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How To Defrost Steak Safely In The Microwave

Buying your steak in bulk can be more budget friendly, and keeping them in the freezer is the best way to prevent them from spoiling before you get a chance to eat them.


However, if you don’t have time to allow your steak to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, you might be wondering if you can defrost it in the microwave. 

In this article, I will cover all of the essentials of defrosting your steak, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to defrost steak safely in the microwave.

Let’s get into it.

Is It Safe To Defrost Steak In The Microwave?

Yes, according to the USDA, defrosting a steak in the microwave is safe. Microwaving your frozen steak is the fastest method to defrost a steak.

If you don’t have the time that it takes to defrost your steak in the refrigerator overnight or under cold water, then the microwave is the easiest method to defrost your steaks quickly.

That being said, when using your microwave to defrost your steak, you will need to make sure that you cook your thawed steak immediately. 

This comes down to the fact that when thawing your steak in the microwave, some parts of the steak can start cooking.

This places your steak into the temperature danger zone, meaning that there is a higher risk of bacteria growth if it is left at room temperature after microwaving.

For this same reason, you shouldn’t let your steak sit in the microwave for long after it’s defrosted. It should be removed from the microwave, and cooked as soon as you know it’s thawed.

It’s also important to mention that just because it’s safe to defrost steak in the microwave, doesn’t mean that you should on a regular basis.

Steak can be an expensive cut of meat, and you want to be able to make the most out of it without wasting anything.

While it’s perfectly safe to defrost your steak in the microwave provided that you cook it immediately afterwards, this isn’t the best way to defrost your steak. 

Microwaving your steak can cause the quality, taste and texture of your steak to deteriorate.

In the process of thawing your steak, microwaves can actually begin to cook your steak in parts, making it tough and chewy when it comes to you searing it.

Bearing this in mind, if you want to make the most out of your steak, planning ahead is key! Make sure that you remove it from the freezer the day before and allow your steak to defrost in your refrigerator overnight for the best results.

How Do You Defrost Steaks Quickly?

You can defrost steaks in 30 minutes in a bowl of cold water. However, if you don’t have 30 minutes to spare, then microwaving your steak is the fastest way to thaw your steak.

To defrost your steaks in water, you will need to place them in a leak proof and resealable plastic bag and submerge them in a bowl that is under cold running water.

It’s important to know that if you’re defrosting multiple steaks, it may take as long as an hour to defrost if they are stuck together. 

You will need to make sure that you check the temperature of the water every 5 minutes to make sure that the water is still running cold.

How Long Does It Take To Thaw A Steak In The Microwave?

Typically speaking, it takes around 2 to 5 minutes to thaw a pound of steak in the microwave.

While the microwave is the quickest option to defrost steaks, it should be avoided if you want to make the most out of the meat.

This is because defrosting a steak in a microwave can change its taste, texture and color, and can deteriorate its overall quality if you’re not careful.

This primarily comes down to the fact that the heat of the microwave slowly starts to cook some parts of the steaks while defrosting.

It’s also important to note that the best way to cook a steak is on a high heat quickly, meaning that the meat fibers caramelize as opposed to slow heating methods that result in the meat becoming tough and chewy.

As a result, you should only use a microwave to defrost a steak if you’re under a tight time constraint. 

While it’s a good method to use when you’re in a rush, it’s not something you should regularly rely on if you want to celebrate the steak as it can affect the quality of the steak significantly. 

While this might be fine for a value pack of steaks, you would be less pleased if you bought a really nice quality steak and couldn’t enjoy it properly because the microwave had ruined its texture.

Can You Refreeze A Thawed Steak?

According to the USDA, it is safe for steaks to be refrozen if they have been defrosted in a refrigerator. 

That being said, you should know that refreezing steaks that have been defrosted can affect the quality and texture of the meat due to loss of moisture once it is placed into the freezer.

Some people also find that the texture is different due to the recrystallization of water molecules when the steak is frozen.

It is also fine to refreeze steaks after they have been cooked if the raw steaks had once been frozen. The leftover cooked steaks will need to be frozen within 2 days.

Note that a thawed steak should not be refrozen if they have been left out of the refrigerator at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.

A Guide On How To Defrost A Steak In The Microwave 

A Guide On How To Defrost A Steak In The Microwave 

Step One – Remove Your Steak From The Freezer

Firstly, you will need to take your steak out of the freezer. How long it will take to defrost your steak will depend on the approximate weight of your food.

Bearing this in mind, before you put your steak in the microwave,make sure that you check the label or weigh your item on weighing scales.

Step Two – Place Your Meat On A Microwave-Safe Dish

Next, you will need to remove the steak from its packaging and place your steak on a microwave-safe dish.

It’s generally best to steer clear of plastic dishes for this step, as you don’t want to risk melting the plate in your microwave as the juices seep out of your steak as it defrosts.

Step Three – Set Your Microwave To Defrost 

Select the defrost button on your microwave. If your microwave doesn’t have a defrost setting, set your microwave onto 30% of its power.

This is important because you need to defrost it at a lower temperature to ensure you don’t cook the steak in the microwave.

Step Four – Set The Microwave Timer

To begin, you will need to set the microwave timer to 2 minutes, being careful to turn the steak over every 30 seconds to ensure it evenly defrosts.

Step Five – Microwave The Steak

Defrost for 2 to 5 minutes per pound and make sure you turn the steak over in intervals of 30 seconds.

If the steak is still frozen after 2 minutes, then continue turning the steak and microwaving it for 30 second durations.

When thawing steak in a microwave, you will want to keep the defrosting time to the lowest possible to prevent overcooking the meat on low heat. 

Step Six – Cook Your Steak

Once your steak has completely defrosted, you will need to cook it immediately. Serve and enjoy.

Tips When Defrosting Steak In The Microwave

  • Never defrost more steaks than you need in the microwave, as you will need to cook them all immediately to ensure that none of them go to waste and to minimize the risk of food poisoning.
  • Set the timer of the microwave to defrost your steak. It can take between 2 to 5 minutes to defrost a pound of steaks, but the time needed to defrost will vary depending on how many steaks are being defrosted in the microwave at the same time. 
  • Always make sure that you use the defrost setting to minimize the risk of cooking your steak in the microwave.
  • When defrosting meat in the freezer, you will need to make sure that you use a microwave-safe plate. Avoid plastic dishes to ensure that you’re not risking melting them in the microwave, even on a low heat setting.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Long Do You Defrost Steak In The Microwave?

It takes between 2 to 5 minutes to defrost a pound of steak in the microwave. That being said, how long your steak will take to defrost will depend on the weight of the steak.

Always check the packet to get a rough estimate of how long it will take to defrost.

The longer the steak has in the microwave, even on the defrost setting, increases the chances that it will slightly cook and ruin the texture.

Bearing this in mind, you need to make sure that you’re checking the steak and flipping it over every 30 seconds to ensure that it evenly thaws and that you’re not accidentally cooking the steak in the microwave.

Is It OK To Defrost Meat In The Microwave?

Yes, it is fine to defrost meat in the microwave when you’re under tight time constraints provided that you cook the meat immediately afterwards.

However, microwaving your meat can significantly reduce the taste, texture, and overall quality of your steak. Taking this into consideration, if you have the time, there are much better alternatives to defrosting your steak.

For the best results and to make the most out of your steak, you will need to take your steak out of the freezer the night before and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator.

This method also means that you can refreeze your steak, should you decide that you don’t want to cook it anymore. 

Microwaving, unfortunately, doesn’t give you that luxury as it often partially cooks the steak, and you will need to cook it immediately after it has been defrosted.

How Do You Defrost Steak In Water?

To defrost frozen steak in water, you will need to fill a bowl with cold water and place the steak in a resealable plastic bag.

Submerge the steak in the cold water, and place the bowl under a running tap. You will need to continue to check that the temperature of the running water is cold as the steak defrosts. If it becomes tepid, make sure that you turn it to cold again.

In Summary

While it’s perfectly safe to microwave your steak, if you want to retain the quality of your steak there are better methods to defrost it.

Always make sure that you microwave your steak in 30 second intervals, and flip it over every time you check it to ensure it evenly thaws.

Jess Smith