How to Defrost Steak: One of Your Most Pressing Questions, Answered

Meat that’s stored in a freezer turns frosty to keep bacteria from multiplying. Many times, you don’t remember to thaw it until it’s almost mealtime. The inability to get steak at room temperature in time may delay the food preparation process.

If the meat has stayed in the freezer for long, the thawing period will be longer. Sometimes it takes up to 24 hours under certain temperatures to achieve full defrosting.

Luckily, there are several hacks to thawing your beef within a short time without losing its texture and flavors.

Chicago Steak Company ships steaks to you, packaged in air-tight vacuum sealers. This makes storage easy as you’ll put the extra packages in the freezer as they are. They are kept frozen and their quality remains top-notch.
How do you thaw frozen steak and maintain the original flavors and texture? Here are your answers.

The Best Steak-Thawing Methods

There are many ways to defrost your meat. Some adhere to the health guidelines on steak temperatures while others don’t. The latter is likely to lead to bacterial multiplication in the meat, posing a health risk.

Thawing meat under high heat is not recommended because bacteria thrive under such conditions. The safest temperature to get your meat is 40 °F or below.

Leave it in airtight containers or packaging bags that are vacuum-sealed. Placing them in the refrigerator in that condition is the best and safest thawing method. It takes 24 hours or more to bring the meat to a temperature that is safe for cooking. Thick cuts take longer than thin cuts.

Place a tray or bowl under the meat to prevent the melting frost from dripping on the surface of your refrigerator.

Refrigeration gets the stone-cold freezer meat to a temperature that is safe for cooking while keeping it from bacteria. If left to defrost in an open space, they will grow and multiply on the meat surface causing food poisoning or infections.

Thawing in the Microwave or Water

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If you are running late on mealtime, here is a quick thawing idea: your microwave!

Compared to refrigeration, it defrosts the meat faster. The defrost setting helps you reach your target in no time.

Set it at moderate to avoid cooking the meat instead. Keep checking it and turning sides. This prevents too much heat in one area.

Once the Microwave goes off and the defrost is achieved, cook the meat right away. Keeping it uncooked for long will lead to the quick growth of bacteria because of the newly acquired heat levels.

Another way to defrost meat within a short time is by dipping it in water. People get confused about whether to use cold or hot water. Some argue that the latter works faster. As mentioned earlier, direct heat on meat that is from the freezer leads to the spread of bacteria. Hot water, therefore, is out of the equation.

The USDA health guidelines state that the use of cold water for thawing meat is the safest way to do it.

This whole process is carried out with the steak ziplocked tightly in the vacuum sealer bags to avoid getting into contact with the moisture.

Change the water at intervals of 20 to 30 minutes. This is done because the water temperature is bound to rise after some time, posing danger to the meat.

Check out these tips and tricks on how to grill a frozen steak

The Standard Time for Defrosting Steak

The time taken to defrost meat depends on its weight and the method used to defrost. The time it stays in the freezer is also a key factor determining how long it’ll take to thaw.

If you decide to use the refrigerator method, give the meat 24 hours. If it weighs more pounds or it is too thick, thawing for up to 30 hours is advisable.

Steaks that have medium weight and are smaller in size defrost between 18 and 24 hours. Cold water thawing takes about 4 hours to defrost a steak weighing 3 to 5 pounds. A 2-pound steak takes approximately 2 hours.


Defrosting meat before cooking protects 3 things: the texture, flavors, and most importantly, your health.

Bacteria in meat can lead to dire consequences if not taken care of. Taking time to thaw the meat is an essential protective measure. It is achievable without compromising the meat’s quality.

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