A quick 'defrosting' question.

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
I took a home made chicken casserole out of the freezer yesterday. Put it in the fridge to defrost and have for late lunch today (maybe 1400ish).
It's no where near defrosted.
Can I let it defrost at room temperature??
I know you have to be careful with some foods.
 

T4tomo

Guru
Yes absolutely fine. Defrosting naturally in fridge or kitchen is best. Microwave defrosting not so good.

obvs make sure you bring to a decent simmer before eating.
 

PK99

Legendary Member
Location
SW19
I took a home made chicken casserole out of the freezer yesterday. Put it in the fridge to defrost and have for late lunch today (maybe 1400ish).
It's no where near defrosted.
Can I let it defrost at room temperature??
I know you have to be careful with some foods.
No.

The outer regions will be in the danger zone for bacterial growth long before the inside is defrosted.

Assuming it is in a sealed bag, place in a bowl of water under a very slowly running cold water tap. Put in fridge as soon as thawed. cook as soon as possible
 
OP
Dave7

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
No.

The outer regions will be in the danger zone for bacterial growth long before the inside is defrosted.

Assuming it is in a sealed bag, place in a bowl of water under a very slowly running cold water tap. Put in fridge as soon as thawed. cook as soon as possible
Its in one of those chinese takeaway type containers.
I will place it in cold water.
 

Mr Celine

Discordian
Most things defrost quicker outdoors, particularly if it is windy. This is due to the opposite of the 'wind chill effect' often mentioned in weather forecasts.

The wind chill referred to in weather forecasts is caused by the rate of heat loss of an object at 37C. The frozen chicken casserole is at -18C.
So long as the outdoor temperature is above zero it will defrost. Chinese takeaway size containers defrost in about two hours outdoors even in winter IME.
 

T4tomo

Guru
The outer regions will be in the danger zone for bacterial growth long before the inside is defrosted.
any any bacteria will be killed of by simmering it for 5 minutes.
If you boil it for 5 mins then its ok. When I lived in a tropical country with no fridge it was common to keep stews etc by boiling them twice a day.
indeed, you don't need to keep left over soup / stews in the fridge as long as they are re-boiled daily.
 

figbat

Slippery scientist
I have an ongoing battle with my wife over this. She puts large things in the fridge to defrost and then is surprised when they don't very quickly. Or she'll put lots of large things together in a bowl on the kitchen worktop and, again, is surprised when such a large thermal mass, packed together in a thermally-insulating ceramic bowl, doesn't defrost quickly.

I deploy science. Put your stuff on a metal tray and leave on the side. Separate items as much as possible. You are looking for the largest surface area:volume ratio you can achieve and putting on a metal tray provides a thermal heat sink and heat exchanger to speed things along. Our fan oven also has a 'defrost' setting, which is just the fan on and no heating element - this helps too.

You can defrost in a fridge but it takes ages - the temperature of a typical fridge is in the region 5-7°C; that's not a lot above freezing so will inevitably mean a very slow defrost.
 

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
any any bacteria will be killed of by simmering it for 5 minutes.

indeed, you don't need to keep left over soup / stews in the fridge as long as they are re-boiled daily.
…and cooled quickly...
Microbial food poisoning is caused in 2 different ways; Infection and Intoxication.

Infection is caused by ingestion or the living organism such as Salmonella for example which makes you sick. Such organisms will generallybe killed by sufficient cooking (sporeformers the exception here).
Intoxication is cause by bacteria multiplying in the food and producing toxins as they do so which are released into the food. Most but not all are destroyed by regular cooking, such Staplococcal and B. cereus (Fried Rice poisoning) toxins.

So, in essence, serious cooking and rapid cooling are the essentials and ensuring that food is never left 'warm' enough for bacteria to multiply. That means from defrosting to cooking as well as from cooked and back to chilled temps.

You can take something from the freezer to begin defrosting at room temp, but after a while (if not frosty on the outside) should be put into either cold water or the fridge such that the outer layers do not reach a nice temperature for microbial growth.
Safest is to cook from frozen where possible.
Next best is in cold water simply because it's far more effective (quicker) than room temperature due to the heat-transfer from the water to the outer surface of the packet.
After cooking, putting the pan into cold water is again a very quick way to cool something before putting it in the freezer. Refresh the water to keep it cold.

So, with good temp control and hygiene you can cook and cool/freeze many times, the food industry does it, and CONTROL is the operative word.
 

Randomnerd

Formerly known as Woodenspoons
Location
North Yorkshire
Many years ago one Christmas it was my job to buy the veg. Forgot parsnips. It’s okay. I’ll dig some up from the garden. Think it was minus six Christmas Eve. Roofing torch came in quite handy that morning, and saved the tines on my garden fork. Warm soil, tops nicely charrred, and a certain earthy piquancy added to the festivities. I’ll draw a line at tarred jackets though....
 
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