You Should Avoid Defrosting Meat In The Microwave. Here's Why

Cooking meals from scratch with the freshest ingredients possible certainly is ideal. But we must admit that it's not part of the day-to-day reality for most people. Sometimes it's much more convenient to stock up the freezer with meat for later rather than meal prepping or shopping for everything you need on the day of. And if you've got some frozen meat, that's where the microwave usually comes in. Defrosting does require a bit of pre-planning, but surely it's nothing a microwave can't take care of — or so you may have thought. 

According to Kitchn, defrosting meat outside of the refrigerator is actually quite a risky game. Because of the way microwaves heat food, certain parts of the meat can cook through while others remain frozen. Not only does this ultimately yield uneven cooking results, but it could also allow dangerous bacteria to proliferate. While the warm sections of the meat sit at the "danger zone" (the temperature at which bacteria grows best), others are still in the process of defrosting, giving that bacteria more time to spread. But if defrosting meat in the microwave is so bad, what's a time-strapped cook to do instead?

What is the best way to defrost meat?

If you're in a pinch and have no other way to defrost your frozen meat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms that you can technically use the microwave to do so. However, you must cook the meat immediately afterward to avoid that dreaded bacterial growth.

The safest alternative to the microwave method is to transfer the frozen meat to the refrigerator the night before and use it the next day (via Food Network). Leaving frozen meat out at room temperature will allow it to defrost more quickly, but that's still risky. This is because meat cannot safely be kept at room temperature for longer than two hours. If you aren't able to leave it in the fridge overnight, you could also thaw frozen meat in a bowl of cold water, so long as you refresh the water every 30 minutes (and wash your hands, while you're at it). You could also try this double-pot technique if you're still looking for other options.