How to thaw from frozen to fresh
To avoid leaks and messy clean-ups, be sure to defrost meat on a paper towel-lined plate or bowl. This will help catch any liquid that may leak out during the process of thawing your food!
Never thaw your venison on the kitchen counter, in the garage, or outdoors. These methods create opportunities for bacteria to grow, leaving your meat unsafe for consumption.
This method is the safest (and easiest) way to thaw your venison, though it requires some planning. You’ll want to place your venison cuts in the fridge at least 24 hours before you’re ready to cook them. Larger pieces can take a little longer, so adjust accordingly. *
Cold Water Method
This is the fastest way to thaw your venison—it just requires a bit more of your attention. Leave your venison in its airtight packaging and submerge in a bowl of cold tap water, changing out the water every 30 minutes so it continues to thaw. Small cuts of meat weighing a pound or less can be thawed within an hour using this method, while larger cuts may take up to 2-3 hours. It’s important to note to cook the meat immediately once thawed.
In a Pinch?
Though this is not our favorite option, you may choose to thaw in the microwave. Microwaves tend to thaw unevenly, partially cooking some areas of the meat while leaving others raw, which gives you less control over the final product. If you do choose this method, remove it from the packaging, place it on a microwave-safe dish, and plan to cook your venison immediately.
For more information, check out the USDA guidelines.