I'm sooo excited: I scored some 1 pound packs of frozen, grass fed ground beef at Trader Joes.
What's the fastest / best way to thaw it?
Whenever I've tried it in the microwave it seems to always start cooking the outer most area while the inside is still frozen.
BTW, the dimensions of the pack is 1" X 6" X 4".
One more consideration: I'm doing a 30 day LOW-HISTAMINE PALEO trial. For those who might not know, some people are sensitive to the histamines which develop as protein starts to age/rot/spoil/decompose. It doesn't actually need to be spoiled to be a problem: leftovers (even refrigerated) are a problem. So, THE QUICKER it can go from frozen to thawed to cooked to eaten, the better! Therefore, I don't want to thaw it in the fridge for 24 hours like I previously would have done.
Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
I know this answer is very late to the discussion, but I heard this very topic addressed on NPR recently, and it seems that immersing the meat, sealed in plastic, in HOT water is the safest. Why? Because it thaws in a fraction of the time it takes either in cold water or in the fridge. Small amounts only, though, not large roasts.
If you are using it as loose ground beef, you can actually defrost and cook it at the same time. Add your fat of choice to the pan, chunk of ground beef, and keep turning the chunk as the bottom cooks. Scrape off the cooked part, and repeat.
If you can control the level of your microwave, my mom usually defrosts it on the lowest setting for several minutes and flips it at least once. If you do it on regular, you're right, it doesn't work well- on low it doesn't cook it. That would probably be the very fastest method if you want speed!
As a microwaveless person, I throw mine in some lukewarm water. To speed it up, I put it in a big freezer bag then break it into chunks as it softens (up the surface area!). When it is mostly defrosted, if I'm using it in a hash or shepards pie, I just start cooking it. If using it for burgers or meatballs, I just keep breaking it into smaller pieces and allow it to defrost fully before processing.