Freezing meat is easy: you simply pop it in a small plastic bag and throw it in the freezer – but thawing it has always been one of those things that can leave us stressed out a little.
Do you leave it out on the counter to thaw? Should you only ever allow it to defrost slowly in the fridge? Is it really wrong to pop it in the microwave?
However, it seems that none of the above are actually correct... In fact, according to science, it is better to defrost meat and fish by running cold water over them.
“This is something food scientists have known to be true for a long time now. But this knowledge is mostly confined to the food industry. Most people don’t seem to be aware of this,” Susanne Ekstedt, a researcher at the Food and Bioscience unit of SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden in Gothenburg, explained to Science Nordic.
But why is it better to do it this way rather than in the fridge?
Well, according to the research, the faster food is defrosted the nicer it tastes, and water conducts heat better than air.
In fact, when food is frozen it causes large ice crystals to form which can damage its ability to hold in fluids after it has thawed – leaving dry meat behind.
Talking about the belief that thawing food in the refrigerator is the best way to go about it, professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Bjørg Egelandsdal, said that there has never been “good scientific evidence” behind this idea.
“Maybe the idea behind this advice is that refrigerator thawing is most hygienic. It is true that meat and other foodstuffs should be stored in the refrigerator if they are thawed, but it is definitely better to thaw food quickly in water if you are going to use it right away.”
We're pretty sure this doesn't work with bread - so you may still want to pop that in the fridge to defrost.