Learn how to properly defrost food
As with everything we do in the kitchen, there truly is an art to every action that most of us simply haven’t perfected. We tend to favour our habits rather than asking ourselves if we’re cutting vegetables as efficiently as we could be, or if we’re actually storing our food correctly. So we’re sure it’d be no surprise for you to learn that you may not actually be defrosting your food correctly either.
But while chopping techniques can save time, and proper storage can preserve food for longer, defrosting your food the wrong way actually has a chance of having a negative impact on your health. Hopefully we have your full attention now! The team at Repair Aid is going to walk you through the right way to defrost your food and ensure that you are keeping yourself safe and healthy.
Always try to defrost in the fridge
One of the most common things that people do is defrost items in the microwave. Because our microwaves or toasters have defrost options, it doesn’t mean that this is necessarily good for us. This is because of how bacteria actually works. When food is defrosted at quite a quick rate when exposed to heat, the growth of bacteria rapidly multiplies. And given that bacteria can possibly create food poisoning or worse, you can see why it’s best to not take the risk.
When defrosted in colder temperatures over the course of a number of hours, such as in the fridge, bacteria growth is slowed to minimal levels and is therefore much, much safer. However, if you are in a rush, then microwave defrosting is still an adequate and safe enough way – just not as safe. Ultimately, you should follow the defrosting guidelines on the packet to see if this is recommended or not for the particular food in question.
How to defrost properly in the microwave
If you are going to use your microwave to defrost, then it helps to be as efficient as possible with it to ensure that your food is as safe as it can be. One way to do this is to make sure that food isn’t getting cooked on the outside during the defrosting process. You’ll want to put it to 50% defrost to make sure this doesn’t happen, and you’ll also want to move or stir the food (if possible) at some point during the process. This ensures as even a defrost as possible.
Keep in mind that you’ll want to be cooking with the newly defrosted food as soon as possible; and you definitely want to try and avoid refreezing food – this is an absolute no-no when it comes to meat. This is because the amount of bacteria on the food will have increased since the last defrosting and this will only get worse if the food is defrosted again.
Some additional facts
While you should not refreeze raw fish or meat once it has been defrosted, you can however freeze them if they have been subsequently cooked – just don’t refreeze raw meat or fish that has already been defrosted. Another way of avoiding the need to defrost at speed in a microwave is if you plan ahead as that way you won’t be left surprised at the last minute.
Additionally, when it comes to actually freezing food, you’ll want to make sure that the food is totally cold before putting it in the freezer. This is because food that is still warm will inhibit the freezing process, and disrupt the freezing process of the other foods that it is stored beside. This can allow bacteria to activate and multiply. Do keep in mind though that there is a fine balance as you don’t want to leave food at room temperature for more than a few hours.
Lastly, when it comes meat and fish, you’ll want to defrost both of these on the bottom shelf of the fridge. This is because juices may run out and if you leave them to defrost on a higher shelf which could drip down across all of the other shelves. A good way to counteract this is to stick some kitchen roll or paper towels around the plate or tray that the food is on.