How to Safely Defrost Food

 

Defrost carefully!

Freeze asap ... defrost carefully!

… or how not to come down with ‘Bali belly’ at home!In an ideal world, you’d cook a fresh meal every single time you had to eat.  But, in the interests of convenience and sanity-saving, it can be very wise to make a double batch and freeze half of it for another time.  Defrosting your food safely is critical, whether it’s a casserole, spaghetti sauce or even ingredients such as meats and vegetables.

 

Overnight
Patience, patience; this really is the best way.  Take the food out of the freezer the day before you need it and store it on a high shelf in the fridge overnight.  It will be perfectly defrosted with minimal loss of nutrients and you won’t have partially cooked bits as you would if you used the microwave.

Microwave
If you intend to use the food as soon as it’s defrosted, then it’s ok to use the microwave.  Doing it this way will save you hours of waiting time so don’t push your luck and try to speed up the defrosting time as you will find some parts of your food will be cooked while others are merely thawed.  This can lead to food poisoning at worst, and uneven cooking at best.

Cook to defrost
Some foods can be safely cooked from frozen.  For instance, crumbed chicken fillets can be removed from the freezer and put straight into a hot pan with a little oil.  Pizza can be put straight in the oven.  You can even put a frozen joint of meat in the slow cooker and set it for a little longer than you usually would – say an extra hour – and your roast will be done to perfection without having to wait for it to thaw.

Always observe the manufacturer’s instructions for your microwave, your slow cooker and any other appliances you use.  Never leave food out all day while you’re at work because if its temperature rises to room temperature and stays that way for too long, you will suffer a miserable bout of food poisoning.

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