You sometimes forget about the food in your freezer. That’s because it’s a bit of a hassle to eat it. You’ve got to take it out and let it thaw. And that can take hours if you just put it in the fridge.
Well, thawing won’t take hours if you’ve got a perfectly good microwave! You just pop the frozen food in there are let it do its trick. This following guide will teach you how to defrost anything in a microwave.
The microwave times in this guide are based on a standard 1,200- watt microwave. You can find your microwave’s wattage by digging out the user manual (like you still have that) or you can just look on the machine itself. It’s either on a sticker on the inside door of the microwave or on the back.
Before you start thawing meat in the microwave make sure that you remove it from its plastic wrapping and Styrofoam container. For one thing, Styrofoam can’t go in the microwave. Secondly, the plastic wrapping will essentially boil the meat in its own juices. So, make sure you take the meat out and get rid of any excess goo.
There are some things that you shouldn’t defrost in the microwave. Fish and shrimp cook very quickly and will overcook if you attempt to defrost them in the microwave. The same thing applies for very thin cuts of meat. Loose vegetables like peas and corn shouldn’t defrost in the microwave either. Just place these food items in a colander and run cold water over them.
For bone-in chicken, microwave the frozen pieces at 50 percent power for two minutes. Then separate the pieces and flip them over. Then microwave at 30 percent power for each minute for every 1.5 pounds. You want to be checking and flipping the pieces throughout the process.
For boneless and skinless chicken breasts, you want to microwave at 30 percent power for two minutes. Then flip and separate the pieced. Then microwave at 20 percent power for one minute for every .5 pound of meat.
For boneless steaks or chops, you want to microwave at 40 percent power for two minutes, then flip and separate the pieces. Then microwave at 30 percent for one minute for every .5 pound of meat. For bone-in steak microwave at about 50 percent for two minutes, then bring the power to 30 percent after you’ve flipped and separated the pieces and then cook for one minute for each pound.
For ground meat, microwave at 50 percent power for two minutes, and then remove the defrosted meat along the sides and set it aside. Then microwave at 30 percent power for one minute for every .5 pound of meat. Just keep removing the pieces until the whole block is defrosted.
Just a side note, if you like your steaks a bloody (as you should) you do not want to defrost the steak in the microwave. It’s almost impossible to get a medium-rare sear on a microwave defrosted steak. So just let it defrost in the fridge overnight.
For vegetables like spinach, which is frozen in a bloc, you want to microwave at 50 percent for two minutes. Then pull the block apart into smaller pieces. Then microwave again at 50 percent, at one minute for every four ounces. The same applies for frozen vegetables like broccoli, except it’s pone minute for every five ounces.
For soups and stews, the goal isn’t to defrost but to cook it. So, you can just cook the entire frozen block in the microwave. First run the container under water so the block loosens itself and can be easily removed. Then put it in a microwave-safe container and stick it in the microwave. For broths, cook it at 100 percent power for three minutes. Then stir, and cook at 100 percent power for another three minutes. For a stew without dairy, cook it at 100 percent power for five minutes. Stir, then cook again at 100 percent power for three minutes. If the stew has dairy, cook it at 50 percent for two minutes and sit. Then bring it back to high power at 100 percent and cook for three minutes.