Why Should You Rotate Food when Thawing It?

Once you‘re done preparing food for the freezer, it is even crucial to ensure it’s properly thawed as well.

Rotating food stock involves using items having a shorter shelf life and putting those with long shelf lives at the back of the pantry.

As a result, food that has passed its expiration date is consumed before it expires thus preventing wastage. Although it might not seem important, it’s crucial to rotate food while thawing. 

Rotating Food Is Necessary Due to Following Reasons:

  • Thawing results in the breaking down of cells which can cause bacteria to grow on the food.
  • Such kinds of frozen food could be hazardous to consume. Mostly this happens in the case of poultry and meat that could get infected with E. coli and Salmonella. 
  • Rotating the food prohibits bacterial development in the food
  • It helps in maintaining food at a safe temperature.
  • Food rotation during thawing ensures the food gets evenly thawed in a periodic manner. 
  • It allows the food to reach its preferred temperature, making it more delicious or easy to cook. 

Rotating the Food While It Is Being Thawed in The Microwave

It is important to rotate food in the microwave, particularly while thawing meat. In some cases, food may defrost unequally, leaving some parts partly frozen while entirely thawing others. Thus rotating the food ensures that it is perfectly thawed and safe to consume. 

Should You Always Turn Food While Thawing It?

There are 2 perspectives regarding the topic of turned thawed food. One impression is that turning the food during thawing is required, while another impression is that you shouldn’t. Both arguments are justified in their way.

The “no turning” outlook suggests that turning the food would result in the cold air moving in-out, thus increasing the risk of food being contaminated.

The “do turn” outlook argues that turning it would avoid uneven cooking and also speed up the procedure.

The Correct Way of Rotating Food While Thawing?

  • While being thawed, it is crucial to rotate the frozen food, it is important to rotate the vessel to take the food up to a suitable temperature in a way that is both secure and efficient. 
  • Turning makes sure that the ice doesn’t get stuck under any of the food. 
  • If the food isn’t rotated, the ice may result in slower and uneven defrosting of the food
  • If the food being thawed is big, you would require to rotate it frequently. 
  • In case the food is little, it is required to be rotated just once. 
  • It is crucial to ensure that all parts of the food get evenly thawed.

Thawing: A Complete Guide

Why Thawing?

  • Directly cooking the frozen food might result in extra water in the food or uneven cooking thus creating a mess. So, it is necessary to thaw it first.
  • The bacterial development is at pause during the freezing process.
  • Directly cooking this may restart the bacterial processes.
  • Some foods may experience a change in their texture due to sudden changes in temperature.
  • Thawing ensures the food gets well acquainted with the surrounding temperatures.
  • Thus, making it easier to cook and consume the food

Various Thawing Methods:

Cold Water Thawing

  • One way of defrosting your food, generally foods like frozen turkey, can be keeping it in a container filled with cold water.
  • Make a note that the temperature plays an important role in this process. 
  • It’s beneficial if the water is too cold as it prevents food from defrosting too quickly. 
  • In order to halt the food from contaminating, make sure it is completely immersed in water
  • Make sure the water is changed every 20 minutes.
  • Alert: Food shouldn’t be immersed in water for an excess amount of time. There is a higher chance of food going bad.
  • Lastly, make sure that the water being used is clean.

Refrigerator Thawing

  • Another way can be defrosting the food in a refrigerator.
  • This method is generally applicable for foods that don’t require cooking, like poultry or raw meat.
  • This is one of the safest ways as this doesn’t include any heat, thus preventing bacteria growth.
  • Make sure the food is stored in an air-tight container so as to keep it away from moisture.

Safety Measures to Keep a Note of While Thawing Food in The Refrigerator

  • While thawing food in the refrigerator, you may keep it in its original packaging or transfer it to another container. It’s your choice.
  • Some arguments suggest that it is more beneficial to transfer the food as this prohibits bacterial growth and thus prevents food spoilage  
  • Some argue that keeping the food in its initial packaging is good as it avoids leakage of juices, thus preventing mess.
  • In case your food effuses a lot of liquids while being thawed, transferring it might be a perfect choice. 
  • In case your food doesn’t leak much or if you want to empty any juices that get leaked out during thawing before cooking, then keeping the food in its actual package might be cleverer.

Microwave Thawing

  • Microwave thawing is an amazing, safe, and quick method to defrost food by warming it.
  • It is a safe and fast way to thaw meat. 
  • Commercial food preparation is carried out generally by this method.
  • This technique includes heating the food to a safe temperature.
  • Note: Poultry, seafood and raw meat should not be thawed in a microwave
  • The aim is to heat the frozen meat without overcooking it.
  • This method forces the water molecules in the food to vibrate and generate heat, ensuring the food gets cooked from the inside.
  • Microwave the food for 1 minute /pound. Then let it cool for 3 minutes after which you can open the bag. 

Freezer Thawing

  • This technique involves letting the food defrost in the freezer itself by changing the freezer settings.
  • This method is very useful for some foods while it might result in making some foods hard or rubbery 
  • This technique is not preferable for seafood, dairy goods, poultry, or meat as freezing or defrosting these foods by this technique might result in a change in their texture.
  • While applying this technique to other foods such as pie, cake, or bread, ensure that they stay at least for 10 minutes at room temperature before being transferred to a hot oven. 
  • This prevents them from being soggy after getting out of the freezer after defrosting. 

How to Tell that The Thawed Food Is Still Safe to Consume?

Below are a few easy tests that you may go through.

  • The first one is a visual assessment. Make a note of the food color. Is it different? If you notice Black spots, green parts, or any other indicators of mold or bacterial growth, it is suggested not to consume it.
  • You can even perform a smell test. Assess the odor of the food. Does it smells pungent or has an odd smell? If so, then it’s an indication that it isn’t fit for consumption.
  • You can even try out a texture assessment. Touch and squeeze the food softly. Is the food too loose or soft or squishy? Or is there any change in its consistency? Then you can conclude that it is spoiled.
  • The tongue test is the last option if you are comfortable going with it. In case you are still unsure about the safety of the meal, taste a small part of it. If it has an unpleasant or different taste then it’s the best choice to avoid consuming it.  

How to Prevent Thawed Food from Spoiling?

One of the most widespread misconceptions about thawed foods is that thawing the food technically restarts its shelf life. Unfortunately, that’s not the truth.

  • Once thawed after being frozen for three months, the remaining shelf life is 15 days. 

Note: Cooking thawed food can decrease its shelf life.

  • First of all, you should be aware of the freezing mechanism and the effects it has on the food and the microorganisms in it. 
  • The food you consume has a high chance of having germs or bacteria growing on it. If this bacteria grows excessively, it might be extremely hazardous.
  •  This may thus lead to the food getting spoiled.

You can prevent your food from going bad by implementing the below techniques:

  • One way of preventing food from getting worse is freezing. 
  • Freezing the food kills bacteria and even inhibits bacterial development. 
  • Make sure to store the food in an air-tight container 
  • Ensure that the temperature inside the fridge stays constant.
  • In case there’s a power cutoff, remove the food from the refrigerator and momentarily place it in cold water or you need to consume it as early if possible.
  • Don’t forget to check the expiry date of the frozen foods so that they are consumed before getting spoiled thus preventing any wastage of food. 
  •  If the food is soft or darker than before, it might be an indication of bacterial growth. 
  • When the food is taken out of the freezer, dormant bacteria may begin multiplying.
  • Thus, the food’s shelf life won’t start anew, but freezing would prohibit bacterial growth.

FAQs Related to Why Should You Rotate Food when Thawing It?

What if The Food Gets Thawed in An Incorrect Manner?

Improper freezing or defrosting of food may result in the spreading of food-borne diseases, growth of germs in food, development of mold and fungus, etc. Several municipal officials have stated that wrongful storage and thawing of food can lead to food poisoning.

Why It Isn’t Preferable to Thaw Frozen Food at Room Temperature?

An increase in food temperature can lead to reactivation and the growth of bacteria. Thus, frozen food shouldn’t be left at room temperature so as to prevent the growth of food poisoning organisms.

What Is the Best Technique for Defrosting a Frozen Dish?

The safe way of thawing frozen food is to store it in the fridge at temperatures of 40 °F or low. You can defrost food in three ways: the microwave, fridge, and cold water.

Does the Way the Food Is Cooked Decide Its Storage Span of It?

A dish shouldn’t be reheated many times.

We can safeguard the quality of thawed food by keeping a steady temperature thus making sure it doesn’t get spoiled

What Is the FIFO Strategy?

Make Some Space for The New Items by Rotating the Old Ones

Here FIFO (“First In, First Out”) method comes into account.  It simply refers to utilizing the old foods first and saving the fresh items for later use so that the food is consumed before it gets spoiled. 

Does Storing Edibles in The Freezer Prohibit Bacterial Growth and Development?

The cold conditions in the freezer can kill germs and prohibit bacterium development. It is crucial to ensure that all foods are equally getting defrosted.  

Bacteria growth is more significant in parts of the food that are warmer; thus, maintaining a constant temperature is important for prohibiting bacteria, and rotating helps you in maintaining a steady temperature.

What Is the Suggested Temperature for Food?

The suggested temperatures at which the following items must be cooked are:

  • Grounded beef, eggs – 160°F
  • poultry and game -165°F
  • roasts, fresh steaks -145°F

Is It Ok to Eat the Same Kind of Food Every Day?

It all depends on what kind of meal you choose. If you eat the same meal that consists of all the required nutrients, then it might make you healthy.   

Eating the same food every day can either lead to the deficiency of some vital nutrients in your body. 


  • Thawing food safely is as important as storing it.
  • Depending on the nature and type, there are several techniques to thaw food. 
  • One must consider various factors and opt for a technique that is more suitable and effective. 
  • The simplest of all is microwave thawing. But you need to be careful while going with this method.
  •  Ensure that there are no metal pieces in the food or container before it goes into the microwave.
  •  Metal may result in sparks or fire outbreaks in the oven that can be hazardous.
  • Foods not requiring much heat can be thawed using cold packs or cold water. This method is the safest of all.
  • It is always suggested to rotate food while thawing it.
  • Including a variety of food in your diet enhance the diversity of good bacteria in your digestive tract. Thus making you more overall health and reducing BMI.
  •  It is crucial to maintain utensils and cooking spaces clean.  


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