Although the safest way is to let meat thaw in the refrigerator (it won’t reach the temperature danger zone—35°F to 135°F—where bacteria is known to grow rapidly), it’s also the slowest method.
A quicker way is to place the meat in a bowl large enough to fit it comfortably, fill it with cold water, and place it under a dripping faucet. The moving water ensures a constant temperature in the water surrounding the meat and deters bacterial growth while the meat is thawing. To save water, you can opt to submerge the meat in a bowl of cold water instead, making sure to change it every 20 to 30 minutes.
Never let your meat thaw on the kitchen counter or use hot water—these will expose your meat to bacteria-breeding temperatures.
Photography by David Hanson | Text by Trinka Gonzales