Tip Tuesday, no. 3

June 5, 2012 · 8 comments

Do you have a favorite trick in the kitchen? One that, each and every time, leaves you pleasantly surprised that it actually works? Today’s tip is right up there with my all-time faves — and every time, I walk into the kitchen afterward and think, “wow, it really worked.” It’s like the movie Groundhog Day, where I am Bill Murray and my supporting actor is a Lodge skillet.

Today’s tip: frozen meat thaws more quickly when set in a cast-iron pan.

Something about heat transfer, and conductivity, and blah blah blah seventh-grade science. If you’re like me, you never might not always remember to transfer meat from the freezer to the refrigerator a day or two before you plan to cook. No worries — just grab your cast-iron skillet, set it on the counter, and plop the frozen rock inside. Flip it over after an hour or so, when the underside feels thawed, and let it continue (it helps to remove thick paper wrapping or styrofoam, as long as the meat is still tightly-wrapped in plastic or foil).

As a bonus, the skillet contains any pesky meat juice leaks.

I don’t know the exact increase percentage in thawing time, so I’ll just say it’s an unofficial good bit faster than thawing on a counter or plate.

If you don’t have a cast iron pan, this alone is reason enough to buy one (I have a few Lodge pre-seasoned and a couple thrifted ones as well).

Because this totally works.* Surprisingly, every time.


*granted, it’s not light-speed or anything. It still takes a few hours, so don’t expect to pull out frozen chicken an hour before dinner and still serve chicken. Also, don’t let it sit out all day — because it thaws more quickly, it’ll come to room-temperature more quickly, leaving it at questionably bacteria-friendly temps for too long. Moral of the story: pay attention. Chances are, you will be, since you’re likely in a hurry anyway.

This tip was shared with Simple Lives Thursday, via GNOWFGLINS.



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Bobbie June 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm

OOOH!!!! I recognize that wrapper from my favorite farm in Indiana!!! Great tip!

katy June 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Yes, Bobbie — we loved our local cow quarter : ) About time for another one…

Dad June 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I tried your thawing technique and it worked! Never would have thought of it but it sure reduced thawing time.

Sacha June 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Does this work faster than a cool water bath?

katy June 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm

good question — answer is I’m not sure, because I’ve never taken the time to do a side-by-side test. I use this most often because I can just plunk the meat right down on the skillet, where with water bath sometimes my meat is not completely sealed (wrapped in plastic then in paper) and it icks me out to have the meat directly in the water.

meg June 17, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Just tried – was dubious starting out, am now amazed!

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