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You’ve decided you want to make hamburgers tonight, but the meat is frozen solid. You know that the microwave can defrost the meat quickly, but it also cooks part of it in the process. You also know that your mother used to defrost hamburger meat on the counter, but that's not a very safe method. There is a quick and safe way to defrost meat. All you need to do is follow these steps.

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Put hamburger package in zip-top bag. Most grocery stores wrap their meat packages in plastic wrap, which means water can seep into the package. A zip-top bag ensures that the hamburger meat stays nice and dry as you defrost it.

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Place the bag in a large container. You will need to choose a container that is large enough for the hamburger meat and a large quantity of water. The package should have enough room in the container so that water can completely surround it. This helps ensure that the hamburger meat will defrost quickly.

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Run cold water into the container. Cold water will slowly defrost the hamburger meat. You want to slowly bring up the temperature so that bacteria doesn’t set up in the thawed portions of the meat.

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Use cans to weigh down the bag. In order for the entire package to defrost at the same speed, you need to weigh it down. Two large cans can be used to submerge the package. Remember that you don’t want the package to fully touch the bottom. Only add enough weight to keep the package under the water.

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Change the water every 20 minutes until thawed. To prevent bacteria from setting in, you'll need to keep the water cold. This means that you will need to change the water every 20 minutes. This also speeds up the defrosting process.

Tip

If you don’t have a large enough container, you can place the package a sink filled with water. You can also defrost hamburger meat under running water. To make frying hamburgers easier, make patties before freezing the meat. Then you can cook the meat without having to defrost it. This defrosting process works for all types of meat.

Warning

Never thaw hamburger meat under hot water. This process promotes the growth of bacteria on the outside of the meat as the rest of it thaws.

About the Author

Amy Brantley

Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.