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Jan 22, 2013 08:49 AM

Thawing question...

I had some steaks in my freezer that I stored in vacuum sealed bags (1 steak per bag). I took them out last night about 7pm to that on the counter, but forgot about them until 5am this morning when I bolted up right in bed and ran downstairs to out them in the fridge. They were completely thawed and room temp - but sealed in air tight bags.

Here's the million dollar question...can I still eat them or should I toss them? I don't really want to toss them as they were expensive and I BBQ my steaks until medium (no pink). What are everyone's thoughts on this?

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  1. What temperature is your thermostat on overnight? Assuming 65 degrees or less, I'd have no qualms eating them. I know that all the experts say not to thaw frozen meat at room temp, but we regularly take meat out of the freezer in the morning and leave it on the counter until we get home.

    2 Replies
    1. re: masha

      My thermostat is at about 70 degrees.

      I usually do thaw meat on my counter but never have it done it for this long. I just completely forgot about it!!

      1. re: quiltingqueen

        Even if your room temp was 85F, I'd still eat them.

    2. if you peruse the home cooking boards you will see this question asked and answered hundreds of time. the answers are always the same:

      1) Sure, no problem! I'd eat it.

      2) NO WAY!! Danger danger throw it out!

      3) somewhere in the middle

      1. It really depends on what you are willing to risk and the health of the persons eating the steak.

        If the diners are in relatively good health, and is not immunoconpromised, then go for it.

        If you have a most important appointment/presentation/meeting/travel event upcoming this week and cannot afford to have a dicey stomach, then maybe don't eat it.

        If you are serving it to the public, I would say don't eat it.
        Some bacteria can still multiply in the absence of oxygen.

        Once you've weighed all the consequences, and decide to go ahead with cooking it, make sure you rinse the meat well (assumption here, of course is you've popped the meat back into the fridge awaiting supper) , pat dry and season and then cook it to desired doneness.

        Good luck! I know I would have this niggling little voice in the back of my mind reminding me I have temperature abused the steak and I know, for me, that would take away from the enjoyment I'd get from eating it.

        1. id rub them with a potent potable (vodka, rum, not wine) cut them up and make stew, something where the meat cooks a long time. i'd have trouble throwing them out too. But I wouldn't be feeding them to guests as steak thats for sure.

          The biggest issue is you don't know what kind of micro-beasts were there when they went into the freezer and have been re awakened. Had it been something cooked and then sealed it would be less risky.

          The safe answer is to use it as an expensive lesson and toss them.

          1. My mother regularly took out frozen beef/pork/lamb around 9:00 PM and let them thaw overnight and in the morning put them into the fridge until she was ready to cook them that night. Did this for decades and none of us ever had food poisoning.

            There are some caveats. This procedure was fine for her for most of the year but not during the summer. She also never left chicken/fish out that long. Room temperature in our house was also probably slightly cooler than average.