There's a lot of dos and don'ts when it comes to cooking, and it's hard to keep track of them all.
That being said, there are some that you want to make sure you're keeping a note of, since it can have some grave repercussions for you and your family's health.
Food can easily go from delicious to dangerous, so make sure you're not making any of these 10 mistakes when thawing and handling any kind of meat. This includes poultry and seafood.
1. Placing frozen meat in hot water
You've forgotten to leave the meat out to defrost on numerous occasions, and every time you promise yourself that would be your last time, you know deep down it won't be.
It's understandable that you want to speed up the defrosting process so you can cook the meal you planned to eat at a certain time, but soaking it in hot water is a very bad idea.
Thawing meat in hot water creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. If you want to wash it with water, you should place it in a bowl of cold water. Make sure the temperature of the water is below room temperature.
You'd actually be surprised how fast this process works to defrost your meat. Make sure you change the water every half an hour or so to prevent bacteria from forming.
2. Defrosting on your countertop
Again, in your head it would make sense to defrost your meat in a warm environment, but it's probably the worst thing you could do.
Depending on the size of your meat, it takes at least a few hours for the meat to thaw properly, and leaving it out for more than two hours runs the risk of it getting spoiled.
If you leave your meat out on the countertop without putting it on a plate or in a bowl, you're exposing it to even more bacteria.
To prevent you and your family from getting sick, thaw your meat in the refrigerator. But make sure you don't make this next mistake...
3. Storing meat on the top shelf of the fridge
Putting things in the fridge can be a difficult task, especially when the fridge is almost full.
Don't be lazy and rearrange the foods in your fridge to make room for raw meat on the bottom shelf.
The juices of the raw meat can easily drip onto other foods when stored on the top shelf of your fridge.