There is nothing more frustrating than planning to cook a dinner with certain ingredients, only to discover that the key ingredient is still in the freezer, and hasn’t been defrosted.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can quickly defrost meat so that you can use it to cook in no time.
The quicker and easiest way to thaw frozen meat is to put it in the microwave on a low heat, or a defrost setting.
But, how long does it take altogether? How quickly can you defrost some ground beef?
In this article, we will teach you everything you need to know about defrosting ground beef, focusing on the method of thawing it in the microwave.
We have also listed some other ways to defrost meat, although using a microwave is, in our opinion, the superior method.
So, let’s get into it. Here is how you can successfully and safely defrost ground beef.
Is It Safe To Defrost Ground Beef In A Microwave?
Yes, it is safe to defrost ground beef in a microwave, as long as you do it thoroughly and properly.
The key is to only defrost the meat, not cook it. If you notice that the meat starts turning a brownish color, instead of its initial pink hue, you should remove it from the microwave immediately.
This is why it is so important to check your microwave beforehand, checking the power setting and wattage, so that you know how long to heat the beef for.
How Long To Defrost Ground Beef In A Microwave?
The time required to fully and safely defrost ground beef in a microwave may vary, depending on the size, and how frozen it is.
A typical sized package of ground beef will, likely, take between 3 and 5 minutes – per pound – to fully defrost while heated on a low setting, or on a defrost setting.
Use the microwave’s defrost settings, or 30% power level, to thaw it for 3–5 minutes.
For more specifics about the defrost setting, check out our how to defrost with a Whirlpool microwave guide.
To thaw the beef thoroughly, you must turn the bag halfway through the defrosting process.
Since microwaves have a range of wattages that ultimately impact the heating time, you will need to inspect the meat periodically to make sure it is done.
Cook in 45 second intervals, opening the microwave and checking the meat each time.
Cook the beef as soon as it has been defrosted because some of its components have already begun to cook.
You don’t want to cook the beef in the microwave, as this can make it unsafe to eat.
How To Defrost Ground Beef In A Microwave?
So, now that you know how long it typically takes to defrost ground beef, you may be wondering how you can do it.
Below, we have listed a step-by-step guide on how you can quickly and safely defrost ground beef using a microwave.
Step 1: Switching Packaging
First things first, after removing it from the freezer, you will need to remove the packaging of the frozen ground beef.
You may have left it in its original packaging, or wrapped it in foil or cling film, or placed it in a storage container.
Take the beef out of its current container, and place it in a resealable zip-lock bag. Then, place the bag onto a microwave-safe plate.
Step 2: Checking Your Microwave
As we mentioned earlier, all microwaves are different.
You will need to check out the wattage and power settings of your own before defrosting the meat, as you will need to work out how long to have it inside the microwave.
Typically, you should be okay defrosting for 3 to 5 minutes per pound. However, this is a rough estimate, and you will need to check to be sure.
Step 3: Defrosting The Ground Beef
Finally, place the ground beef in the zip-lock bag into the microwave, and turn it on.
You will want to open the microwave and check the meat every 45-60 seconds to check the progress.
If the meat begins to turn brown, you will need to take the meat out of the microwave, as this means that it has begun to cook.
The meat should remain a pinkish color.
Once the meat has completely defrosted, you can remove it from the microwave and begin cooking with it.
Check out a great use for your defrosted ground beef in the Pantry Stuffed Acorn Squash featured in our 10 best acorn squash microwave recipes list!
Other Ways To Defrost Ground Beef
While using a microwave is the quickest and easiest way to defrost most meats, including ground beef, there are other ways to do it.
These methods may take a little longer, but, ultimately, they get the job done.
In The Refrigerator
This method will take the longest, but it is a great way to thoroughly defrost meat.
If you have time on your hands, and don’t need to use the ground beef for another 24 hours, we recommend using this method.
All you have to do is take the ground beef out of the freezer, and place it in the refrigerator for a while.
After around 12-24 hours, the meat will have completely thawed.
Using Cold Water
If you have an hour or so to spare before cooking dinner, you could always place the meat in a bowl filled with cold water.
This will gradually defrost the beef.
You will need to place the ground beef in a sealed, leakproof container or bag, such as a zip-lock bag, to ensure that it doesn’t get wet from the water.
You should also add some ice cubes, or use fresh water, every hour or so to make sure the meat doesn’t become warm.
If you are using ground beef in a recipe, you should always make sure that it has completely thawed before cooking.
We recommend using the microwave method if you are short on time, and need the meat ready ASAP.
In fact, it works great for other meats as well! Learn how to defrost chicken breast in the microwave for another quick dinner protein. Or head for the ocean and learn how to defrost fish in the microwave.
When it comes to breakfast, just defrost bacon in the microwave for a head start on your day.
However, if you have a little time on your hands, you should try the ice bath method, or simply leave it in the refrigerator to defrost overnight.
If you defrost the meat in a microwave, it will take, roughly, around 5 minutes per pound of frozen ground beef.
We hope you found this article helpful.
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