Tip: Defrosting Meat in The Oven

At Costco, you can buy 24 chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless) which is packaged in 6 packs of 4 thighs. Anne and I both like the thighs, the meat is a little more moist and tastier, and, quick frankly it's a little cheaper. When you're cooking for 2, 4 thighs is about the right size, if you're both hungry you have 2 pieces of meat, if not it's a manageable number of leftovers. The problem I've had with this is that I need to decide 2 days in advance to make sure that the chicken is thawed enough for the Foreman. I want to be able to decide at lunch time that we're doing chicken for dinner and be able to cook it at dinner time.

I don't know about you, but I've need successfully defrosted meat in the microwave. No matter how often I turn it, no matter what "power level" I use, I get the same result. A piece of meat which is a little cooked the edge and yet frozen in the middle. It's like Jim Gaffigan's Hot Pockets routine.

I've done the "run the meat under warm water" method. Where it works (assuming you don't have the water too hot and pouch the chicken), I've always registered it as a waste of both clean water and the energy to heat it.

One day I was in the kitchen on a cold day and when I touched the stove. Of course it was a little warmer then the air since the pilots were keeping things a little warm. I said to myself:

Self, I bet it's just a little warmer in the oven then it is in here. I bet it's warm enough to defrost meat quicker without cooking it.

I was right. Now 5 or 6 hours before I cook I put whatever frozen meat I'm making into a casserole dish. A couple of hours in I take it out, break up the pieces, if applicable, and I'm ready to cook in a few hours.

Yes, this only works with a Gas oven.

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