Does a Defrosting Board Actually Work?

It claims it can cut your defrosting time in half. We shall see!

Blazin' Thaw Defrosting Tray
Photo: Amazon

Remember when you would forget to take the chicken out that mom asked you to? You would scramble to defrost as quickly as you can, and hope she will get caught in traffic to buy you time. Or are you like us and always plan to use something from the freezer for dinner only to forget to actually pull it out in time?

Well, there seems to be a new kitchen gadget that will take the stress away. A special defrosting board is supposed to be that stress reliever by reducing the time it takes to defrost meat. Let's see if this tool actually works.

What Is a Defrosting Tray?

This express defrosting tray is a flat, thin piece of metal that resembles a cutting board. Its size is about 14x8 inches, which allows ample space for thawing typical cuts of meat such as fillets, steaks, or chicken breasts. It is completely made from aluminum and has a nonstick finish for easy cleanup. It comes with four silicon legs that attach to the ends for stabilization. Some brands even include a silicone cleaning sponge. Last but certainly not least, they are dishwasher safe.

How Do They Work?

The high-density aluminum acts as a heat conductor for fast-acting thawing. Aluminum is known for its heat conductivity and has been a go-to metal in various cooking methods for decades (pots, pans, roasting dishes, and more). Among metals, it has a very high heat conductivity rate and is cheaper to manufacture. If you run hot water over the board for a few seconds, this would help with the thawing process. Also, ensure you are placing the frozen meat directly onto the board. Do not keep any frozen meat in plastic or other packaging.

But... Do They Work?

The product advertises that defrosting can take 30 to 60 minutes depending on the size. A video on TikTok claimed that a 2-inch steak took less than an hour to defrost on the board. I decided to try the board with frozen chicken breasts.

One chicken breast was taken out of the freezer and placed in the refrigerator. One chicken breast was directly placed on the defrosting tray. A stopwatch was used to determine how long each method took to defrost the chicken. After an hour and ten minutes, the chicken that was laid on the defrosting board was completely thawed and ready to cook. The chicken that was thawing in the fridge was still rock solid.

A note here on our reasoning for using the refrigerator to thaw versus a more "apples to apples" test of leaving the chicken out on the counter to thaw without the defrosting tray: the USDA lists the fridge as one of their three recommended methods for defrosting meat safely. They state that "perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter...[or] left at room temperature for more than two hours." (We get more into that in our article on safely thawing food.)

So, it seems this kitchen gadget actually works! This measly slab of aluminum is your ticket to a quick thaw and your savior from mother's wrath. Dinner is saved (and in under the two-hour safety window). The best thing about it is it doesn't even require a plug.

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