This simple trick defrosts steaks, chops, chicken breasts and other small cuts of meat in 10 to 12 minutes, without the microwave. And it’s approved both by the FDA and America’s Test Kitchen. (But it shouldn’t be used on larger items like roasts or whole chickens.)
Place each individual cut of meat in a zip-sealed plastic bag. Heat a large pot of water on the stove till the water measures 140 F. If you don’t have a thermometer,* the water will be steaming, with just a few small bubbles on the bottom.
Remove the pan from the burner, and place the meat in the water. According to the Test Kitchen, chicken breasts should take about 10 minutes, and cuts of pork or steak about 12. They recommend not leaving any cut it the water more than 45 minutes (I’d recommend even less).
*P.S. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, you really should get one. Learning the proper temperature for different cuts of meat will improve your cooking like nothing else! It can also be used for making sure water is the right temp for meat, green tea, or yeast doughs, or even to make sure a loaf of bread is done in the middle. This is the cooking thermometer we use. It’s handy because it has a remote, so you can put your food in the oven or on the grill, then go do whatever you need to do elsewhere, but still keep an eye on the food’s temp. Love it!
Meat image and info from America’s Test Kitchen.