How to defrost meat using the microwave

The best and safest way to defrost meat is in the fridge. If you run out of time though a microwave can be a defrosting saviour.

To minimise defrosting time, take care to freeze meat correctly. Wrap steaks, chops and sausages individually so that single portions can be easily separated. Pack mince into flat packages rather than as a lump, so it can defrost evenly. Fat attracts more energy than meat, so trim meat before freezing to ensure even defrosting. 

You can also speed up the defrosting process by separating defrosted portions from the still-frozen sections of food.

Defrosting frozen meat

  • Before defrosting meat, remove the freezer bag or wrap to prevent meat sitting in ‘drip’, which will otherwise boil as the meat defrosts causing meat to go grey and begin to stew. If the freezer wrappings do not come off easily, defrost for a few minutes so the wrap is easy to remove.
  • Remove meat from styrofoam tray, as they are not microwave safe.
  • Most microwaves come with a pre-programmed ‘defrost’ setting. Refer to your user manual for its preferred setting and timing.
  • Check the meat throughout the defrosting time. As outer portions of mince thaw, remove them from the microwave dish and set them aside. If the edges of meat feel warm, stop microwaving and allow meat to stand for a few minutes or until edges are cold again.
  • After defrosting the meat it must be cooked right away. Don’t leave it to stand for any length of time at room temperature or in the fridge.

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How to defrost meat using the microwave

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