Here’s How to Defrost Food the Right Way

If you think you know the best way to get that chicken defrosted perfectly as quick as poss – then you might have to think again

Apparently many of us have been defrosting food completely wrong all this time.

That is, according to top food scientist Susanne Ekstedt, who has pointed out the supposed common blunder.

While most of us may think leaving frozen meat and fish to defrost slowly in the fridge overnight is the best method – this is all wrong according to Ekstedt.

Ekstedt says this is based on myths about food and the best way to do it is by putting it in cold water.

Ekstedt, a researcher at the at the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden in Gothenburg, said this method also helps the product keep its flavour.

She said the reason behind defrosting meat and fish in water is simple – water conducts heat better than air and therefore speeds up the process.

GettyWoman shocked by her empty fridge
Most of us think leaving frozen meat and fish to defrost slowly in the fridge overnight is the best method

Speaking to she said: “This is something food scientists have known to be true for a long time now.

“But this knowledge is mostly confined to the food industry. Most people don’t seem to be aware of this.”

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She suggests the best way to carry out this method is to wrap the product in plastic and place it in cold water.

Bjørg Egelandsdal, a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Ås whose specialty is meat has tried to explain why the myth of using the fridge has come about.

Getty ImagesMicrowave cooking
Microwaving meat is a “a little too brutal” and tends to damage it

She said: “Maybe the idea behind this advice is that refrigerator thawing is most hygienic.

“It is true that meat and other foodstuffs should be stored in the refrigerator if they are thawed, but it is definitely better to thaw food quickly in water if you are going to use it right away.”

And for those of us who use the microwave? That’s a big no-no too according to Per Einar Granum, a microbiologist also at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

While he says this is fine if you’re using the meat in a casserole or stew, the process is a “a little too brutal for the meat” and tends to damage it as it is heated up.


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