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Can thawing meat more quickly (e.g. warm water, microwave, warm oven) than normal (leaving out at room temperature) affect the taste / texture of the meat? Is there a particular maximum rate of temperature change for various types of meat (beef, pork, and chicken is what I'm most interested in)?

  • Possibly related to cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/47351/… – Neil Meyer Jun 7 '15 at 7:11
  • Possible duplicate of Is a longer defrost better than microwave defrosting? – Luciano Oct 22 '18 at 10:47
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    I don't think that is a duplicate since it focuses on the effects of the microwave, and this question is more interested in the rate of temperature change. Definitely related, though. – Erica Oct 22 '18 at 12:11
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    I agree with Erica. I read the linked question, and it is interesting (thanks!) but you could do a very slow defrost in the microwave vs a much higher power defrost also in the microwave, you could also do slow vs fast defrost and never use a microwave, and those are the kinds of situations I was asking about. – Jason C Oct 23 '18 at 3:49
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I'd be more concerned about the meat's safety than taste/texture. "Warm" thawing creates the perfect environment for bacteria growth.

That having been said, my experience mainly involves the use of a microwave to thaw meat. When microwaving meat to thaw, try to avoid the meat having corners or protrusions. This adversely affects taste/texture because they usually start to cook before the rest of the meat thaws.

Freeze ground meat, in a circular shape with a hole in the middle for quickest microwave thawing time. When thawing meat 'parts' place them in a circle, thickest side outward.

So long as no noticeable cooking has started, the taste/texture should be fine. Cook immediately.

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