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How to Bring Meat to Room Temperature Quickly?

Last Updated on February 26, 2024 by Lauren Beck

If you’re a chef or cook, you understand the importance of letting meat reach room temperature before cooking for optimal results. But what if you’re pressed for time and need to quickly bring your meat to room temperature?

In this article, we’ll show you how to bring meat to room temperature quickly and safely and explain the advantages of doing so.

How to Bring Meat to Room Temperature Quickly?

There are a few ways to bring meat to room temperature quickly:

  • Use warm water: Fill a large bowl with warm (not hot) water and place the meat in a resealable plastic bag. Submerge the bag in the water, making sure the meat is fully covered. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes or until it reaches room temperature.
  • Use a sous vide: If you have a sous vide machine, you can quickly bring meat to room temperature. Set the sous vide to the desired temperature and place the meat in a sealed bag. Submerge the bag in the water and let it sit for 15-20 minutes or until it reaches room temperature.
  • Use a microwave: Place the meat on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it on low power for 30-second intervals until it reaches room temperature.

Advantages of Bringing Meat to Room Temperature

There are several advantages to bringing meat to room temperature before cooking:

  • Even cooking: When meat is at room temperature, it cooks more evenly because the heat can penetrate the meat more easily.
  • Faster cooking time: Meat at room temperature cooks faster than cold meat, saving you time in the kitchen.
  • More tender meat: When meat is cooked at room temperature, it’s more likely to be tender and juicy.

What Is Room Temperature for Meat?

Room temperature for meat is typically around 68°F to 72°F (20°C to 22°C). This is the temperature at which meat cooks most evenly and produces the best results.

Should Steak Be Room Temperature Before Searing?

checking the temperature of the meat

Yes, bringing steak to room temperature is recommended before searing it. This allows the heat to penetrate the meat more easily, resulting in a more evenly cooked steak. 

It also helps to prevent the outside of the steak from overcooking while the inside is still cold.

How Long Can Meat Be Left at Room Temperature?

Meat should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature, and leaving meat out for too long can increase the risk of foodborne illness.

How to Tell if Meat Left at Room Temperature is Safe to Eat?

If the meat has been left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard it. 

However, if you’re unsure whether the meat is safe to eat, you can check it for signs of spoilage, such as a foul odor or slimy texture. You can also check the meat’s internal temperature before cooking to ensure that it’s safe to eat.

How to Measure Meat’s Internal Temperature Before Cooking?

To measure meat’s internal temperature before cooking, use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, making sure it doesn’t touch any bones. 

The USDA recommends cooking beef, pork, veal, and lamb to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) and poultry to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

How Long Can Frozen Raw Meat Sit Out?

Frozen raw meat should not sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. This can cause the meat to thaw and bacteria to grow, increasing the risk of foodborne illness. 

If you need to thaw frozen meat, do so in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave.

Why Meat Should Not Stay at Room Temperature for More Than 2 Hours?

Meat should not stay at room temperature for more than 2 hours because bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature. 

This can increase the risk of foodborne illness, especially if the meat is not cooked to the appropriate temperature. 

The USDA recommends keeping perishable foods, such as meat, refrigerated at 40°F (4°C) or below to slow the growth of bacteria [1].

Conclusion

Bringing meat to room temperature before cooking is a simple yet effective way to improve the quality of your dishes. While it’s best to let the meat come to room temperature naturally, there are ways to speed up the process if you’re short on time. Just remember to follow food safety guidelines and never leave meat at room temperature for more than 2 hours. By using these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to cook tender, juicy meat every time.

Reference:

  1. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/how-temperatures-affect-food#:~:text=Bacteria%20grow%20most%20rapidly%20in,of%20refrigeration%20over%202%20hours.
Lauren Beck
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