Thawing ala Meathead

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by wimpy69, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. Came across an article from Meathead (Amazing Ribs .com) on reducing "purge" when thawing meat. Have a box of St.Louis' that I bought frozen and went right in freezer so figured I give it a try with some chicken breast's to experiment. Going with a (very cold water bath) and will measure remaining purge after thaw. Has anyone gone this route thawing before and what are your opinions? Yard work today, smoke tomorrow. Will log results on whole process.

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What is PURGE.....
  3. Explained in article;

    Fresh meat is almost always better than frozen meat because when meat freezes the water crystals expand and puncture cell walls spilling out the juices that keep meat tender and juicy. Ever notice the pink liquid in the bottom of the bag when you defrost meat? Called "purge" there's no way to get it back in. 
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So, why are you measuring it if there's nothing you can do about it......
  5. If thawing this method retains more fluid in the meat vs a typical fridge thaw, would the meat stay as moist as unfrozen? Really would not know until I try, correct?
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You would have to see if the meat was "enhanced" so your numbers weren't skewed...
  7. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I defrost most of my Sea Food that way, fill bowl cold water add a few ice cubes place fish bag in . Leave in sink or on counter. Never tried with chicken or red meat. Keep us posted.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  8. So, ribs weren't enhanced and after thaw drew just over .5oz of fluid. Trimmed flap and some excess fat, did notice when applying pressure on meat it seemed to be retaining fluid. In fridge overnight wrapped in plastic wrap. This morning just as wet as fresh(no excess). Went thru standard rub process and on 225*-235* smoke of sugar maple with some cherry till done (5.5hrs).
    Test 1 result's- moist and juicy throughout whole rack.
    Weather permitting, will do a regular fridge thaw next weekend and go thru same prep and cook. Will post results. Good excuse for more ribs. Till then.
  9. yvonne

    yvonne Newbie

    Wow nice post and information, waiting for the more results. 
  10. So, time goes by. With the second cook I did a fridge thaw which took more than overnight, compared to the 2 hour cold water bath thaw. Fluid amount dramatically increased as shown
    . 1.25 fl oz . Meat seemed not as plump as test 1 rack pre cook. Duplicated prep and cook with about same 5.5 hrs finish (bend test).Results test 2; even though they were tasty the meat did have a slightly different texture, not dry but not as juicy.
    Test 3 was a repeat as the first, a cold water thaw, about 2 hours. Meat seemed plump and only purged about .4 oz
    . Again repeated same process and finished product was juicy with nice texture as 1st. Note; All racks are roughly same weight and were trimmed down with about the same amount of fat left on.
    . Outside of the fact I can thaw a frozen rack in about two hours with the cold water bath, it shows that there is a dramatic difference in the amount of purge between the two. All three people who tasted each rack agreed they liked the 1st and 3rd better (did not know they were guinea pigs). Will continue to use this process from now on as i tend to stock up on frozen ribs when the price is low and frozen is available. Till then it's been fun experimenting.

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