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Real world example: when I thaw frozen meat in 5L of warm water vs 20L of cold water, it thaws roughly in the same time for me (note, the warm water is not kept warm) - Which I guess means that the same amount of thermal energy is transferred to the meat over an equal time period. Does it make a difference for the freshness of the meat if I thaw it in warm water vs cold water, if it takes in the same thermal energy over the same time period? And do the bacteria that make it go bad care more about absolute temperature, or thermal energy?

marked as duplicate by Erica, moscafj, Cindy, Ward, Debbie M. Nov 30 '17 at 19:20

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  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it seems more about physics or biology (of bacteria) than cooking. – Erica Nov 19 '17 at 13:24
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    Bugs just care about temperature and time. I would go with the 20L of cold water. – paparazzo Nov 19 '17 at 13:42
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    @Erica What's cooking if not biology and physics? – user48884 Nov 19 '17 at 14:16
  • I don't think this is off topic for the forum, but I do believe it is, in essence, a duplicate. We have several questions/answers on thawing. Microbial growth is influenced by temperature, pH, oxygen (or lack thereof), nutrients for the microbes, to name a few significant variables. Temperature is probably the most important. – moscafj Nov 19 '17 at 14:47