You’d think with the amount of time I spend in the kitchen, I’d have planned ahead for every meal and would always have my meat defrosted when it was time to cook dinner or have my eggs at room temperature when it was time to bake bread or cake.
This is rarely the case.
Since I don’t have much foresight, I’ve developed a simple method for achieving these things quickly without cooking the meat or eggs in the slightest.
I should preface the meat tip with an explanation of my aversion to microwave defrosting. Perhaps you have had better luck with it, but I’ve found that I usually end up partially cooking the meat in order to get it thawed all the way through and for some reason, cooking the meat in the microwave in defrost mode makes it taste a little funky. Am I alone in this opinion? In any case, I want to cook it with the spices/sauce/vegetables/etc. for whatever dish I’m preparing, not naked and lonely.
OK, so to quickly defrost meat, simply fill a bowl with extremely hot tap water, seal the meat in a Ziploc bag and plop it in. Change the water when it becomes tepid and feel the meat to check temperature. It usually takes 10 minutes-1/2 hour, depending on the amount and the thickness. For chicken breasts, I put each one in an individual bag rather than a large Ziploc bag because they will stick together and that slows the defrosting. I do the same with fish fillets. I haven’t yet tried this with hamburger or sausage but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
As you may or may not know, eggs should be at room temperature when using them in bread & scratch cake recipes–the former to keep from inhibiting the yeast action (cold=bad in bread language), and the latter for better structure in the cake. You can quickly bring eggs to room temperature with the exact same method as I use for defrosting meat. Crack your eggs into a sandwich bag (putting all of them in one bag is OK), seal it, and plop it into a bowl of hot tap water. It will only take about 5 minutes or less, depending on how many eggs are in your bag. You can also put the uncracked eggs in a bowl of hot tap water, but it will take much longer to bring them to room temperature and there’s no way to tell for sure if they’re warm until you crack them. In the bag, you can feel them through the plastic.
There you go! Hope this tip comes in handy for you.