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There are two main ways to defrost steak: in the refrigerator (safest) and with cold water (faster).

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The Refrigerator Method (Safest)

  1. Plan ahead: This is the best way to thaw steak because it keeps the meat at a safe temperature the entire time. Allow 24 hours for every 1-2 inches of thickness. So, a typical steak will take at least a day to thaw completely.
  2. Package it right: Leave the steak in its original packaging, if possible, or place it in a resealable plastic bag. Put the steak on a plate to catch any drips that may leak during thawing.
  3. Thaw on a low shelf: Place the steak on a low shelf in the refrigerator, away from any raw foods or juices that could drip down onto it.

The Cold Water Method (Faster)

  1. Submerge the steak: This method is faster than thawing in the refrigerator, but it's important to do it correctly to avoid foodborne illness. Place the steak (still in its original packaging if possible) in a large bowl filled with cold water.
  2. Change the water: The water needs to stay cold to thaw the steak safely. Plan on changing the water every 30 minutes.
  3. Time it right: This method thaws steak at a rate of about 30 minutes per pound. So, a 1-pound steak would take about 30 minutes to thaw.

Important Tips:

  • Never thaw steak at room temperature. This allows bacteria to grow more quickly.
  • Don't refreeze thawed steak: Once steak has thawed, cook it immediately or store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Use a quick-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak before serving. Steaks are safe to eat when they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare or 160°F (71°C) for medium
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