How to Thaw food correctly

by Sanjeev Kapoor

When you want to use food that has been frozen you need to know how to thaw it correctly. Here are a few things to keep in mind while bringing frozen food to room temperature before using them.

Thawing the foods in the refrigerator

It is very important to bring food that is stored in the refrigerator section of your fridge needs to room temperature. Planning well in advance is a key since longer thawing time is involved in this method. A few points have to be taken into consideration while following this method.

  • The time of thawing will depend upon the size of food item. For example a large piece of meat will be required to thaw for longer as compared to a smaller chunk.
  • The food kept in the coldest part of the refrigerator will take longer time to thaw. (obviously!) So be patient.
  • Make sure you keep the food item properly covered and use a dish underneath or thick paper towels so that the water will not drop down and will not spoil other products in the refrigerator.

Using cold water for thawing
This method is faster than refrigerator thawing but requires more attention. The bag should be submerged in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes so it continues to thaw. Take these points into consideration while following this method

  • The food must be in a leak-proof package or plastic bag. If the bag leaks, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment could be introduced into the food. Also, meat tissue can also absorb water like a sponge, resulting in a watery product.
  • If thawed completely, the food must be cooked immediately.

Using the microwave for thawing
Microwave thawing is the easiest way of thawing food since in the microwave the distribution of heat is uniform throughout the product and hence the core of the product takes equal time to thaw as the outer surface. Microwave defrosting, just before cooking, virtually eliminates the risk of food poisoning from bacteria that can grow and contaminate meat, chicken, fish and other foods thawed on a countertop.

  • Always remove food from the store packaging and place it in a microwave-safe dish.
  • For individual pieces of food that are frozen together, stop the power a few times and pull the pieces apart.
  • When thawing a larger item, such as a whole chicken, place it upside down at first, then turn it over half way through the thawing time.

Happy Cooking!


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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.