Pork chops are a darling of many dinner tables. They’re lean, flavorful, and can be paired with just about any side dish or vegetable.
Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or a special occasion entrée, pork chops are sure to please.
But what do you do when on a time crunch or don’t have access to an oven? If you need your frozen pork chops ready fast, try using your microwave.
Here’s how to defrost pork chops in microwave.
First, take your frosted pork chops out of their packaging and place them on a microwave-safe plate. Arrange in a single layer, then cover with a microwavable lid or plastic wrap. Defrost for 2-minutes or set your microwave to 50% power level.
Remove from the microwave, flip each chop over, and defrost for another two minutes. Continue defrosting, regularly checking, until all sides have thawed.
There you have it! Pork chops that are ready to cook or grill to your liking.
In this article, we’ll go over each of the steps to defrost pork chops safely and quickly and share some tips. In addition, we’ll answer some queries about defrosting pork chops so you can get started right away.
Can You Defrost Pork Chops in the Microwave?
It’s possible to defrost pork chops in a microwave. The process is quick and easy, making it an excellent choice for those short on time or doesn’t have access to an oven or other conventional thawing methods.
Pork chops are easy to prepare, versatile, and can be served with various side dishes. They are a by-product of pork, one of the most popular meats consumed in America. In fact, according to USDA statistics, Americans consume more than 0.24 pounds per person per week.
And as the name suggests, pork chops come from either side of a pig’s rib cage. They can be cut into thick or thin pieces depending on your preference. Leaner cuts are often called loin chops, while thicker cuts are rib chops.
These delicacies are often sold frozen, so you may need to thaw them out before cooking. There are several ways to defrost pork chops, and each method has its advantages and disadvantages.
The following is a list of different methods for defrosting pork chops recommended by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service:
1. Defrosting in Refrigerator
This is one of the most popular ways to defrost pork chops because it’s easy and safe. You just need to place your frozen pork chops on a plate or tray and place them in your refrigerator overnight. However, while convenient, defrosting in a refrigerator can take 24 hours.
2. Defrosting Under Cold Water
Another popular way to defrost pork chops is under cold water. Simply place your frozen pork chops in a bowl of cold water and let them sit until they’re completely thawed. While faster than thawing in a refrigerator, the method still takes several hours and requires constant monitoring.
3. Defrosting in Microwave
The method is the fastest and easiest way to defrost pork chops. If pressed for time, use a microwave to defrost your pork chops quickly. However, defrosting for extended periods can cook your food rather than thawing.
How Long To Defrost Pork Chop in Microwave?
As we’ve already mentioned, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to defrost pork chops, then microwaving is your best bet. Defrosting your pork chops ensure that they evenly cook throughout without getting too dry or rubbery.
So, how long do pork chops take to thaw in the microwave? Well, it depends on a few factors. Let’s have a look:
The thicker your pork chops, the longer they will take to defrost. It’s best to choose pork chops about an inch thick or less.
Alternatively, you can also cut your pork chops into smaller pieces if they’re too big and unwieldy. This way, they’ll be easier to handle and defrost evenly throughout
2. Microwave Wattage
The wattage of your microwave also plays a significant role in how long it will take for your pork chops to defrost. Generally, microwaves with higher wattages are more powerful and can thaw food faster than those with lower wattages. Check your manual or look at your microwave’s rating plate to determine its wattage.
3. The Number of Pork Chop
You’ll also need to consider how many pork chops you’re defrosting at once. If you’re only defrosting one or two, it will take less time than defrosting a whole package. It’s best not to overcrowd your microwave when defrosting your pork chops so that they can cook evenly throughout.
But generally, it will take 2-minutes to defrost one side of a pork chop and 5-minutes for both sides. The most important thing is to check on your pork chops frequently, so they don’t cook rather than thaw.
Can You Refreeze Defrosted Pork Chops?
Sometimes things don’t work out as planned. An expected dinner guest may not show up, or the weather might be too hot for an outdoor barbecue. In such cases, you’ll have to cut your losses and cook something else.
The frustrating moment comes when you realize you still have a defrosted pork chop in your refrigerator. What do you do? Do you throw it away, or can you refreeze it?
The answer is yes: You can refreeze defrosted pork chops. However, there are some rules you need to follow if you want them to taste good again and remain safe for consumption.
First, ensure your defrosted pork chops do not come into contact with any other food. Contamination is always possible because bacteria can quickly spread from one item to another.
Secondly, make sure they’re completely thawed before putting them back in your freezer. This will help prevent any bacterial growth while keeping the texture intact.
Finally, you can safely refreeze pork chops that have been refrigerated for only 3-4 days and at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. After that period, however, their quality will begin to deteriorate rapidly, and they’ll become unsafe for consumption.
Tips to Defrost Pork Chop in Microwaves?
Like any other method, defrosting pork chops in a microwave has a set of guidelines to follow. Alongside the guidelines are tips to ensure your frozen pork chop defrosts evenly and doesn’t end up rubbery or tough.
So, here are some general guidelines and tips for safely defrosting pork chops in a microwave.
- Remove pork chops from the packaging and place them on a clean microwave-safe plate or dish. Most of these packages are made from Styrofoam, a non-microwave safe material. When subjected to microwaves, it will melt leaching chemicals into your food.
- Your microwave-safe plate or dish should have a raised edge so that any juices from your pork chops don’t leak onto your microwave. Also, make sure it is big enough to hold all of your pork chops without stacking them on top of each other.
- Please leave at least an inch of space between each pork chop when placing it on a microwave-safe plate or dish. This will allow for even defrosting and prevent any juices from pooling and becoming soggy.
- If you’re defrosting only one chop, place it at the center of your plate or dish to allow for even heat distribution.
- Find a microwavable lid or plastic wrap that can cover your plate or dish. This will keep your pork chops moist and prevent drying out while defrosting. The cover will also keep splatter at bay, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up your appliance when you are done.
- Most microwaves feature a defrost button designed explicitly for thawing frozen food. If yours doesn’t have one, use its regular setting and set it to low power, which is usually about 30%-50% of your microwave’s total capacity. This will help prevent cooking or burning your pork chops as they defrost.
- The rule of thumb for how long it takes to defrost pork chops is about 4-5 minutes. However, this can vary depending on their thickness and your microwave’s power level. So, you might want to start with a shorter time and then check every minute, flipping them over until thoroughly defrosted.
- The USDA recommends that you cook pork chops immediately after defrosting. Microwaves tend to cook your pork chops as they defrost, providing a perfect environment for bacterial growth.
- Make sure to cook your pork chops until their internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius). This will kill any bacteria and ensure that your pork chop is safe to eat.
How to Defrost Pork Chops in Microwave (Step by Step)
Now that you have all the facts and tips about defrosting pork chops, it’s time for action. A microwave is the quickest way to defrost your pork chops without sacrificing quality or taste.
So, here’s a step-by-step guide.
What You Need
- A microwave-safe plate
- A microwavable lid or plastic wrap
- Pork chops
- Salt and pepper (optional)
Step 1: Take out Your Frozen Pork Chops from their Packaging
Discard any packaging and place your frozen pork chops on a clean microwave-safe plate. Avoid using plastic, as it will melt under high heat.
Step 2: Arrange Your Frozen Pork Chops on the Microwavable Plate
Place your frozen pork chops in a single layer on your microwave-safe plate. Make sure they don’t overlap. The more space between them, the faster they will defrost. You can also put one chop at a time into your microwave for better results.
Step 3: Cover Your Frozen Pork Chops with a Microwavable Lid
If you have a microwave-safe lid, place it over your frozen pork chops. The cover will keep them from moist and drying out while they defrost. Also, the lid will prevent splatters during defrosting. You can also use a microwave-safe paper towel or wax paper instead of a top.
Step 4: Place Your Frozen Pork Chops In Your Microwave and Defrost
Once your frozen pork chops are arranged on a microwave-safe plate, covered with a lid or paper towel, it’s time to defrost them. Set your microwave on defrost mode or at 30-50% power for 2 minutes.
Step 5: Remove from Microwave and Check for Progress
After 2 minutes, remove your plate from the microwave. Flip over each pork chop with a fork or tongs. Then, return them to your microwave and defrost for an additional 2-minutes. Continue checking on your frozen pork chops every minute until they are completely thawed.
Final Step: Cook Your Frozen Pork Chops Instantly
Once your frozen pork chops are thawed, remove them from your microwave and pat them dry with paper towels. Cook them immediately up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill all the bacteria.
You can use any method you prefer: pan-frying, grilling, or using your microwave. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top for extra flavor. Enjoy!
Faqs on How to Defrost Pork Chops in Microwave
1. Is it safe to defrost pork chops in the microwave?
Yes, as long as you follow proper defrosting procedures. Microwaves tend to be more efficient at defrosting than letting your pork chops sit out on a countertop or cold water. You must use a low power setting and keep an eye on your pork chop while defrosting.
2. What temperature should I set my microwave to defrost pork chops?
Most microwaves have a defrost setting, which automatically defrosts food at a safe temperature. If your microwave lacks a defrost setting, you can set it to defrost at 30%-50% power. This ensures that you do not cook your pork chops instead of defrosting them.
3. Can you defrost pork chops on the counter?
You should never leave pork chops to thaw on your counter. If you do, you risk bacteria growth that thrives at room temperature. This can lead to food poisoning and other gastrointestinal issues. The best way to defrost pork chops is by using a microwave, a refrigerator, or submerging them in cold water.
4. Do I let the microwave cool down after defrosting pork chops?
Yes, you should allow your microwave to cool to room temperature before reusing it. You don’t want to cook your pork chops accidentally. If you plan to cook them immediately after defrosting, use a meat thermometer and cook them until they reach an internal temperature of 165 ℉.
5. Why won’t my knife cut through frozen pork chop?
Freezing pork chops can make them hard and brittle, making it difficult to cut through them with a knife. To avoid frustration when cutting frozen pork chops, defrost them first. This will soften your pork chop and allow you to slice through it with a sharp knife easily.
6. Can I thaw pork chops in warm water?
You should never defrost your pork chops by submerging them in warm water. It’s not only a breeding ground for bacteria but also a quick way to end up with a raw center and overcooked edges. Instead, defrost your pork chops using a fridge, cold water, or microwave.
7. Can I cook pork chops from frozen?
Although it’s not recommended, you can cook pork chops from frozen. However, it will take longer to cook them than if you defrosted them first. It’s best to thaw your pork chops first if you want them to cook evenly and thoroughly.
Defrosting pork chops has never been easier. Look no further than your microwave if you’re looking for a quick and safe way to defrost your pork chops. The result is tender, delicious pork chops with minimal effort on your part.
Like defrosting in a fridge or under cold water, a microwave is an effective way to get your chops from frozen to ready-to-cook. However, microwaves defrost unevenly and require extra caution to ensure that you don’t have tough and rubbery pork chops.
When defrosting meat in the microwave, the critical thing to remember is to cook it immediately until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 °F. This will kill any bacteria present on your pork chops and ensure that they are safe to eat.