4 Ways to Thaw Frozen Beef
Updated: Mar 9, 2022
If you're used to buying refrigerated beef from the grocery store, it can be confusing trying to figure out how to quickly and safely thaw frozen meat for your meals.
First off, all of our beef, whether purchased in bulk or by the individual cut, will come frozen in vacuum-sealed plastic packages. Bulk orders are a convenient way to stock up without having to worry about fluctuating prices or grocery stores being sold out. It's also nice to have some steaks or ground beef on hand for last minute dinners or if you have friends over.
Because the meat was flash-frozen shortly after butchering, the freshness and flavor is locked in, unlike meat that is purchased from the grocery store that sat on the store shelves for days before you get it.
Bonus: if the vacuum seal of the package hasn't been compromised and the meat has been kept frozen, it will last for well over a year and still taste as good as it did the day you brought it home!
We recommended thawing beef in the following ways:
-In the refrigerator
-Under cold, running water
-In the microwave
-Cook it frozen
In the Refrigerator
This is the best and easiest way to thaw beef and typically the method we use. Simply take whatever you plan on eating out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to thaw. There’s no need to remove the meat from the package. If you're thawing a steak or a package of ground beef, putting it in the fridge the day before you plan on cooking gives it plenty of time to thaw. For a larger roast, allow one day of thawing for every 2 pounds of meat. Once thawed, plan to cook within 3-4 days.
In Cold Water
Forgot to pull your beef out of the freezer last night? It happens! Thawing in cold water is best if you don’t have the time to thaw in the refrigerator. The key to safely thawing in water is to use COLD water. It’s tempting to use warm or even hot water to speed up the process, but you want the meat to stay cold to prevent bacteria growth. Leave the meat in the vacuum-sealed package and submerge in a bowl or sink of cold, running water. The water doesn’t need to be running fast, just enough to continually flush the water. If you don’t want to leave the water running, you can always change the water out every 15 minutes or so until it’s thawed. Once thawed, plan to cook the same day.
In the Microwave
Microwave thawing is the fastest method for thawing beef, but not the most ideal. Follow the defrosting instructions on your microwave and watch carefully- you want to thaw the meat, not cook it! If you do use the microwave to thaw, plan on cooking immediately.
Cook it Frozen
If you’re really short on time, you can always forgo thawing altogether and cook directly from frozen. Make sure to allow for about a 50% longer cooking time than if the meat was thawed beforehand. This method is fine for steaks and ground beef or burgers, but we don't recommend it for roasts.
We hope this helps take some of the guesswork out of thawing beef. If you're interested in trying some of our beef, contact us so we can get you set up. We also offer bulk beef (whole, half, or quarter) in late summer and fall, which is the best way to stock your freezer and save some money. If you'd like to be added to our bulk beef waitlist, please click here to sign up.