Everything You Need to Know about Defrosting Trays
Expert Advice

Sometimes it can be very frustrating when something that you want to cook does not seem to thaw fast enough. However, with a defrosting tray, you never have to go through this annoying experience as it allows you to thaw food in a fraction of the time it would take if you just left it out of the freezer. Just imagine defrosting chicken breasts or ground turkey in a snap! Here we look at what these trays are all about and how they work.

What is Defrosting Tray?

A defrosting tray is a flat tray meant to help speed up the rate at which food thaws. These trays are typically made of metals that are excellent heat conductors like aluminum or copper, meaning they can heat and cool much faster.

In addition to defrosting foods relatively faster, these trays are also listed by the USDA as a safe method for thawing food. They conduct heat more evenly, which translates to uniform food thawing, unlike other methods such as putting the food in the microwave. Better still, they are usually small and compact trays that take up less room compared to other food thawing equipment.

How Defrosting Trays Work

Defrosting trays use a material with high heat conductivity, aluminum and copper being the most common ones. The heat from one part of the tray rushes through the surface and raises the food’s temperature, which then thaws or defrosts it much faster.

When you put a frozen chunk of meat on the defrosting tray, the tray absorbs the room temperature air from the surrounding environment and passes it to the meat.

The cold temperature from the meat’s surface passes to the tray, which then dissipates it to the environment since the material also cools down quickly. This action happens continuously and therefore speeds up the rate at which the meat thaws.

It is important to note that while the defrosting trays work, the speed largely depends on the thickness of the meat you are defrosting. Thicker meat cuts take much longer since the defrosting tray is more effective at warming the surface than the interior, given meat does not conduct heat well.

Defrosting Trays and Food Safety

Any method of defrosting food that takes a long time comes with greater food safety risk. This results from the fact the bacteria that cause common issues like food poisoning multiplies much faster at room temperature.

Hence, if your defrosting tray takes a lot of time to thaw the meat or any other food by the time it is ready, bacteria can multiply to dangerous levels. Therefore, to ensure food safety, it is always better to use a defrosting tray when thawing thinner meat cuts. The process is much faster, meaning there is not enough time for bacteria to multiply.

The safest way to thaw thicker steaks that require more time, is simply moving them from the freezer to the refrigerator and allowing time to thaw.  Doing so allows the meat to thaw with minimal risk of food poisoning as most bacteria cannot survive in cold temperatures.


At HomeGearX there is a wide selection of top-quality defrosting trays you can be sure will defrost your food faster and safer with minimal risk of bacterial contamination. From their list of products, the Nordic Ware 60150 is a fantastic recommendation. This defrosting tray is multifunctional as it can also cook bacon, is highly affordable, and easy to clean as it is dishwasher-safe.


Defrosting trays provide a fast and safe way of defrosting food and also ensure the food defrosts much more evenly for a better outcome when cooking. With a good one, you can get a multifunctional kitchen utensil. As handy as they might be, it is crucial to make sure you understand when to use and not to use them for maximum food safety.