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Old 10-26-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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Oh my.

You can cook any meat from frozen with no ill effects as long as it it cooked to the proper temperature.

It's always about the proper temperature. As a matter of fact many pre-prepared meats require that you cook from a frozen state such as pre stuffed poultry to eleminate the potential for micro buildup.

Me-it's my experience that all raw meat cooks better when full thawed

 
Old 10-26-2012, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,529,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
You can cook any meat from frozen with no ill effects as long as it it cooked to the proper temperature.
According to food safety experts, that is not true in all cases.

Adding a frozen chicken to a soup pot of boiling water is quite safe, because the heat transfer with a water contact is very rapid, which moves the internal temperature of the food through the danger zone quite rapidly.

On the other hand, trying to cook a rock solid, frozen piece of meat in a slow oven, or in a low powered slow cooker, with only air contact to provide heat transfer, can leave the insides lingering at dangerous temperatures for very long times. In "perfect storm" conditions, this can lead to rapid build-up of of bacteria and their toxic byproducts that subsequent heating to "safe temperatures" can't totally overcome. The meat can literally rot in the pot.

This is why in restaurants and food processing facilities food must be maintained below 40F or over 140F, with minimum time spent in transition between them. Food that has been allowed to "linger" anywhere in between 40 and 140 for an extended time has to be destroyed. Low temperature cooking of frozen meats, unfortunately, can create exactly this dangerous temperature regime.

As to why this is so, I defer to the food science research conducted by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet in their milestone cookbook, Modernist Cuisine. What they established, by painstaking research, is that no matter what method of cooking you choose, other than microwave cooking, it all works by the surface of the food heating up until it creates steam, which then forces its way through microchannels in the food until it eventually reaches the center, which raises the temperature there up to the temperature which determines the desired doneness. But when food is frozen, there are no microchannels for the steam to travel through, they're blocked by ice, so the steam just piffles around at the ice boundary, thawing it out, rather than cooking the food.

But old wives tales die hard, even in the face of modern food science. And people keep getting sick because they ignore the warnings of experts. To me, that is the true


http://www.amazon.com/Modernist-Cuis.../dp/0982761007

Last edited by OpenD; 10-26-2012 at 07:47 PM..
 
Old 10-26-2012, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,529,740 times
Reputation: 10573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikantari View Post
This os for OpenD. I guess he may see it.

I am wondering how meat was thawed or prepped in your home growing up.
I'm sure this will confound and confuse the kinderlings, but we didn't have frozen meats in my house when I was growing up. All that would fit in the freezer compartment of our refrigerator were a couple of ice trays and a couple of packages of Green Giant green peas or frozen niblets (corn kernels). And the frozen food section at the grocery was a horizontal locker the size of the freezer where ice cream bars and popcicles are kept by the door today in convenience stores.

Quote:
Most of the time these days I put it in the fridge and it thaws there but there are also times I pull it out and put it in a sink of cold water.
Yes, those are both safe, although I recommend using a big bowl or pot to hold the cold water inside the sink. Sorry to say, the sink itself is often the worst breeding ground for bacteria in the kitchen other than the garbage pail. In restaurants where produce is washed in a sink, it is normally washed in a dedicated sink that has no other use, and regularly undergoes deep sanitation.

Quote:
There were times when I was much younger that I just lay it on the counter.
Same here, before I underwent formal training in food preparation and learned what a bad idea it is. I'm not coming from a "better than thou" position on this issue, I'm coming from a "hey, look what I've learned" position. I know exactly what it is like to shove a package of stinky chicken into a freezer, hoping it would somehow magically get better before I thawed it out because I was broke. But I've learned a few things since.

Quote:
I grew up (I am almost 39) with my parents setting something on the counter and leaving for the day, cooking it when they got home.
Chances are, they didn't have any formal training in food safety... am I right?

Quote:
I find that in all aspects or at least most, I am doing what I learned as a child. This goes from cooking, to my modesty, to how I interact with people, so on and so forth.
Yes, and in food matters I think that's the way most of us do it... but things do change, and one has to keep expanding one's knowledge and understanding.

I'm reminded of an old story about a young woman, newly married, who wanted to prepare a wonderful roast for her husband the way her mother always had done, so she called her mom and asked what to do, and her mom told her exactly what cut of meat to buy, and how to prepare it, and what kind of pan to use, and how to cut the end off and place it in the side of the pan, and what temperature to use and for how long... and she followed the instructions precisely, and the roast turned out perfectly, and her husband was pleased.

But he was a little puzzled by something, so he asked her... "Why did you cut the end of the roast off and place it in the side of the pan? I've never seen anyone do that." And she said she didn't know, her mother had always done that, but she didn't know why. So she called her mother and asked, "Why did you cut the end of the roast off before you put it in the pan?" And her mother said she didn't know why, it was just something her own mother had always done, and she said she would ask her.

When she did ask her mother, the reaction was laughter. "Oh, my, I'd forgotten about that," said the grandmother, who now had two generations emulating the way she made a roast. "That was such a peculiar thing, my first stove, when your father and I first got married and we had no money and we lived in a tiny little apartment. The oven was so small I couldn't get a whole roast in and still close the door, so I got in the habit of cutting off the end before I put it in the pan. And then, I don't know, it just became a habit."
 
Old 10-26-2012, 09:55 PM
 
25,631 posts, read 30,301,223 times
Reputation: 23111
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
According to food safety experts, that is not true in all cases.

Adding a frozen chicken to a soup pot of boiling water is quite safe, because the heat transfer with a water contact is very rapid, which moves the internal temperature of the food through the danger zone quite rapidly.

On the other hand, trying to cook a rock solid, frozen piece of meat in a slow oven, or in a low powered slow cooker, with only air contact to provide heat transfer, can leave the insides lingering at dangerous temperatures for very long times. In "perfect storm" conditions, this can lead to rapid build-up of of bacteria and their toxic byproducts that subsequent heating to "safe temperatures" can't totally overcome. The meat can literally rot in the pot.

This is why in restaurants and food processing facilities food must be maintained below 40F or over 140F, with minimum time spent in transition between them. Food that has been allowed to "linger" anywhere in between 40 and 140 for an extended time has to be destroyed. Low temperature cooking of frozen meats, unfortunately, can create exactly this dangerous temperature regime.

As to why this is so, I defer to the food science research conducted by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet in their milestone cookbook, Modernist Cuisine. What they established, by painstaking research, is that no matter what method of cooking you choose, other than microwave cooking, it all works by the surface of the food heating up until it creates steam, which then forces its way through microchannels in the food until it eventually reaches the center, which raises the temperature there up to the temperature which determines the desired doneness. But when food is frozen, there are no microchannels for the steam to travel through, they're blocked by ice, so the steam just piffles around at the ice boundary, thawing it out, rather than cooking the food.

But old wives tales die hard, even in the face of modern food science. And people keep getting sick because they ignore the warnings of experts. To me, that is the true


Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking: Nathan Myhrvold,Chris Young,Maxime Bilet: 9780982761007: Amazon.com: Books
As a certified food handler I am very aware of food handling and preparation procedures.

Quote:
Cooking Frozen Foods
Raw or cooked meat, poultry or casseroles can be cooked or reheated from the frozen state. However, it will take approximately one and a half times as long to cook. Remember to discard any wrapping or absorbent paper from meat or poultry.

When cooking whole frozen poultry, remove the giblet pack from the cavity as soon as you can loosen it. Cook the giblets separately. Read the label on USDA-inspected frozen meat and poultry products. Some, such as pre-stuffed whole birds, MUST be cooked from the frozen state to ensure a safely cooked product.

LOOK FOR THE USDA OR STATE MARK OF INSPECTION



The inspection mark on the packaging tells you the product was prepared in a USDA or State-inspected plant under controlled conditions. Follow the package directions for thawing, reheating, and storing.
Freezing and Food Safety
Cooking food CORRECTLY from a frozen state is no more dangerous that cooking from thawed.
 
Old 10-27-2012, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,529,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Cooking food CORRECTLY from a frozen state is no more dangerous that cooking from thawed.
And there's the weasel word. Correctly. How many people who haven't been professionally trained even know what cooking something correctly means?

Given that the average US household wastes half the food it buys, most of it before any expiration date is reached, and that the annual waste per person is near 200 pounds; and that many people think that thawing frozen chicken on the counter is a safe practice despite years of government and industry advice against it; while others won't drink fresh, wholesome milk past the sell-by date on the package; and that still others pass around old recipes that defy today's professional food handling standards, I think it is safe to say that a lot of Americans don't know what cooking something *correctly* even means.

The most recent research not only shows why slow cooking frozen food is risky in certain time & temperature regimes, it even shows why it is risky. And in time I expect the federal and state standards to be revised to incorporate that new research. Personally, I don't need to wait until I'm told I have to do something, when I can already see plainly enough when I should do something. This is a case where I think the regulations haven't caught up with the science yet.

The tricky thing about food safety is that it's a percentage game. If somebody got sick every single time you did something wrong, it would quite easy to for you to learn why you shouldn't do that particular something. That family in the Northwest who all wound up in the hospital last week because they ate wild mushrooms they had not identified, that's a pretty direct lesson, and one that others can learn from. "Don't eat mushrooms you can't positively identify as safe." But what if eating those mushrooms only made you sick once per 1,000 times? Or even once per 100 times? It would be pretty hard for any individual to discern for themselves what was causing the occasional illness.

To see the big picture it takes a wider view, a broader perspective to see the big picture... oh, look, people who thaw chicken on the counter can do it numerous times without experiencing any sickness!... but then all of a sudden *wham*, inexplicable illness... and it's illness which would not have occurred at all if they had been following truly safe procedures all along.

I'm a pilot, and I'm used to thinking in terms of a "flight envelope," a set of parameters for safe flight in different conditions. And one of the first things I learned was that flying "low and slow" is dangerous.

The same thing is true for cooking hard frozen food, for reasons I outlined earlier. If you want to cook something frozen you should either 1) thaw the food safely before cooking, or 2) cook it at a high enough temperature that it thaws quickly. But flying low and slow, for instance putting a frozen chicken into a cold, low powered slow-cooker that heats up very gradually, that can easily lead to an unexpected crash.
 
Old 10-27-2012, 01:42 AM
Status: " la recherche d'un emploi" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: South Bay Native
13,307 posts, read 21,858,794 times
Reputation: 23368
Wow. Mind = BLOWN.

I thought this was the Recipes forum.

*backing away slowly*

Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
And there's the weasel word. Correctly. How many people who haven't been professionally trained even know what cooking something correctly means?

Given that the average US household wastes half the food it buys, most of it before any expiration date is reached, and that the annual waste per person is near 200 pounds; and that many people think that thawing frozen chicken on the counter is a safe practice despite years of government and industry advice against it; while others won't drink fresh, wholesome milk past the sell-by date on the package; and that still others pass around old recipes that defy today's professional food handling standards, I think it is safe to say that a lot of Americans don't know what cooking something *correctly* even means.

The most recent research not only shows why slow cooking frozen food is risky in certain time & temperature regimes, it even shows why it is risky. And in time I expect the federal and state standards to be revised to incorporate that new research. Personally, I don't need to wait until I'm told I have to do something, when I can already see plainly enough when I should do something. This is a case where I think the regulations haven't caught up with the science yet.

The tricky thing about food safety is that it's a percentage game. If somebody got sick every single time you did something wrong, it would quite easy to for you to learn why you shouldn't do that particular something. That family in the Northwest who all wound up in the hospital last week because they ate wild mushrooms they had not identified, that's a pretty direct lesson, and one that others can learn from. "Don't eat mushrooms you can't positively identify as safe." But what if eating those mushrooms only made you sick once per 1,000 times? Or even once per 100 times? It would be pretty hard for any individual to discern for themselves what was causing the occasional illness.

To see the big picture it takes a wider view, a broader perspective to see the big picture... oh, look, people who thaw chicken on the counter can do it numerous times without experiencing any sickness!... but then all of a sudden *wham*, inexplicable illness... and it's illness which would not have occurred at all if they had been following truly safe procedures all along.

I'm a pilot, and I'm used to thinking in terms of a "flight envelope," a set of parameters for safe flight in different conditions. And one of the first things I learned was that flying "low and slow" is dangerous.

The same thing is true for cooking hard frozen food, for reasons I outlined earlier. If you want to cook something frozen you should either 1) thaw the food safely before cooking, or 2) cook it at a high enough temperature that it thaws quickly. But flying low and slow, for instance putting a frozen chicken into a cold, low powered slow-cooker that heats up very gradually, that can easily lead to an unexpected crash.
 
Old 10-27-2012, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,529,740 times
Reputation: 10573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
As a certified food handler I am very aware of food handling and preparation procedures.
Then you are certainly aware that standard food industry and government guidelines specify that frozen poultry left at room temperature, such as sitting on a counter for longer than 2 hours is considered unsafe and must be destroyed. That is one of the two points I was trying to clarify for home cooks who were unaware of the dangers of leaving frozen poultry lying around all day.

Quote:
Cooking food CORRECTLY from a frozen state is no more dangerous that cooking from thawed.
To clarify this point before anyone might be led astray for the holidays, the only correct way to cook a frozen turkey is in a hot oven. As this food health info sheet from the Mayo Clinic points out:
  • Do not try to cook a frozen turkey in a microwave.
  • Do not try to cook a frozen turkey on a grill
  • Do not try to cook a frozen turkey in a smoker
  • Do not try to cook a frozen turkey in a deep fryer

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tha...turkey/AN01483

To which I'll add that while oven roasting a frozen turkey has the appeal of being simple and no-fuss... typically you roast it breast side down for the first 2 hours, then turn it to cook breast side up until the deepest part of the breast AND the thickest part of the thigh have both reached at least 160F. But usually by the time the breast reaches 160, the leg is already at 170+ and starting to dry out, a constant issue with modern large breasted turkeys. And this problem is exacerbated when roasting a frozen bird because the leg thaws faster than the breast, and thus cooks longer. IOW roasting a frozen bird is easier, but roasting a completely thawed bird gives better results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DontH8Me View Post
Wow. Mind = BLOWN.

I thought this was the Recipes forum.
It is, it is, but some recipes or cooking practices are really not safe or wholesome, and those call out to be corrected, for everyone's benefit.

Anyway I'll make it gentle on y'all now, and start a new thread on food safety for holiday cooking.
 
Old 10-27-2012, 06:56 AM
 
Location: NoVa
18,434 posts, read 29,383,674 times
Reputation: 19624
I like chicken.
 
Old 10-27-2012, 11:02 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 30,301,223 times
Reputation: 23111
Chicken good at the correct temp

The only thing needed to ensure no problems without pages and pages of health and safety procedures.

Amazon.com: Taylor Digital Instant-Read Pocket Thermometer: Kitchen & Dining
 
Old 10-27-2012, 01:56 PM
 
Location: NoVa
18,434 posts, read 29,383,674 times
Reputation: 19624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Chicken good at the correct temp

The only thing needed to ensure no problems without pages and pages of health and safety procedures.

Amazon.com: Taylor Digital Instant-Read Pocket Thermometer: Kitchen & Dining
You know I don't think I have a meat thermometer. Maybe SO does, I don't know. I just clicked on your link and it is now on my Amazon wish list!
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