© Chakrapong Worathat/Dreamstime.com

The Quickest Way to Defrost Meat

Yes, you can safely defrost meat in the microwave
© Chakrapong Worathat/Dreamstime.com

Microwaves sure do come in handy when we’re in a hurry to eat. Oatmeal can be made in two minutes. Soups can be reheated in two minutes. Even chicken dinners can be heated in just a couple minutes. But can microwaves safely thaw raw food?

How Long Meat And Other Foods Last in the Fridge and Freezer

According to the USDA, microwaving is one of the three safe ways you can thaw your food to avoid foodborne illnesses. The other two methods considered OK are submerging in cold water and defrosting in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.

While there are some foods you should never freeze, raw meat is a common freezer item and an integral ingredient in meals made completely from the freezer. But if you don’t have the time to thaw in the fridge or in cold water, then make sure you thaw safely in the microwave without ruining your meat.

In order to safely thaw it in your microwave, you should first remove it from the packaging or plastic wrap it’s in.

Put the raw meat on a microwave-safe plate and use the defrost button on your microwave. If you don’t have a rotating plate in your microwave, pause the microwave halfway through to rotate the plate yourself. This will ensure that every angle of the meat gets an even amount of heat.

If your microwave doesn’t have a defrost button, turn the power level down to 30% and cook for about five to nine minutes depending on how thick the meat is.

The important part of defrosting your meat this way is that you are prepared to cook immediately following this process. This is because the raw meat will have started cooking in the microwave, and to get it to a safe temperature to kill bacteria, you’ll need to keep cooking it through.


Raw meats are just a few items that require proper defrosting. Wondering what else you’ve been defrosting incorrectly? Here’s how to thaw your foods the right way.