How Long Can You Leave Frozen Meat Out?

frozen meat

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This article is written for all those meat enthusiasts out there. Did you know that nearly 26% of
the Earth’s terrestrial surface is utilized for livestock grazing? In these areas of land, crops
employed for the production of animal feed are grown on a massive level. Read on as I unravel how long you can leave frozen meat out.

It’s not an unpredictable point to say that these numbers are constantly thriving. That day is not
far when we will run out of the entire land on Earth employed for livestock grazing.

Nonetheless, as meat is in enormous request, people try to reserve some of it at their homes.
Because of it, there are thriving worries about the protection of consuming meat. The major
apprehension is to comprehend how long you can take off frozen meat.

In this article, all your questions will be answered in detail, deciding the accurate procedures for
defrosting frozen meat to prevent it from going sour.

How Long Can You Leave Frozen Meat out?

Flat layout of red meat package piles inside a box stock photo

Leaving any perishable food outside just implies making it die faster. Room temperature is not
safe for meat either, making it contaminated if left out. Defrosting frozen meat at room temperature is
highly unsafe due to a lack of main reasons talked about below. Meat that keeps up for more
than 2 hours at room temperature is considered unsafe for consumption.

Bacteria grow on food when the food reaches a particular temperature. When meat is left out at
room temperature, it begins to develop bacteria once any part of it reaches 40 degrees

At this juncture, the bacteria develop rapidly and multiply, languishing the quality of the meat. All
types of meat and perishable food get rapidly spoiled by bacteria once it is brought to room
temperature. Therefore, room temperature is harmful to perishable food commodities.

Health professionals affirm that meat that has been left out for more than 2 hours at room
temperature should be tossed out right away. It should not be employed in any way. properly
frozen meat can stay till eternity as the low temperature extremely decreases bacteria
development and spread.

The US Department of Agriculture has proclaimed that any food reserved at precisely 0 degrees
Fahrenheit is unassailable to consume indefinitely. Nonetheless, frozen cooked meats should be
disposed of after 3 months of freezing.

Therefore, the response to how long you can leave frozen meat out is 2 hours.

Read also: How Long Is Beef Good After Sells-By Date

Procedures Of Defrosting Meat Adequately

Discovering the different techniques of proper frozen meat defrosting is important before cooking meat.
This makes you get the best quality out of it. If you like to organize dinner for some guests and
at the last moment you realize that you haven’t defrosted the frozen meat, don’t worry.

If you don’t have much time on your hands and wish to use the meat straight away from the
freezer, make sure that you cook it in much higher heat. This will result in a loss of quality. The
other 3 main methods of defrosting frozen meat are considered as the most popular ones. Read about
them in detail, below.

Fridge Defrosting

This method is considered one of the safest and best ones for meat thawing. Also, this is a
pretty time-consuming method as 5 pounds of meat takes an average of 24 hours if defrosted
by this method.


Refrigerator defrosting ensures slow thawing of the meat which results in the least amount of
quality loss. By this technique, the texture of the meat is also affected by the least amount after
it has been defrosted.

The frozen meat defrosted by this method can also be re-freeze directly without cooking. However,
some quality might be lost in doing so. Once the meat is thawed, it is recommended to cook it
right away and avoid keeping it at room temperature for a long. As long as it would stay at room
temperature, more bacteria would affect it.

The optimum temperature of the refrigerator should be around 34 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use an enormous strategy or pan for defrosting and guarantee it has sufficient chasm to include
all the juice that takes out from the meat. This is significant because the meat water can slop
over other foods making them unconsumable.

Cold Water Defrosting

A piece of raw meat on a cutting board on a table stock photo

This technique is quicker than refrigerator defrosting but it needs adequate attention. It defrosts
roughly 1 pound of meat in less than an hour. For this technique, you needed to seal the meat in
waterproof packaging. It’s better to use a good quality plastic bag for this.

After this, submerge the meat totally in a bowl full of cold water. Try the water every 30 minutes
to guarantee that the temperature remains low. After defrosting by this procedure, cook it
straight away and avoid throwing it back in the refrigerator or freezer.

Microwave Defrosting

This is by far the quickest technique for defrosting meat but also results in vastly quantity of
loss. For adequate microwave defrosting, ensure to observe the below-mentioned procedures.
Firstly, remove the plastic packaging on the meat.

To reduce damage, set defrost mode on the microwave to less than 50% power. Low power
guarantees that heat penetrates sufficiently and uniformly through the center of the meat,
causing it completely defrosted.

If you are defrosting numerous meat pieces, each of them before placing them in the microwave
to ensure that heat reaches all areas appropriately. You are assumed to cook the meat instantly
after defrosting as leaving it idle will result in additional quality loss.

People Also Asked

For how long can I leave frozen meat out?

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter, or in hot water and must not be left at
room temperature for more than two hours

Can meat be left overnight to defrost?

Yes, it can but it is not recommended for obvious reasons as bacteria can multiply on It for 40


Meat in refrigerator freezer background. Closeup pork, meat and chicken leg in freezing compartment. stock photo

I hope this article informs you about the validity of how long you can leave frozen meat out. Try
to use it in your day-to-day lives to thaw meat.

READ MORE: When Can A Beef Broth Get Expired



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