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Regardless of the weather – cold or warm, beef is an ingredient that is versatile and adaptable for all types of recipes. Whether it’s a family gathering or a pool party, beef is the best option always.
No matter its stew or the grill, it will surely be able to satisfy all circumstances. Before the meal preparation can begin, let’s find out how long it takes to defrost beef in the microwave!
To book a meal with about 500g of beef, you will need about 2 mins in the microwave to defrost the beef completely. Of course, while this differs slightly for different weights and cuts, the recommendation would be to start with 2 mins and increase in 1 min intervals if not fully defrosted.
Some microwaves come with defrosting functions which you will be able to input the weight. Also, you have to follow the proper steps to do the task perfectly.
Do not worry; further, in this article, we will discuss every cut of the beef and how long each cut takes to defrost in the microwave. Apparently, we will discuss the proper way to use defrosting functions in the microwave. Let’s read on.
How Much Time Do You Need to Defrost Beef in the Microwave? (Different Sizes and Cuts)
Using a gauge of 3 to 6 minutes, the exact time for defrosting the beef depends on the cut’s type, thickness, and weight. Once we know these details, we will be able to drill down into the exact duration needed for the piece of beef you have!
Most Popular/common Cuts of Beef
Some of the most popular cuts that you can find easily in the nearest supermarket are:
- Ground/ Minced Beef
- Beef Cubes
- Beef Slices
- Beef Steaks
If you are unsure of the type of beef you got, the front of the packaging should be able to tell you exactly what you got, both the name as well as the weight. Otherwise, look at what you have on hand and match it to the closest of the four cuts outlined above.
Defrosting Time for Each Cut
- Ground Beef – Most typical types of beef purchased are used as burger patties and meatballs. This cut of meat will typically need 2 mins in the microwave. No need to flip them halfway.
- Beef Cubes – Used for stews and pastas, start with 1 minute in the microwave, flip the cubes and do another 1 minute for even defrosting.
- Beef Slices – Used for salads and sandwiches, beef slices are thinner than other cuts and will not require much time for defrosting. Start with the timer at the 30s in the microwave, flip and do the other side for 30s.
- Beef Steaks – Covering a broad range of cuts such as Rib, Sirloin, Short Loin, Round, and Chuck, typically more premium and used on the grill or barbeque. Start with the timer at 1 min before flipping the steak and doing the other side for another 1 min. Repeat the process until thoroughly defrosted.
The process of flipping and defrosting repeatedly is necessary for steaks. Especially when using good cuts of meat, do not set the timer for too long at one go as you want to make sure you do not end up cooking the sides prematurely.
This allows the steak to be cooked evenly later on the grill.
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Which Microwave Setting You Should Use to Defrost Beef and How to Use It
The best thing about microwaves now is that they come with an in-built defrost function. Some even allow you to input details for more exact calibration, such as the weight and type of meat you will defrost.
Take a look at the microwave at home. Do you see the range of buttons on the side panel but are unsure on which one to press?
Fret not; the defrost button is usually the one that has a snowflake symbol on it. Different manufacturers have different symbols to represent the same things, but they almost always use a snowflake symbol to depict the defrost function.
When clicked on, the defrost function starts and uses about 30% of the microwave’s full power to thaw meat for the length of the duration set. This is to limit the amount of heat which at the same time prevents the meat from cooking prematurely.
If you do not see a button with a snowflake symbol or have a microwave that does not come with a defrost function, we can use the same principles to defrost our meat.
Once the meat is placed in the microwave, start it up at 30% of full power to start the thawing process. You will be able to achieve the same result with your microwave, even without the defrost button.
3 Simple Steps to Use Microwave for Defrosting Beef
Step 1: Place the meat in and set the timer for 1-2 mins.
Step 2: Depending on your cut of meat, flip it and leave it for another minute to defrost evenly.
Step 3: Check your beef with a skewer or fork to see if it’s completely defrosted and you are all ready to start cooking!
LEARN MORE: How to Make Pizza Rolls Crispy in the Microwave
Easy Tricks to Understand if the Beef Is Properly Defrosted in the Microwave
- To check if the beef is ready for cooking, use a fork or meat skewer to poke the beef.
- The beef is completely defrosted. If texture, when poked, is firm, bouncy, and similar to fresh meat.
- Parts of the cut of the beef, where it is still icy, will have greater resistance as you attempt to poke through; the meat will need a longer time in the microwave.
- If left too long in the microwave, beef will start to cook. You will start to see browning on the edges, accompanied by the smell of meat cooking. Stop the timer immediately and proceed to cook the meat as you were going to.
Defrosting meat in the microwave is a fast and fuss-free affair. With a click of a button, you will be able to start cooking with the meat that was completely frozen just a few minutes ago!
And with all the information given above, do you have a clear idea about how long it takes to defrost beef in the microwave?
While it is convenient, one potential risk to defrosting in the microwave is that the sides of the meat start cooking, but the middle is still frosty. This is particularly so for bigger and more premium slabs of meat such as ribeye or sirloin for steaks.
For these instances, advance meal planning will allow time for conventional methods of defrosting – either bringing the meat down from the freezer into the refrigerator overnight or keeping the meat in a waterproof bag and submerging it in a large bowl of water for a few hours until it thaws completely.
This allows the beef to be ready immediately once cooking begins while preserving the flavor of the meat.