When you are an avid cooking enthusiast, finding different cooking methods is one way to utilize resources in today’s setting.
In the past years, I have been collecting so many slow cookers, which seems amazing because I can use them whenever I want and whatever recipe I will cook.
My collection ranges from having mini slow cookers to my favorite ones, lightweight slow cookers. Using these babies of mine is a handful, and somewhat, I am experiencing a euphoria that I haven’t felt before.
In my part and experience, I have used every detail of what a slow cooker can do, but today, I will answer the very question that most users don’t know, “Can I put frozen meat in a slow cooker?”. This is a very complicated question that other individuals might encounter, and let’s solve that with this article.
Can I Put Frozen Meat In A Slow Cooker
It might sound a nice idea to just instantly throw a frozen bag of meat into a slow cooker from the fridge. More likely, it can help you save more time than the ordinary way method to thaw the frozen good first. But in this case, you are inviting visitors that you might not want to have.
Slow cookers are kitchen equipment that relies on consistent heating, reaching a temperature of about 77-138 degrees Celsius (170-280 degrees Fahrenheit).
According to food safety experts, this temperature range has enough power to kill mostly the bacteria lurking around, but it doesn’t mean that it is still safe.
Experts always call to thaw first frozen goods completely before cooking them because of the food hazard that they can bring.
We all know that microorganisms, especially bacteria, can’t be seen by the naked eye, which can multiply exponentially.
These bacteria love the wet environment and can live in any location. They also want to stay at a specific temperature that is considered the danger zone or danger level, between 70-125 degrees Fahrenheit or 21-52 degrees Celsius.
You need to thaw frozen goods first because it will take too long for a slow cooker to create a suitable temperature to kill all the bacteria.
Remember that slow cookers cook for several hours, and you don’t want to give time for bacteria to reproduce themselves to millions. That’s why putting frozen meat into a slow cooker without thawing is considered a food hazard.
What Should I Consider Before Keeping Frozen Meat In A Slow Cooker?
When wanting to have a nice and hot breakfast meal and the only thing left in your fridge is a frozen piece of meat, be cautious to prepare it appropriately. If you just ignore it and let it cook when it has been frozen already, you are inviting bacteria that will result in food-borne diseases.
With that said, you need to follow these considerations to avoid these circumstances when you want to cook a frozen meat delicacy.
- If the meat has been frozen hard, it needs to be thawed accordingly. Use a zip-lock bag or just get a plastic container and put the frozen meat inside. Get a container and fill it up with running water. Place it inside and let it defrost for a few hours. The thawing process will depend on the size of the meat you are thawing, and it will take at least 30 minutes for small cuts and whole meat for at most 2 hours.
- Remember not to use warm water to thaw the frozen meat because it can bring risks since it can invite more bacteria on the meat’s surface while the meat’s core is still frozen hard. Use running trap water to consistently thaw the meat you are preparing.
- It is also preferable to thaw the frozen meat beforehand for a day or two. However, if you forget to do so, you can use your microwave’s defrost setting to thaw the frozen good for you.
- Put liquid inside the slow cooker when cooking frozen meat. This will speed up the heating process of the food, thus preventing bacterial growth from happening.
- Once you have placed the defrosted meat, it is recommended to cook the food using the high settings in the first hour of cooking to inhibit microbial growth and activity. Keep in mind also to convert the cooking time accordingly to ensure that the meat has been properly cooked.
- Use a digital temperature probe to check the meat temperature inside the slow cooker. Monitor it accordingly and see to it that it reaches the boiling point temperature because that is the only time it can kill all the bacteria found in the meat.
What is the best setting for keeping frozen meat in a slow cooker?
The best way to achieve food safety when cooking frozen meat in a slow cooker is to thaw it first.
Most processed foods, such as meat, require a particular temperature for it to be cooked to allow a fast way to kill microorganisms.
It is also suggested that you should cook foods from the freezer in the high setting for the first hour and reduce the heat settings as to your preference after that.
This will ensure that the food you are cooking reaches safe levels to keep it out of the danger of producing bacteria.
When preparing food for your family, you should consider food safety first before all. Don’t ignore the risk that frozen goods can bring to your body.
As per recommendations by numerous government institutions and the World Health Organization, it is a must to thaw frozen meat first to prevent bacterial growth from occurring in the meat that you are preparing.
This is one of the concerns that we need to keep in mind to ensure safety and health for our constituents. The possibility of food-borne diseases is always there, and preparing frozen meat in a slow cooker should be done properly.