How to defrost salmon quickly?
November 30, 2016 5:51 PM   Subscribe

Is there a good way to defrost a side of salmon (too big for the microwave) that doesn't take very long (dinner is imminent)? Will "cut it in half and defrost by weight in the microwave" work, or is there something better I should be doing?
posted by dialMforMara to Food & Drink (18 answers total)
 
How are you planning to cook it?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 5:54 PM on November 30, 2016


We're baking it. Probably with brown sugar and soy sauce.
posted by dialMforMara at 5:56 PM on November 30, 2016


Is it too big to put in a gallon ziplock (or larger sealable bag) and submerge in a big bowl (or sink) or warm water? I do this for two-serving filets and it only takes about 30 minutes if I change out the by-then-chilled water with warmer water once or twice.
posted by lovableiago at 5:56 PM on November 30, 2016 [12 favorites]


Put it in a plastic bag and thaw under cold running water. Fish thaws really quickly.
posted by checkitnice at 5:59 PM on November 30, 2016 [10 favorites]


Definitely plastic bag under trickling cold water. It defrosts things very quickly.
posted by heathrowga at 6:00 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Cold water. Don't use warm. Here's the FSIS guide.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:02 PM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


How quickly? I know that with other foods (my parents do this with chicken all the time) it can take hours.
posted by dialMforMara at 6:03 PM on November 30, 2016


Submerge the salmon in, say, a roasting pan with 3-4 inch high sides, in the sink with a thin stream of cold water running into it, and out of it, so that the water is slowly and continuously changing. This exchanges heat the fastest according to Alton Brown. I probably not worry about trying to bag it as salmon is so oily but if you're worried you can probably seal it well enough just with Saran wrap. Oh, and you may need to weigh it down to keep it submerged.
posted by bz at 6:03 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I bake it from frozen all the time. It may need an extra 10-15 minutes or so, depending on thickness. Keep an eye on it.

Microwaved salmon is really gross.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:10 PM on November 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


45 min max if you have enough cold water.

Chicken takes 30 min unless your are talking about a whole frozen bird instead of chicken pieces. Are your parents using warm water or something??
posted by jbenben at 6:23 PM on November 30, 2016


How quickly? I know that with other foods (my parents do this with chicken all the time) it can take hours.

Depending on the thickness, maybe 15-30 minutes?

Fish flesh is tender and fragile, I'd be worried about chunks of it accidentally ending up cooked in the microwave. If you do it now while you're setting other stuff up, it'll be ready for a quick fry by the time you're done. (ah on preview, baking, sorry)
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:24 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Agree you can simply bake from frozen.
posted by jbenben at 6:24 PM on November 30, 2016


Yeah, you can bake frozen. But I'd put in it a ziploc (or not) and submerge in cold water on the countertop for 20-30 minutes. I do this with chicken and shrimp all the time, too.
posted by gnutron at 7:02 PM on November 30, 2016


My salmon thaws in like 20 minutes. Weight it to keep it submerged.
posted by shoesietart at 7:16 PM on November 30, 2016


Bake from frozen, I do it all the time. I get like 100lbs of salmon every year from friends who commercial fish so I cook it a lot.
posted by fshgrl at 8:02 PM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Nobody else said it, so I will: for God's sake don't microwave it.*

* I am not a chef; I speak only from personal failure.
posted by klanawa at 10:26 PM on November 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


(Can someone explain - if you bake from frozen does it change how it cooks - e.g. does it dry out more / less? Take 2x as long to bake or just a few minutes more? etc)
posted by sestaaak at 6:46 AM on December 1, 2016


My only real complaint about cooking from frozen is that it sometimes sits in a puddle of water - I usually prop it up a little on some vegetables or an oiled grate so air circulates around it. I'd guess it takes me 1.5 times the usual cooking time, and sometimes I start it with the heat 20-25 degrees higher and drop that after a couple minutes especially if it's an unusually thick piece. I drizzle it with oil and seasonings before it goes in, and then if I wanted a breadcrumb topping I do wait until the last half of the cooking to put that on, so it doesn't get soggy or over-insulate the fish.

I like my salmon no more than medium anyway, so being frozen actually works to my advantage. I do not notice any difference in taste or texture between thawed and frozen.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:14 AM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


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