Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Help! Defrosting meat / meal planning

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Help! Defrosting meat / meal planning

    I am having a hard time getting in the groove with meal planning, mainly due to the timing/mis-timing of defrosting meats. I have portions of pastured pig, grass-fed cow, and husband-shot elk in my freezer and chest freezer. But I am terrible at timing the defrost. For days, things still seem frozen solid, and then all of a sudden it seems like it's been in the refrigerator too long and no longer good to cook. I don't know what to take out of the freezer when. I am wasting money, aggravating myself, and making it very difficult to stick to this diet because I don't have enough meat ready to cook (we are still heavy and go through A LOT of meat).

    Most people I know in real life buy their meats fresh and don't really defrost much, but I know there are a lot of Paleo people with whole cows and such in their freezers like me. How do you work it? How do you know when it's thawed enough to cook? How do you know if it's gone bad? Do you unwrap from butcher paper before thawing? Do you take any thawing shortcuts? Are there any good rules of thumb based on cut of meat?

    I have got to get myself sorted in this regard if I am going to continue to buy local/pastured/grass-fed meats. I would appreciate any tips on defrosting and meal planning with regard to meats. Thanks.

  • #2
    I just throw shit in a bag and let it sit in a bowl under running cold water. That's that stuff out quick as heck.

    I generally try to plan ahead and thaw on the counter and then let it finish thawing overnight in the fridge to cook the next day, but if I forget it goes into the running water.

    Comment


    • #3
      Whatever I plan on eating, I pull it out of the freezer and let it set in the sink overnight. It's thawed by morning, then I put it in the fridge til I get home from work.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Diana Renata View Post
        Whatever I plan on eating, I pull it out of the freezer and let it set in the sink overnight. It's thawed by morning, then I put it in the fridge til I get home from work.
        Yup. The meat I get from US Wellness is conveniently in plastic bags. So either I throw it in the sink overnight or in the morning before I go to work.

        If I forget (which does happen), I pull a Rivvin and drop it in a sinkful of cool water and set to chopping vegetables. It's usually defrosted in 20-30 minutes.
        Steph
        My Primal Meanderings

        Comment


        • #5
          We have a big dry erase calendar in our kitchen that we write all our important events on (dr appointments, school, dates, pay day, etc). on this calendar we also write out all of our meals for a 2 week span (paycheck to paycheck). This immediately forms the bulk of our grocery list.
          Every day, I take out frozen meat in the morning, and leave it on the counter (still wrapped), and it's defrosted when I am ready to fix dinner at 5:30.
          Maybe try leaving your meat out? Wait until it's completely defrosted before putting it back in the fridge.
          I've found that the only critter that honestly defrosts at a fast pace is fish (put it in a bowl of water and it's ready to go in 20 mins)
          --Trish (Bork)
          TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
          http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
          FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

          Comment


          • #6
            I never plan ahead. Just how I am, and I never know how many people will be home for dinner anyway. I always fill the sink or a bowl with cold water, drop in the meat (in a sealed plastic bag) and it's usually defrosted in 20-60 minutes, depending on the size and shape. Which, by the way, is why I always form ground beef into flat rectangles inside the freezer bags. Flat defrosts much better than other shapes (like tubes or something) and it stacks better in the freezer anyway.
            Durp.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have started experimenting with putting things directly from the freezer into the crock pot. My freezer holds 0 or below so the stuff is frozen solid. So far, if anything, things taste better. Last week gravy (that would be tomato sauce for most of you) with chicken and Italian sausages came out just sublime with the bones kind of disintegrating and the meat still moist after 9+ hours (5 on high, 3+ on low). Works with ribs and shank steaks as well.

              I don't have the room to stock up on the larger cuts (yet) but I don't see why this wouldn't work for something like pot roast as well. I would line the bottom of the pot w/ onions and carrots to hold the roast out of the liquid, chuck some spices in along with the frozen cut and let it go all day on low. Come home from work to a ready meal. I really need to get a programmable crock.
              Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ozone View Post
                How do you know when it's thawed enough to cook.
                The only reason to defrost food before cooking is because the outside will be overcooked by the time the middle reaches doneness. So the temperature you want the meat at before cooking depends entirely on how you're cooking it and what you're cooking. If you're cooking a steak in a frypan, you might even want to let the steak reach room temperature before you start to cook it, so that it takes less time for the middle to reach the desired doneness (and so less of the meat is overcooked).

                So defrosting meat only matters if you're using a dry cooking method (some part of the meat exposed to hot surface, oil or air, where it can burn). Wet cooking methods are temperature controlled, such as if you were stewing the meat (won't ever go above boiling temp unless it boils dry), using a crockpot (won't go above a simmer) or a sous-vide water oven (will stay at whatever temperature you set it, between room temperature and boiling). So you can put frozen meat in directly and the outside won't burn or be overdone while the inside defrosts.
                Last edited by Doddibot; 08-17-2011, 10:19 PM.
                "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am assuming you people who put food on the counter over-night or throughout the day are talking about big pieces of meat? Cause I know I personally would not like to eat a rib-eye that's been sitting in an 80 degree room for 8 hours. Maybe I'm just a pussy though.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rivvin View Post
                    I am assuming you people who put food on the counter over-night or throughout the day are talking about big pieces of meat? Cause I know I personally would not like to eat a rib-eye that's been sitting in an 80 degree room for 8 hours. Maybe I'm just a pussy though.
                    My house is usually in the low 70s (we're by the ocean), and I like my meat at room temp before I start cooking. If it's pork or beef, I pull it out before work, so it's actually sitting about 9-10 hours before I use it. Chicken and fish I try to do in the fridge. Everything gets a sniff before I put it in my meal. Mom did the same thing.

                    So far, so good. Not that that means I think everyone should do as I do, but I've yet to be poisoned by my own cooking habits.
                    Steph
                    My Primal Meanderings

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sometimes, if I'm in a real hurry haven't thought ahead, I throw it to defrost it with some microwaves. You do risk it getting cooked at the edges, though.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I try to take out meat for the next night before I start cooking for the present night. It thaws on the counter til bedtime, then goes in the refrig. Sometimes I still need to thaw it a little more in the microwave for it to be cookable the next evening.

                        Would putting up a note to yourself where you can't miss it be helpful? On yer pillow? or the bathroom mirror? Just until you get in the habit.

                        I still forget, and thank God for the microwave. Steak I will thaw in the micro half a pound setting at a time, then give it 10 or so min for the heat
                        to redistribute, before nuking again for half a pound setting if it needs it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IvyBlue View Post
                          I have started experimenting with putting things directly from the freezer into the crock pot. My freezer holds 0 or below so the stuff is frozen solid. So far, if anything, things taste better. Last week gravy (that would be tomato sauce for most of you) with chicken and Italian sausages came out just sublime with the bones kind of disintegrating and the meat still moist after 9+ hours (5 on high, 3+ on low). Works with ribs and shank steaks as well.

                          I don't have the room to stock up on the larger cuts (yet) but I don't see why this wouldn't work for something like pot roast as well. I would line the bottom of the pot w/ onions and carrots to hold the roast out of the liquid, chuck some spices in along with the frozen cut and let it go all day on low. Come home from work to a ready meal. I really need to get a programmable crock.
                          +100
                          I was having the same problem with meal planning; and I found a recipe on allrecipes.com for cooking a chuck roast in the crock pot, starting from frozen. Since then, I've done it w/whole chickens, pork shoulder....any larger piece of meat can go in the crockpot in the morning, frozen, and be ready by dinner. But plan on checking in w/it the first couple times; my crockpot runs hot, others run cold.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The Big Thaw - Safe Defrosting Methods for Consumers

                            The Big Thaw Safe Defrosting Methods for Consumers

                            Uh, oh! You're home and forgot to thaw something for dinner. You grab a package of meat or chicken and use hot water to thaw it fast. But is this safe? What if you remembered to take food out of the freezer, but forgot and left the package on the counter all day while you were at work?

                            Neither of these situations is considered safe, and these methods of thawing may lead to foodborne illness. Raw or cooked meat, poultry or egg products, as any perishable foods, must be kept at a safe temperature during "the big thaw." They are safe indefinitely while frozen. However, as soon as they begin to thaw and become warmer than 40 F, bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to multiply.

                            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 center of the package may still be frozen as it thaws on the counter, the outer layer of the food could be in the "Danger Zone," between 40 and 140 F temperatures where bacteria multiply rapidly.

                            When thawing frozen food, it's best to plan ahead and thaw in the refrigerator where it will remain at a safe, constant temperature at 40 F or below.

                            There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave.

                            Refrigerator Thawing
                            Cold Water Thawing
                            Microwave Thawing
                            Cooking Without Thawing

                            You guys feel free to do what yoiu want but, I do not thaw on the counter. The article has links to the safe ways to thaw food. If I have to I will use the microwave especially since I have auto defrost.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I pretty much don't pay a lot of attention to the warnings about bacteria. I buy local farmed cow and thaw the meat on the counter on a cookie sheet if it is large or a plate if smaller. When it is basically thawed I put it in the fridge.

                              Oh and after that bacteria producing method I eat the meat RAW.

                              I would not do this with store bought meat however. Even the store FRESH meat can be very old and the expiration date changed.
                              Last edited by stephenmarklay; 08-20-2011, 07:06 PM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X