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Can I put frozen meat in a slow cooker?
There is no doubt that many believe this to be perfectly okay and many recipes can be found online on cooking frozen meat in a cooker.
If you do forget to take the meat out of the freezer to thaw and you need a way to get it ready for dinner then putting it in a slow cooker might sound just like the next thing to do however this is not as safe as it is expected to be.
A slow cooker also known as a crockpot can be used to simmer food at a lower temperature than other cooking methods, this article explains if it is safe to put frozen meat in a slow cooker.
Reputable cookbooks and cooking sites do argue that putting frozen meat to thaw in your cooker might not be a good idea for food safety, the advice on whether to put frozen meaty in a slow cooker or not is mixed.
There are too many variables to be considered when thinking of thawing meat in a slow cooker and there are lot’s of things that can affect how this is going to turn out, this article explains if you can put frozen meat in a slow cooker and how safe it really is.
What is a slow cooker used for?
A slow cooker also is known as a crockpot is a countertop electrical cooking appliance used to simmer at a lower cooking temperature than other cooking method and a slow usually allows one-step preparation.
Slow cooker offers you healthy meals and helps tenderize healthy cuts of meats.
A slow cooker is an appliance that takes cooking on a low and high heat to a whole new level, it is very easy to use and fast becoming a popular healthy appliance for cooking.
When used correctly slow cooker can be really amazing, a wide variety of food can be cooked in a slow cooker including one-pot meals, stews, soups and casserole
Can I put frozen meat in a slow cooker?
Frozen foods will typically take too long to take up the heat in a slow cooker, this electrical appliance might be convenient in making soup, stew and other comfort food while you are at work or doing other stuff around the house however it might be ideal for use in cooking frozen meat.
The point of a slow cooker is definitely to cook food for a long time hence it is not surprising that meat will be properly defrosted and cooked successfully but food safety guidelines advised against this.
It is best to always thaw meat or poultry before cooking in a slow cooker, putting frozen meat in a slow cooker is likely to affect how safe the meat is, it will certainly affect the timing and is also unsafe as food meat won’t come to the proper temperature on quickly and meat needs to be thawed properly.
It is simply not recommended to cook frozen meat in a slow cooker as there is the risk of harmful bacteria’s contaminating the meat before it reaches a safe temperature he4nce it is best to defrost the meat before cooking in a slow cooker, the best place and safest place to thaw your meat is in the refrigerator.
Is frozen meat as good as fresh?
Frozen meat can retain nutrients and even more healthy if it is frozen quickly and efficiently because it decays more slowly as a result of being frozen, frozen meat kept longer will have less nutrition than a frozen food kept for a short period.
When meat is being frozen slowly, the water in it is sure to turn to ice crystals that grow large and ruptures the fibre or muscle cell structure and this results in moisture loss upon thawing which means when handled right frozen meat is just as good as when fresh.
Is it safe to cook frozen meat without thawing?
Meat is safe to cook without thawing but this is also based on the methods being used in cooking and ensuring proper hygiene is in place when cooking especially frozen meat, this will, however, take approximately 50% longer than the recommended time for fully thawed meat or poultry.
Cooking frozen meat in a slow cooker or other cooking appliance can cause it to spend too much time at a temperature that can lead to the growth of bacteria’s and according to the USDA, you should thaw meat before cooking in a slow cooker.
Cooking frozen meat in a slow cooker is not rocket science but it is best to adopt a safe cooking technique when it comes to frozen meat and poultry as bacteria’s easily grow on them, there are easy methods to thaw your meat and poultry before cooking, the safest method is thawing in a refrigerator and also cold water thawing is recommended for smaller cuts.
Not everything can be dumped in a slow cooker, all frozen foods headed for the slow cooker should be thawed completely first.