The U.S. Department of Agriculture's guidelines regarding thawing beef entail three methods: A natural cool-down on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, a quick-thaw in the microwave or defrosting with the assistance of cold water. Of these three procedures, the cold-water method is best – microwaves heat food unevenly, and the steak must be cooked immediately afterward; the refrigerator method, although ideal, takes approximately 3 to 4 hours per pound, minimum; the cold-water method, however, thaws steaks safely in as little as 15 minutes per pound in a uniform manner.
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Place each steak in a sealable plastic storage bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag.
Fill a container large enough to hold the steaks with cold water and submerge them.
Refresh the water every 30 minutes until thawed.