61

Frozen foods are made for convenience. For most people, convenience does not include remembering to defrost the food several hours before cooking. So the recipe and cooking method are indeed for cooking straight from frozen, unless they clearly state otherwise. You will get the best result if you take it directly from the freezer to the oven. For most frozen ...


55

The salmon will get water logged and mushy (and consequently release a lot of water during the cooking process) if you omit the bag. It's not unsafe, but it will decrease the quality of the salmon.


34

It's safe because freezing greatly slows (if not completely arrests) the growth of the bacteria that would otherwise make the meat spoil. It doesn't kill them, it just puts them in 'stasis'. The expiration date is given based on the meat only being refrigerated. If you intend to store the meat past its expiration date, best practice is to freeze the meat ...


32

I wouldn't recommend it for a couple of reasons: Food in general degrades much faster in the fridge than in the freezer, so you risk spoilage during that time. Most prepared foods are not recommended to be stored that long in the fridge. Most "do not thaw" meals are designed to be cooked from frozen. So you're not only left guessing what the ...


20

Osmotic Pressure If you boil vegetables in water, some of the compounds from within the cells will leach out of the vegetables into the water. The reason is because vegetables are bags of water with goodies inside and a semi-permeable membrane holding them together (the skin). The compounds inside (vitamins and other micro-nutrients) look around and say: &...


15

Microwaving meat to defrost it tends to start cooking it at the edges and generally make it go weird and rubbery (scientific terms I know). So yes, it is better to defrost 'naturally' in the fridge, in terms of quality. Freezing damages meat by bursting the cell walls as their water expands. This affects the texture more than the flavour. The damage is done ...


13

Yes, it is perfectly safe (as long as you continue to thaw the meat in a safe manner, as in the refrigerator). The marinade will not begin to have much effect until at least the outer layers of the meat are thawed, but it will not otherwise have any side effect. It may get slightly better penetration due to the changes in the texture of the meat from ice ...


13

There are four methods for thawing frozen foods which are recognized as safe: In a refrigerator In the microwave Under cool running water As part of the cooking process These four methods all meet the criteria that they minimize the amount of time the food spends in the danger zone (40-140 F, 4-60 C) where bacteria can grow. The pros and cons of the ...


11

As far as I am aware, you cannot recognize this in advance. What you describe is due to very damaged cell structure in the fish. The "water" are the fluids contained in and around the fish cells, which make the filets juicy. They flow out when the cell walls in the fish rupture. The reason for rupturing is that the fluids are water-based, and water ...


11

Yes, if you use brine! (And keep an eye on it to make sure you don't leave it in too long after thawing.) It's interesting that Lawnmower Man brings up osmotic pressure. Though he makes some very good points, he missed the fact that you aren't bound to using plain water; you can balance the osmotic pressure by adding salt (or sugar, which is common when ...


10

Thawing in hot water is unsafe for exactly the same reason that thawing on the counter is unsafe. You'd be very quickly raising the exterior temperature of the food to the danger zone (4-60° C), and allowing it to stay in that range for an extended period of time, in many cases more than the prescribed limit of 2 hours, and actually considerably less than 2 ...


10

Outside of premade freezer dishes (as Johanna notes, those are basically never defrosted), the "do I need to defrost it" question is really quite interesting. For the most part, if the food is already in its "to be prepared" state, defrosting isn't very important. It's when you're going to further work with it that you need to defrost ...


9

The difference between cold and frozen where a refrigerator is concerned is actually only a few Kelvin (or "degrees"). The standard refrigerator will have warmer and colder zones, typically the top shelf being warmer, the bottom shelf above the veggie drawer cooler. Likewise the back is usually cooler than the front. The temperature you set it to is an ...


8

It's reminding you that flipping meat halfway through the defrost cycle will help prevent the bottom half cooking, while the top remains frozen solid.


8

If you defrost in water, by all means keep the plastic on. If it weren't wrapped, you'd put it in a baggie anyway and not dump it directly into the water. The instructions to unwrap are for defrosting in the fridge and to allow the water to run off. Fish is often covered in a thin protective layer of ice, which you want to be able to drain instead of ...


7

I would think that USDA would err on the side of conservative when it comes to safety, especially with no financial interests in the equation http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Big_Thaw/ Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter, or in hot water and must not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Even though the ...


7

While I agree that these types of warnings are conservative and partially CYA, I would suggest that they not be dismissed. What needs to be understood is that there are other factors involved past the production method. Even if a mfr./producer observes and maintains the highest quality standards in their production facility, they have no control over how ...


7

The trick is to not use a wok at all. A wok works by concentrating a lot of heat on the bottom, more heat than you can achieve with a home stove. "Stir frying" moves the food from the cool sides of the wok, through the intense heat at the bottom, then out. Rather, use a wide skillet. A home stove can't generate the intense, focused heat of a restaurant ...


7

Have you ever noticed that if you walk outside on a cold day and touch a metal object, the metal feels colder then the air? The reason is, solids and liquids transfer heat better than gasses do. If you set a steak on a plate to defrost, there is air above it, and a cushion of air below. When you sandwich the steak between two pots, one of which has a large ...


6

Either you've insulated it or your fridge is really cold. I suggest using a thermometer to check your fridge temperature. Parts of your fridge may be at slightly different temperatures than other parts; it may help to move it to a warmer part of the fridge (if that can be done safely, you don't want it dripping on your produce, for example). You could use ...


6

If this is all kept at refrigerator temperatures, then cooked, your health risk is extremely low. However, there is a better method, which you suggest. Place your seafood/shellfish in a colander or strainer. Place that over a container so that the melting liquid can drain off, and so that the product will not be sitting in the liquid. The same set up can ...


5

To me, the key to your question "five minutes." I'm no scientist, but I can't imagine that this is harmful. I agree with Aaronut's answer in that I think it takes a much, much longer period of time for problems to develop. When people warn you about thawing in hot water, they're envisioning something more like taking a solidly-frozen piece of meat from the ...


5

Ignoring food safety for a moment referring to an example like How Clothes Dryers Work in most dryers air enters near the top, is heated by an element at the rear of the dryer but the air is actually being drawn in / out by a fan at the bottom of the unit. The internal temperature of the air ends up being about 175C so most of what is "floating around" in ...


5

It's fine to thaw for a few (or several) hours under cold water and then put it in the refrigerator. Just keep the water cold and refrigerate immediately upon removing the turkey from the water. The USDA and Butterball are being extremely overly conservative, most likely because a lot of people are really bad at following instructions. Cold water good - warm ...


5

Disclaimer: this is likely to be closed as duplicate, but I couldn't find the corresponding post. And as Christmas dinner and the health of a whole group is at stake, I'll post an answer anyway. Do not thaw meat on the counter. No matter what your Grandmother did, it's not safe. If in a hurry, thaw in cold water. This uses the fact that water is a way ...


5

Frozen supermarket coriander/cilantro is perfectly good to use whilst cooking. Very similar to adding stems for flavour. You'll never get fresh looking leaves to finish the dish from the ice blocks, but stir it in and you will get that background flavour. Delicate leaves, Basil is similar, are either fresh or they aren't. Don't worry too much about the ...


5

No matter what you do in this situation, you are likely to end up with soggy sandwiches. This has nothing to do with light. Firstly, the bread of pre-made sandwiches will naturally pick up moisture from the filling and condiments. Often, even freshly made sandwiches will become a bit soggy by lunchtime. You've also created a further disadvantage by ...


4

Extract it from the container (run the container under the hot tap to loosen up the edges if necessary) and put it in a saucepan. Add a little bit of liquid (water, juice from canned tomatoes, milk... whatever would go with the particular curry you have) just to cover the bottom of the saucepan so it isn't getting heated dry. Put it on the stove on a ...


4

Defrosting in the fridge is typically better than thawing in the microwave ... but not if the item is still frozen by the time you want to cook it. (eg, large whole poultry may take more than a day to thaw) The issue is that you want to minimize the potential to cook the item being defrosted, so you don't want to thaw it using too hot of a thawing method. ...


4

You can use it in a few days, that will be fine. Issues with food safety come into play largely when food is kept in the danger zone, around 40-140F for an extended time. The texture of the bacon might not be quite as good since it's kind of like the second time you'll be cooking it.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible