Quick and Easy Ways to Defrost Meat and Seafood Using Cold Water

Your freezer may be a gold mine of prime steaks, jumbo shrimp, fish fillets, and other delicious proteins, but unless you’ve mastered the art of defrosting, you may be tempted to make last minute the grocery store runs, while your treasure trove remains stuck on ice.

To minimize waste, and save you time and money, we recommend two quick and easy cold-water methods for defrosting that will make home cooked dinners a breeze! And certainly far less trouble than driving to the market!

Method #1: Use Running Water

  1. Keep frozen protein wrapped in original packaging if it is airtight.
  2. If not, place your meat or seafood in a resealable bag, releasing excess air.
  3. Then, simply place your frozen protein in a bowl, or on a flat surface like a plate or baking sheet tray, and place under slow running cold water until your meat or seafood has defrosted.

Method #2: Cold-Water Bath

  1. Again, keep your meat or seafood in its original leak-proof packaging, or place your meat or seafood in a resealable bag, releasing excess air.
  2. Place your frozen protein in a large bowl.
  3. Add cold water to the bowl until your protein is fully submerged.
  4. Change the water every 30 minutes, if your meat and seafood requires more time to thaw.

It’s important your meat or seafood is completely sealed during cold-water defrosting, as any excess water that is absorbed may result in watery protein.

These methods for defrosting work best with smaller pieces of protein, or meat and seafood portions that are individually packaged. Chicken breasts, fish fillets, and shrimp will defrost within an hour, whereas larger cuts of steak and pork chops will take longer.

While you can cook proteins while frozen, it’s very likely you’ll chew your way through watery, rubbery meat and seafood so we don’t recommend it, and why would you when defrosting is so simple? Once you’re a pro, integrating frozen meat and seafood into your daily home cooking will be routine, and dinners at home will be easier and tastier than ever.