To Thaw Ground Meat Faster, Roll Up Your Sleeves And Use Some Force

If you've ever looked through the pantry and refrigerator trying to scrounge up something for dinner because you forgot to defrost some meat, you are not alone. It's seriously frustrating when there is a freezer full of meat, but none of it is usable. It can be tempting to risk trying a quick defrost method that you know isn't the safest, just so you can get dinner on the table. Some methods like defrosting meat in the microwave should be avoided. Microwaves don't cook food evenly, and when you try to defrost meat in one, you can end up with partially cooked meat with the other parts uncooked and heated to a dangerous level — just enough to let bacteria grow.

Another method that can be tempting and is one of the biggest mistakes people make when defrosting meat: Setting the meat on the counter and letting the ice slowly melt away. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) does not recommend it and states that meat should never be defrosted on the counter because it could easily reach the danger zone of 40 degrees to 140 degrees F. So, what are your options when you're in a hurry, and the kids are hungry? It's time to use some elbow grease.

Grab your rolling pin

If you've got a rolling pin, you can speed up the meat defrosting process. According to Masterclass, when possible, allow the meat to defrost in the refrigerator, so it dethaws slowly and at the FSIS-recommended temperature. However, when there's no time for that, you can roll up your sleeves and roll out the meat.

It's helpful if the meat is already a little bit dethawed when using the roll-out method. To soften it up, you can use the cold water method that the FSIS suggests, but only if you monitor things closely with a thermometer. Once it has softened slightly, remove the meat from its package and place it between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper. Then, start applying pressure with a rolling pin. The pushing and rolling should cause the meat to thin out and that will speed up the defrosting process. Once it's thinned, you can put it back in the refrigerator or cook it. Not only will you strengthen arm muscles and let out a little aggression, but you'll have dinner ready in no time.