The Best Way to Quickly & Safely Thaw Frozen Steak

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(Image Credit: Christine Han)

Here’s a useful tip as we head into grilling season: When you see steak on sale at the grocery store, seize the opportunity to buy extra and freeze it for another day. You’ll be happy to have it on hand when a simple dinner of grilled steak and vegetables is just what you crave on a warm summer day. But to be sure your steak turns out perfectly every time, you’ll want to make sure you defrost it the right way. Here’s how to do it.

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(Image Credit: Mia Yakel/Kitchn)

How to Safely Defrost Steak

The key to safely defrosting steak (or any kind of meat or fish) is keeping it out of the temperature danger zone (41°F to 135°F), where bacteria can grow quickly. Keeping it out at room temperature for too long, putting it in contact with hot water, or defrosting it in the microwave are all things that can all put it in the danger zone. Improper defrosting can also negatively affect the texture of steak.

Here are the two best options for safely defrosting steak, depending on how much time you have.

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Flank Steak Marinade (Image Credit: Joe Lingeman)

The Easiest Way to Defrost Steak

The simplest, most foolproof defrosting method does require a bit of planning. Transfer frozen steak to the refrigerator overnight to slowly thaw, and in about 24 hours — depending on the size and thickness of the meat — it will be ready to go. Since it’s out of the temperature danger zone and defrosts slowly, there are no food safety risks and the texture won’t be compromised.

The Best Way to Defrost Steak If You’re Short on Time

You still can enjoy steak for dinner if you didn’t think to defrost it until you got home from work. Fill a large bowl with cold water, place the steak in a resealable plastic bag, and submerge it in the water. The meat will be completely thawed in an hour or two, depending on the size and thickness. Just be sure to check the water every 30 minutes — if it becomes tepid, change it out.

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Warm Fajita Steak Salad (Image Credit: Joe Lingeman)

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