How To Cut Frozen Meat: Be Quick But Be Safe, Not Sorry Too
A few days ago I had sudden guests arrive at dinner time. I had already thawed beef steaks for our dinner and wanted to serve the guests as well. Luckily I had more beef in my freezer, but it was not thawed yet.
I needed an easy solution to find a way how to cut frozen meat quickly and safely.
My dear guest travelled long way, and I knew they were starving. After all, everyone expects a good dinner in my house as I am a renowned chef and a kitchen blog writer. 🙂
Believe it or not, I have never cut frozen meat before. My hubby was not back from work yet and I was on my on. To be or not to be? I wondered whether to order some Chinese food or try and cut the frozen meat…
Of course, I turned to the internet before making my final decision and found out that cutting frozen meat need not be too difficult with a few tricks up your sleeve. Read on to find out what I have discovered!
Check out my guide on how to freeze lunch meat too!
Why Not Try to Cut The Frozen Meat Right Out of Freezer?
Let me first warn you: Never try to cut the frozen meat (or any other frozen food) straight out of the freezer!
Trying to do this with a regular kitchen knife can be very dangerous as the blade will most probably bounce off or slide off the glazed surface of the frozen meat and cut you.
I have seen some injuries of this type and believe me they can be quite bad! Be safe at all times!
How to Cut Frozen Meat: Three Super-Easy Methods
So, my hungry guests were served some drinks and left with my boys to entertain them, while I rushed back into my kitchen with my tablet in hands.
First off, I stumbled upon three quick and easy solutions regarding how to cut frozen meat.
My options were the following methods:
1. Running frozen meat under water
- According to an online community, one of the best ways to cut frozen meat is to first allow it to sit under the running water for some time. In several minutes, the meat will soften a bit, especially near the edges, and you will be able to cut through it more easily.
- Don't expect to cut through it like through butter though! You will still need to have a heavy duty knife to be able to do the work. The best choice would be a knife with jagged edge or a meat cleaver. Cleaver has to be whacked with vigorously which would make quite a noise, so it is not really a valid option when your guests have already arrived. Unless you want to scare the away, that is!
In short: if you own a heavy duty knife with a serrated edge, place the frozen meat under running water (COLD, not hot!) for a few minutes and you should be able to cut through it easily.
2. Thawing the frozen meat with a metal pot
When you are in a race with time, you want quick solutions and thawing the frozen meat with a metal pot will take only about five minutes. That is quite good, isn't it?
This method works best for individually packed stakes as the meat needs to be flat and as thin as possible.
- You simply remove the steaks from the freezer and (without unwrapping them from their covering or unpacking them from their sealed bags) place them on a baking sheet.
- Next, take a metal pot and pour some water in it. You do not need to fill the pot up, but make sure it is rather heavy. The water should best be of room temperature as hot water would cook the meat, and cold water slows down the process.
- Place the pot on top of the steaks (or some other meat). The steaks will thus be in a sandwich with baking sheet underneath and the pot with water on top of them.
- Take a five minute break and when you return, the meat should be perfectly thawed and easy to cut through. Of course, thicker pieces of meat such as rib eye will take significantly longer to thaw.
The good news about this method is that you do not need a special kind of knife, any regular knife you already have should do the trick just fine. However, be careful when cutting the meat and make sure it is placed on a non-slippery surface or a cutting board so that it stays put. Also, always hold the knife away from you!
Check out the best meat slicer currently on the market!
Further Reading: Learn To Find The Best Steak Knife Set With Barbara
3. Microwaving frozen meat
The last super-quick method to thaw frozen meat is to first microwave it. If you read my blog, you know that I am not the biggest fan of the microwaves, but they can be real life saving devices in emergency situations such as surprise guests' visits.
- Microwaving frozen meat takes only about five to ten minutes and cutting through the meat after it should be much easier. It would be best if your microwave has an automatic defrost function. In such a scenario, simply position the frozen meat (unpacked) in the center of the turntable and turn on the defrost setting.
- In my experience, you should not just leave the microwave and walk away but rather monitor the process. Namely, often the meat can become semi-cooked if you are not attentive and leave it in the microwave for too long.
- When the frozen meat is thawed, take it out of the microwave and cut it as needed. Once again, make sure it is placed on a cutting board and your knife is sturdy and sharp enough. Some parts might be still quite stiff, so be careful!
If and when possible, allow your meat to thaw by placing it in your refrigerator overnight, or at least for a few hours prior to cutting it. When you thaw the frozen meat in this way, you provide enough time for it to re-absorb the ice crystals that have formed between fibers. The meat that has been given enough time to defrost slowly will have a better texture when cooked too.
However, when time is of essence and you require a super-quick solution, you can use one of the three methods I have found and suggested for you. I have tried them all by now, and they all work just fine and make the process of cutting the frozen meat rather easy, but also safe.
As you can see, if you thaw the meat you will have half the battle won. Just make sure you have all the right equipment available too. Investing in a good quality frozen food knife might be a good idea as well.
In my particular case, I have used the first method. I had a drink with my guests while my meat was thawing under the running water and when I returned to the kitchen I cut through it and prepared delicious dinner for all of us! 🙂
Let me know how you did!