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defrost cod filets?

I left some cod filets in the fridge overnight to thaw (I put them in sometime around 2 or 3 in the afternoon yesterday), and this morning they're still pretty frozen. I have about 7 more hours until I cook them, but I'm worried they won't be thawed all the way. Is submerging in room temp water a safe way to finish the process if that is the case?

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

asked over 3 years ago
14 answers 8513 views
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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 3 years ago

You could also finish defrosting in the microwave, but don't over do it.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

The microwave kind of makes me nervous!

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added over 3 years ago

Put them in a Ziploc in lukewarm to warm water. They'll thaw quickly and won't pose the food safety problem that just putting them on the counter does. This method is Harold McGee approved.

Wholefoods user icon
added over 3 years ago

submerge the fillets in a bowl of milk. It will help to keep the moisture in the fish.

Wholefoods user icon
added over 3 years ago

This is almost as fast as microwave. Put each cod fillet in a small zip top sandwich bag and seal. Put baggies in saucepan filled with cold water. As soon as they're thawed, put in fridge. It's worked for me for a half century.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Thanks, all. I used the ziplock bag in lukewarm water method and it worked great.

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ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

Cold running water is better than warm water for defrosting fish.
And, tho I second perino's suggestion of the microwave, it does take some practice to be comfortable using it to defrost fish.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Chef June, do you mean that cold running water is safer?

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Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added over 3 years ago

Cold, running water is safer for defrosting any protein; water should not be standing and should not be warm.

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Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 3 years ago

McGee doesn't mention fish, but he does say that warm water is fine for thin cuts of meat. http://www.curiouscook...

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added over 3 years ago

you should always use cold running water (or keep in a bowl and change the water often if your worried about the bill)using warm water promotes bacteria growth

120fa86a 7a24 4cc0 8ee1 a8d1ab14c725  me in munich with fish
added over 3 years ago

Warm water is technically ideal for thin cuts or things that defrost quickly because you won't have the food sitting at room temp for as long. The idea is to get the food thawed as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you have a piece of meat that may be thawed on the outside but still frozen on the inside. Bacteria can grow on the surface, but you're lulled into thinking this is okay because it's still not thawed yet. Warm water seems like it's not safe, but the principle of thawing food fast for safety is a sound one. It's unconventional thinking, and it's new, but you really just want to keep food out of the danger zone--after 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F for 2 hours, food is no longer safe to eat.

120fa86a 7a24 4cc0 8ee1 a8d1ab14c725  me in munich with fish
added over 3 years ago

*Sorry, I meant to say that after 2 hours at between 40 and 140 degrees F, food is no longer safe to eat.
Oh, and I would add that I would not use the warm water method for thick cuts or for several pieces of meat (for instance, putting 5 pieces of frozen whatever into the same bowl). This will slow the thawing time dramatically. Of course, you could use a very large vessel or several smaller ones to get the same effect, but the warm water method is definitely for a few small cuts. Not a heap of small cuts thrown in the same bowl.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Gotcha, petitbleu, that makes sense. In this case the fillets were partially thawed already from the fridge, so the warm water method worked great. I think I intuitively would have stayed away from it if I had two large fillets still frozen solid.