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Quick Thawing without a Microwave

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Okay, what's the trick? I gave up using my microwave a few weeks ago. Reheating stuff on the stove is not that big a deal, but thawing? Sheesh! I pulled out a frozen chicken and stuck it in the fridge two days ago, and it's still partially frozen. I was planning on making stock yesterday, and now this morning, but I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow. :

What do you microwave-free mamas do to thaw your food? I've heard about using an aluminum block to conduct the cold out of the food, but I'm wondering if it's really all that great. Any suggestions? Thanks!
post #2 of 8
for chicken & steak I run it under cold water.
post #3 of 8
while it's still in the packaging/ ziploc
post #4 of 8
My mom uses an aluminium block and it works really well. I myself just plug up the sink and run hot water and put my frozen meat (wrapped) in the sink and let the water defrost it. If its a big item I refresh the sink w/ hot water a few times.
post #5 of 8
I've noticed that it thaws faster if when you first take it out of the freezer, you run it under warm water for a couple of minutes and then stick it in the fridge. Seems to give it a headstart. I've also stuck stuff under water, but only works for cuts of meat -- whole chickens or roasts will take too long and I don't like to thaw my stuff at room temperature for more than a few minutes. For whole chickens, especially if they are large, the rinse and then thaw in fridge will give me a thawed chicken in a couple of days if it's a small bird (~4 lb). For a 10-12 lb turkey, it took a whole week to get fully thawed. It also seems to go faster if I put the bird on a metal tray/plate in the fridge (still in the package).
post #6 of 8
I immerse frozen meats (vacuum packed) in a huge stockpot of cold water in the sink. I keep an eye on it when it's thawing, check the meat and refresh the water periodically. Cold water keeps the meat cool when it's thawing and also helps it to thaw.

I used to do it in the microwave before I got rid of my microwave... I have to say that cold water does a lot better job of getting the meat thawed while keeping it cool!! I could never get meat to thaw really evenly in the microwave, either some parts would still be frozen, or some parts would be warm or even starting to cook.
post #7 of 8
Alton Brown did a whole thing on this. Things defrost faster if you put running water on them. I think he immersed is 80% or so in water, cold, and then a trickle of water went on the package to defrost. He had also the same type of package just immersed in water and then just out on the counter and then in fridge. The combo worked fastest.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll try to track down an aluminum block for chicken breasts and steak, and I'll use that cold water trick in an emergency. I guess I'll just have to get better at planning now that I've given up the microwave.
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