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I thawed pork in running water and the meat touched the water

valia Feb 21, 2014 05:00 PM

I thawed some pork chops in a bowl of cold running water, and the plastic wrap came off, thus exposing the pork to the water. I rinsed the pork chops before baking them but did not pat them dry. Is this ok? They are being cooking in the oven for an hour with gravy and vegetables. Thank you.

  1. t
    tardigrade Feb 23, 2014 07:24 PM

    If by running water you mean tap water, your municipal supply is supposed to be drinkable straight from the tap (certain places in West Virginia notwithstanding). Some people wash meat as a matter of course: I don't. Meat's mostly water anyway, and a brief rinse doesn't increase water weight or anything. If by running water you mean a nearby stream, all bets are off.

    I've been brining pork chops recently (since IMHO modern ones are too dry) , or cooking them in stock or a similar liquid. An hour sounds like a lot, but not knowing the temperature I can't say: meat thermometers are your friend - I set mine to sound the alarm at about 10 degrees before the "done" temperature.

    1. h
      Harters Feb 23, 2014 08:41 AM

      Why would it not be OK?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Harters
        greygarious Feb 23, 2014 03:26 PM

        Read the thread - the OP's worries are elaborated upon and dismissed,

        1. re: greygarious
          sunshine842 Feb 23, 2014 05:40 PM

          (unfounded worries, we'll add....)

          1. re: greygarious
            Harters Feb 24, 2014 03:08 AM

            Actually, no they're not. Which is why I asked the question.

            At no point has valia raised her/his actual concerns about why water touching the meat might be an issue. I was interested to learn what that actual concern was before making an assumption that, by chance, a satisfactory answer had been given.

        2. f
          FriedClamFanatic Feb 22, 2014 01:05 PM

          No problem..........some meats I rinse/wash before using

          1 Reply
          1. re: FriedClamFanatic
            Chemicalkinetics Feb 22, 2014 01:09 PM

            You don't throw your meat in the the trash can after washing/rinsing?

          2. h
            Hobbert Feb 22, 2014 04:11 AM

            Have you recently moved somewhere where the water isn't safe to drink? Even then, I'd say you're fine if you're going to cook the food.

            1. Chemicalkinetics Feb 21, 2014 11:10 PM

              I see that most of the responses pretty much stated what I would have said. Yes, don't worry about it. You are fine.

              1. s
                sal_acid Feb 21, 2014 08:22 PM

                They will be fine. No risk here.

                If you were pan frying them the surface water would have to boil off before they'd brown, but you aren't doing that so no biggie.

                1. fldhkybnva Feb 21, 2014 06:06 PM

                  Not to sound mean, but this is your third post about questionable meat quality and handling. You might find a good source and read more about buying, handling, storing and cooking meat.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                    valia Feb 21, 2014 06:13 PM

                    I'm trying to learn from experienced cooks.

                    1. re: valia
                      harryharry Feb 21, 2014 06:25 PM

                      experienced cooks are telling you that you don't have to cook your meat as long as you have been - trust the knowledge here or at least the USDA or what ever the equivalent in Canada (or where ever, sorry for ethnocentricity) - their guidelines are beyond safe - so that they can't be held liable. Pork is 145 (or was when I took the serve safe course) -

                      1. re: valia
                        sal_acid Feb 21, 2014 08:30 PM

                        That is what this place is about. Ask all the questions you want.

                        If food safety is the concern, the bigger risk in the home is storage of uncooked or prepared foods. Undercooked meat (other than ground meat) is pretty low risk.

                        1. re: valia
                          MamasCooking Feb 22, 2014 01:01 PM

                          If you live near a community college that has a culinary program you might be able to go to the college bookstore (or order online) one of the textbooks for the course related to food handling/safety/sanitation etc. Or you could sleuth around and figure out what the *gold* standard book is that is used in culinary courses and find it online. I learned cooking skill from my mother. I learned kitchen safety/sanitation/food handling from a Home Ec. class in 7th grade.

                      2. d
                        donovt Feb 21, 2014 05:48 PM

                        The pork is fine, but I wouldn't recommend drinking the water.

                        1. 5
                          51rich Feb 21, 2014 05:16 PM

                          Unless they began walking on water,it should not be a problem...IF they did walk- i would suggest a change of plans

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: 51rich
                            valia Feb 21, 2014 05:25 PM


                            1. re: valia
                              51rich Feb 21, 2014 05:35 PM

                              couldn't resist- enjoy your meal

                          2. a
                            amishangst Feb 21, 2014 05:13 PM

                            I think the bigger issue is you cooking pork chops for an entire hour. I sure hope those are some mighty thick chops or you're cooking on a very low temp/flame.

                            26 Replies
                            1. re: amishangst
                              valia Feb 21, 2014 05:24 PM

                              425 for an hour. I know it's long but I'm paranoid about undercooked meat.

                              1. re: valia
                                amishangst Feb 21, 2014 05:46 PM

                                Then invest in a meat thermometer instead of overcooking your food. You'll be surprised how much tastier your food will be when not overcooked.

                                1. re: valia
                                  greygarious Feb 21, 2014 05:48 PM

                                  Apparently you're a fan of jerky. Today's pork can be served slightly pink at the center but even if that's unacceptable to you, you're way overcooking. If you insist on extended cooking, at least brine your pork first so you have a chance of it being moist when you eat it. Get a meat thermometer and learn how to use it to get accurate readings.

                                  1. re: greygarious
                                    valia Feb 21, 2014 06:12 PM

                                    It is actually moist. I cooked it in a skillet with the lid on and covered it with liquid.

                                    1. re: valia
                                      greygarious Feb 21, 2014 08:06 PM

                                      Good thing you braised it because you'd have to have the jaws of a hyena to eat it otherwise. Had you baked them you'd have had hockey pucks.

                                      1. re: valia
                                        RUK Feb 22, 2014 07:52 AM

                                        Then how on earth did you reach 425 degr.? Last time I looked, the boiling point for water is 212 degr F.
                                        I suggest you do some reading before you start cooking! Btw the Joy of Cooking is a wonderful book, I highly recommend it! I still refer to it on occasion.

                                        1. re: RUK
                                          sunshine842 Feb 22, 2014 09:01 AM

                                          I think the 425 was an oven temperature.

                                          It's totally possible to put a skillet with a lid into the oven.

                                          But yeah, that poor pork chop was cooked and then some.

                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                            RUK Feb 22, 2014 11:43 AM

                                            Ah yes, she mentioned the oven. My bad.
                                            But I still stand by my comment to read a bit.....

                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                              C. Hamster Feb 22, 2014 04:15 PM

                                              Very cooked.

                                      2. re: valia
                                        sal_acid Feb 21, 2014 08:26 PM

                                        If trichinosis is the concern, you can kill pork trichinella by freezing the meat first.

                                        Then cooking to a temp 135 F or so is guaranteed safe and way way tastier because the meat proteins aren't all contracted and dehydrated.

                                        135 is safe anyway, but the freezing gives you a guarantee if you are concerned.

                                        1. re: sal_acid
                                          C. Hamster Feb 21, 2014 10:59 PM

                                          OP's original question was about FROZEN chops

                                          1. re: C. Hamster
                                            sal_acid Feb 22, 2014 06:31 AM

                                            I was answering in general to the concern re undercooked meat.

                                            Thank you for your help, though.

                                        2. re: valia
                                          Puffin3 Feb 22, 2014 06:03 AM

                                          Maybe you should reconsider eating any meat.
                                          Or just buy big bags of 'jerky'.
                                          As to the water issue. I 'wet brine' pork every time I cook it.
                                          Buy a thermometer and some cook books on cooking meat.
                                          Not to be mean but this isn't the place to ask too may questions you can find the answers to simply by using Goggle first.
                                          Try: 'Is thawing pork in water safe?'
                                          I got half a million 'results'.
                                          Check out the threads on CH and you'll get a picture of the tenor here.

                                          1. re: Puffin3
                                            sal_acid Feb 22, 2014 06:33 AM

                                            Disagree. This is just the place t o ask those questions. Google searches give a zillion conflicting answers. Here you get an answer that is then subject to discussion which will confirm its truthfulness.

                                            1. re: sal_acid
                                              sunshine842 Feb 22, 2014 06:40 AM

                                              but given the level of some of the questions that the OP has asked, it would definitely be to his/her advantage to do some reading about basic preparations. CH is a wonderful resource for cooks at a wide array of ranges, but I'm not sure how good it is at a "this is pork. It came from a pig" type of level.

                                              Most kids manage to learn to walk before joining a Little League team.

                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                sal_acid Feb 22, 2014 06:56 AM

                                                Valid point.

                                                I'd counter with the fact that most of us vary widely in expertise and what's basic for one is high science to another. eg I cook savory food pretty darn well and understand what I'm doing. Ask me to bake a cake and I'm at Betty Crocker level.

                                                Rather have the OPer learn it here than learn it wrong from their idiot sister in law. And the OP did get her/his misinformation somewhere.

                                                1. re: sal_acid
                                                  amishangst Feb 22, 2014 11:21 AM

                                                  Why is there some assurance that the information here is any more correct than the "idiot sister in law"? The "idiot sister in law" (did I miss a post, where did this come from), could be a poster here. I could be her. The internet is only as good as the people who post there. This isn't some exclusive club you had to pass a test to join, like Mensa. I've seen plenty of misinformation get spread in the posts on CH as well. Meanwhile, certain basic rules of cooking, like what temperature should meat be cooked to for safe consumption or how to safely thaw food is generally available knowledge that's fairly uniform across many cookbooks and government websites. It's not a secret that only CH'ers are privy to hold.

                                                  And while certainly some questions are welcome, I think some good rules of thumb for life, and especially the internet, is to a) read the room before joining in the discourse, and b) show that you've made an effort on your own first. If questions start to get repetitive along the same theme, people tend to wonder if you even learned something from the last time they took time out of their day to answer or if you've made an effort since then to further your education on the subject.

                                                  1. re: amishangst
                                                    sal_acid Feb 22, 2014 11:35 AM

                                                    Your statement about meat cooking temps is a great example. USDA or FDA or CDC or whoever would have us eating only well-done pork. Which, given what is known about trichinosis, is erring on the side of safety to a ridiculous degree.

                                                    CH, when intelligent and learned people participate, can put this issue in perspective for the newbie and then said newbie can make his own decision based on insight rather than blindly following a rule that turns out to be in error.

                                                    To be sure there are CHers who are dim-witted and un-informed, but there are many more who know their stuff.

                                                    Isn't that the point of CH? It isn't just a place to find the best Gen' Tso's chicken in Paramus

                                                    1. re: sal_acid
                                                      amishangst Feb 22, 2014 11:57 AM

                                                      It may be erring on the side of safety, but it also gives a good starting point for people who are too new, scared or paranoid to judge things by look or feel and who want to be "extra safe" (as I assume this OP would by their own admission of their paranoia). Plus, it would at least get the OP to go by temp instead of time, because the pork chop is never going to be the exact same thickness every single time, the coals on the grill may not be the exact same temperature every single time, the oven might have hot spots and you might not put the pan in the same spot every single time. There was another similar post by someone who was worried about their chicken not being cooked enough - because they normally cook it for four or five+ hours (and not on a purposeful low and slow temp). Even if safety guidelines are too high for the "vastly superior CH'er standards", it would have prevented decades of eating dry chicken jerky and given reasonable assurance of safety, which was clearly more important to her than taste.

                                                      A generally trusted source (be it a cookbook, cooking school, food safety handling classes) and a thermometer are going to be better than guessing and in some cases internet strangers of varying abilities who occasionally devolve into bickering about who is more correct. But if the point of CH is to answer basic food safety questions, then I pass. I don't see what's wrong about hoping that people build up their foundation of cooking knowledge through outside sources (again, cookbooks, classes, cooking shows, even) and then tap into the creativity of people who enjoy food and cooking to expand your horizons, be more creative, and improve upon your foundation.

                                                      1. re: amishangst
                                                        sal_acid Feb 22, 2014 01:20 PM

                                                        Where did you get that quote..."vastly superior CH'er standards"?

                                                        Good point about cookbooks, but not relevant to my point that CH is indeed the place to bring questions about cooking.

                                                        1. re: amishangst
                                                          sunshine842 Feb 23, 2014 05:38 PM

                                                          this, this, this, this, this.

                                                          Fabulously said.

                                                          The OP would be miles ahead by learning to follow commonly-accepted guidelines first....then when she (he?) is comfortable following those, can begin to experiment as his/her comfort level stabilizes.

                                          2. re: amishangst
                                            Steve Feb 22, 2014 07:09 AM

                                            I make a recipe from Cooking of the South by Nathalie Dupree that call for the park chops to be baked for one hour at 375. They come out fantastic.

                                            1. re: Steve
                                              sunshine842 Feb 22, 2014 09:03 AM

                                              but probably not submerged in liquid (OP says "covered in liquid") and probably has other things in the dish, yeah?

                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                Steve Feb 22, 2014 02:32 PM

                                                The Dupree recipe calls for browned pork chops and sliced onions and garlic to be completely covered with broth and some vinegar in a covered casserole dish. It produces a nice, rich gravy.

                                                1. re: Steve
                                                  MamasCooking Feb 22, 2014 06:48 PM

                                                  That sounds similar to pork adobo.

                                                  1. re: Steve
                                                    sunshine842 Feb 23, 2014 05:39 PM

                                                    that's my point.

                                                    "submerged in liquid" and your description are not the same dish.

                                                    The OP makes no mention of broth or flavorings of any kind.

                                                    What the OP describes is a boiled pork chop -- what you posted sounds damned tasty.

                                            2. v
                                              VTB Feb 21, 2014 05:13 PM

                                              If you are braising them in gravy then wetness doesn't hurt you. :-) By the way, since they've been baking for an hour I think you can take them out now.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: VTB
                                                valia Feb 21, 2014 05:27 PM

                                                Thank you.

                                              2. r
                                                Rick Feb 21, 2014 05:07 PM

                                                More than once I've defrosted meat in ziploc bags in a bowl of water only to have th bag leak in water. I always pat them dry, but there's no reason nt paying them dry will hurt anything. It's just water, there's water in the gravy . . .

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Rick
                                                  valia Feb 21, 2014 05:25 PM


                                                2. boogiebaby Feb 21, 2014 05:06 PM

                                                  I'm not understanding what the issue is. Meat naturally contains water. Some meats are injected with solution to bulk it up. Are you worried about bacteria in the water? Or that the pork will not cook properly? Either way, it's fine.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: boogiebaby
                                                    fldhkybnva Feb 21, 2014 05:09 PM

                                                    I'm trying to figure out the problem too

                                                    1. re: boogiebaby
                                                      valia Feb 21, 2014 05:25 PM

                                                      Thank you

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