Did you forget to thaw the meat? Unless you want to go to the gorcery store, you need a way to thaw it fast. Luckily, a Defrosting Tray is a good method. While the TV infomercial will tell you its magic, its really science. How it works is that it gently condcuts heat toward the steak, chicken or other meat. The Best Defrosting Tray are usually made of copper but aluminum is another popular choice.
How do Defrosting Tray Work?
Every metal out there has a thermal conductivity value. Engineers developed these values years ago and they give you an idea on how well each metal transfer heat. Metals like Silver, Copper and Aluminum are considered to be some of the best thermally conductive metal out there. Which is why they are used in a lot of cookware.
These Defrosting Tray work under the same principle. While they might have a exterior coating to make it look nice, the base metal is usually copper or aluminum. By placing meats on the defrosting tray, the heat in the defrosting tray is transferred to the meat. If the defrosting tray is at the same temperature of the frozen meat, it wont work.
In essence, how a defrosting tray work is that it gently transfer heat towards the meat.
Do they Really Work?
Yes and no, while it does thaw it faster, its not magic. It still takes a few hours for food to defrost. I reckon that these trays will reduce the thawing time by about an hour or two. For some that can make the difference of eating dinner on time.
Another thing that you should consider is food safety. The general goal is to defrost food as quickly as possible. The longer meats is left sitting at room temperature, the more bacteria it can harbor. So if you dont want to get sick, you should defrost it as quickly as possible.
How to Use a Defrosting Tray
To defrost meat, place it on top of the tray. The warmer the ambient temperature, the faster it works. You can even use it in the fridge. So long as the temperature of the fridge is not at freezing temperature, it should speed up the process. Air is not as thermally conductive as metal.
Best Defrosting Tray
Below, you will find a list of the Best Defrosting Tray. Since most them are the same, you can just focus on the size. Some manufacturer have better quality and finish, but they should all work. Granted, you have to come at it with the right expectation.
ThawMax Rapid Defrosting Tray (Best Overall)
This tray like the other model use a aluminum slab that is coated for easy cleaning. What sets this apart is that it has a silicone barrier. This barrier makes it easy to grab and maneuver. One downside to it is cleaning. You have to remove it prior to washing or it will get in the way. Other than that, it works.
Evelots NEW Meat Defrosting Tray-Thaws Fast-Large Size-No Microwave/Electricity (Best No Frills Model)
For a simple and easy to use tray, Evelots is a great choice. Its one of the highest rated on amazon and its a no frills design. You get a slab of aluminum with a coating to keep it food safe. Its also pretty easy to clean so its low maintenance. This tray comes in at 14 inches Long x 8.1 inches Wide x 0.6 inches Height.
JIZHU Pure Copper Sheet Metal Plate 99.9% (Best Performing Model)
Just want something that performs the best, then just get a slab of copper. This will defrost better than any other aluminum tray out there. However, since there is no coating, you put a saran wrap over it. A ziploc bag will work as well. You can wash with simple soap and water. Just be aware, that copper will tarnish, so dont expect the polished copper look to last.
Verify that the size works for your application. You might need to buy more than one. I recommend you get models at least 3mm thick.
There are many trays on the market. A lot of the negative reviews are usually due to a misunderstanding of how it works. It does cut down thawing time, just not by much. You have a few choice on the market, the one with silicone barrier are the easiest to use. However, for straight performance, nothing beats pure copper. You just need to add a barrier to make it food safe. Also its not as user friendly as other model.
Looking for more Kitchen Gadgets? Check out our article on the Best Pot and Pan Protector.