Thursday, February 15, 2007

the old-fashioned way

In pre-microwave times, the thawing of frozen food was done by soaking it in hot water.

Last night after wasting tons of time trying to thaw my vegetable soup in the microwave, I gave up and put the container in a pot of hot water. And in no time, I was able to spoon some out and heat it in a pot with added rice noodles.

I don't like using the microwave on raw meat, since it changes the consistency. In the winter, the meat doesn't thaw overnight, so Thursday mornings, inevitably, there are scenes like this one in the kitchen.

The only thing that thaws well in the microwave is bread, pita, or rolls for immediate consumption.


mother in israel said...

The safest and most economical way to thaw meat is in the refrigerator. It saves not only on the water but it helps keep your refrigerator cool. It's a matter of trial and error to know when to take it out of the freezer (a big container of soup might take two days or more), but if meat is still partially frozen you could marinate it to finish the process.

I also don't like to defrots meat in the microwave.

marallyn ben moshe said...

i'm with you muse...reheat in the micro and defrost in a tub of water...but when i make a roast i take it out of the freezer two three days in advance and leave it in the fridge...the meat somehow ages and is softer that way...i just made a huge pot of chili and chicken burgers...defrosted the meat in pots of water...and artichokes and salad...where's the good fairy when you need her??? sigh

Emily said...

Isn't soaking meat in hot water to defrost it a huge bactria risk? The vegtable soup I'm fine with, but meat seems like it would be a recipe for creating a giant colony of salmonella and e.coli.

muse said...

Thanks for all the input.
When we had cats, I used to thaw in the fridge starting Tuesday to cook on Thursday.
Now I leave it out the night before, still wrapped, and in the summer, no problem, and in the winter, it's still frozen solid the next morning.
I thaw and prepare in pots and cooking pans, not eating plates and bowls. I constantly wash my hands with soap.

wendy said...

That is always tricky. I don't like to thaw out meat in the micro either, but I often forget to take out the chicken in the morning.

I also don't like to thaw out bread in the microwave.

Really, I only like the microwave for boiling water. It is kind of a waste of space in my tiny kitchen.

mother in israel said...

It took me a minute to figure out the cat connection --LOL.

Why do you prefer to defrest on the counter, when it is less safe? Especially in the summer.

muse said...

Wendy, it seems to me that you don't need a microwave. Here in Israel, and Europe, too, we have simple electric kettles for boiling water.

mii, generally I defost the meat still wrapped. The picture was when I was rushed and had to soak things. I don't think that having raw meat/poultry in the fridge for days on end is any safer. there's more of a chance that it will be touched or touch other foods.