Can you defrost pork belly in the microwave?

In this brief guide, we will address the query “ can you defrost pork belly in the microwave?”. We will also ask questions about what pork belly is, how to properly defrost pork belly in the microwave, the safety of defrosting pork belly in the microwave, what other safe methods can be used in defrosting pork belly, and the culinary uses of pork belly.  

Can you defrost pork belly in the microwave?

Yes, you can defrost pork belly in the microwave for any quick breakfast or dinner dish in a few minutes. This method is really quick and is also safe when done following the right instructions. Your completely thawed pork belly can be cooked into your favourite recipe immediately. 

How to properly defrost pork belly in the microwave?

When you want to defrost that pork belly for your quick meal, the microwave method can be your best and safest option. You can properly and safely defrost your pork belly in the microwave if the right procedures are followed.

  • To begin, remove the pork belly from the freezer and take them out of the freezer bag before using the microwave.
  • Place the frozen pork belly on a microwave safe plate and cover with the microwave safe cover.
  • Set the pork on the microwave safe plate in the microwave and start to defrost by pressing the microwave defrosting button. This ensures thawing is done at low power between 20 to 30%.
  • Set the time for defrosting to 2 minutes until done, allow the pork belly to rest and check its progress afterwards. If not fully thawed you may flip it over and defrost again for 2 minutes and check their progress again. 
  • Continue thawing in the same manner until fully defrosted. Always allow the pork belly to rest for a few minutes before proceeding. This is to avoid the meat from overheating and cooking.
  • In total, a completely defrosted pork belly will be achieved in 4 minutes or more depending on the size of the meat you are defrosting. 

Can defrosting pork belly in the microwave be unsafe?

Yes, it is possible to defrost pork belly in the microwave and still have unsafe thawed meat. This is the result of high temperature defrosting and the long period of cooking. Pork belly defrosted in the microwave may be unsafe to use if you do the following.

  • Defrosting in the microwave by the full power setting of the appliance. This process defrosts the meat at an extremely high temperature and even cooks the outer layer of the meat while the centre is still frozen.
  • Also, continuously defrosting for a long time causes the fat in the pork belly to melt which makes the meat lose its firmness and become mushy.
  • Again, defrosting continuously for long periods can cause the outer layer of the pork belly to start cooking while the centre is frozen, thus exposing the meat to its danger zone and a rapid increase in the bacteria population in the meat.

What other safe methods can be used to defrost pork belly?

Besides the microwave method, your pork belly can be safely thawed inside the refrigerator or in cold water. The two methods are relatively slower than the microwave method but still give great results. Let us discuss the other safe ways to defrost pork belly.

Defrosting in the refrigerator

Pork bellies can be safely defrosted in the refrigerator for maximum results. The process is however slow and lasts for 6 to 8 hours or more to be completely thawed. 

  • To properly thaw your pork belly in the fridge, remove the pork belly from the freezer leaving them in the external plastic wrapping.
  • Place the pork belly in the plastic wrap on a plate and set it into your refrigerator at the lower bottom rack to allow for slow defrosting of the meat.
  • Your pork belly is fully defrosted overnight or for 6 to 8 hours.

Defrosting in cold water

This process is much faster than the refrigeration method although it requires more time than the microwave process.

To defrost, fill a bowl with cold water and place it on the countertop.

  • Remove your pork belly from the freezer and check if the freezer bag enclosing them is watertight, if not place them in another watertight bag to prevent water from leaking into the meat. 
  • Submerge the pork belly in the freezer bag into the bowl of cold water and allow the meat to defrost for 30 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the meat. 
  • Intermittently change the thawing water if the process lasts longer than 30 minutes and you will have a safely thawed pork belly to cook with. 

What is pork belly?

Pork belly is the boneless, fatty cut of meat from the hog’s belly remaining after the loin and spare ribs are removed from the meat. Pork belly is very succulent and flavourful when fresh, however, it can be frozen to prolong its shelf life and maintain its quality if done properly.

What are some culinary uses of pork belly?

Pork belly serves as an important part of many restaurant recipes which can equally be prepared at the home. Some culinary recipes from pork belly include pork belly sisig, crispy pork belly sandwiches, pork belly carnitas with tomatillo salsa, caramel-lacquered pork belly, crispy pork belly tacos, braised pork belly with pickled radishes and more.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the “can you defrost pork belly in the microwave?”. We have also discussed what pork belly is, how to properly defrost pork belly in the microwave, how unsafe defrosting in the microwave can be if done properly, other safe methods for defrosting pork belly, and some culinary uses of pork belly.

Citation

https://foodieandthechef.com/boil/can-you-freeze-cooked-belly-pork.html