Ask The Chef
The following question came into The Food Channel:
Can I thaw bacon using warm water?
Great question for the holiday season—goes well with your name! The last-minute need for a party appetizer, or for breakfast when you’re hosting and you forgot to check your supplies…you find you need bacon, and you need it fast.
The United States Department of Agriculture has specific guidelines about thawing all meat. Here’s what they say about bacon:
“There are three safe ways to thaw bacon: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave. Never defrost bacon on the kitchen counter or at room temperature.”
They recommend thawing bacon in the refrigerator as a best practice, but, of course, that requires planning ahead. Unless you have time to stop for a fresh package from the store, it’s okay to use COLD water, not warm.
Here are some tips:
- Keep the bacon unopened in its original packaging
- Place it in your sink with a grate or cooling rack underneath and run a consistent stream of cold water over it. The rack allows water to flow more fully around the package.
- Do not simply soak the package in a bath of water—keep the water flowing. The pressure helps, and there is less chance of leakage.
- Bacon should thaw in 30 minutes and should be cooked immediately. Do not refreeze.
- You can also defrost bacon in the microwave. Follow instructions for “defrosting meat” on your particular microwave. You can defrost in the original packaging for a few minutes at a time, but do not leave unattended as if the bacon gets hot there is a risk of plastic melting.
- Once the bacon is soft enough to separate, we recommend you lay out individual pieces on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake it in the oven until done to your desired crispness (generally 15 minutes or less).
By the way, if you want an easy holiday appetizer using bacon, here’s one we love! Click on the photo below to find the recipe: