultry or fish, place the package under cold running water or in a larger bowl of cold water. Change the water frequently – every 30 minutes – until the product is thawed, and then proceed with cooking.

To quick-thaw frozen meat, poultry or fish in a microwave, remove packaging and place the product in a microwave-safe dish. Follow manufacturer’s directions, but be aware that thawing meat, poultry or fish in a microwave oven begins the cooking process, which will need to be completed, the food scientist said.

Planning ahead is preferable, said Blakeslee, who recommended placing a wrapped, frozen roast, package of ground beef, chops, chicken, or fish in a pan with a lip on the lower shelf of the refrigerator to thaw for a day or two before intended use.

Allow up to three days for a two-to-three-pound roast, she said.

More information about food, food safety and storage is available at county and district Extension offices and at: www.ksre.ksu.edu/foodsafety and www.rrc.ksu.edu. Blakeslee, who is coordinator of K-State’s Rapid Response Center, spends her working hours answering food and food safety questions.



K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Nancy Peterson
K-State Research & Extension News

Karen Blakeslee is at 785-532-1673.