Thawing and reheating lamb
Q. How do I thaw lamb in the fridge?
A. If possible, plan ahead for a fridge thaw to guarantee the most tender and juicy result. Separate portioned cuts like chops or cutlets. Keep freezer covering on and pop lamb in a dish on lowest fridge shelf until completely thawed.
Q. How long does it take to thaw lamb?
A. Allow 4–7 hours per 500g for a large roast. Small roasts, like a rack of lamb, take around 3–5 hours per 500g. If you’re planning lamb steaks for dinner (about 2 cm thick), allow 12 hours or take them out of the freezer before you go to bed.
Q. How do I thaw lamb in the microwave?
A. Remove any freezer wrap, bag or non-microwave-safe Styrofoam tray and place lamb in a dish.
Microwave using the ‘defrost’ setting. Pause microwaving if the edges of your cuts feel warm, and resume once they’re cold again. For lamb mince, transfer thawed edges to a dish and set aside during defrosting. Once thawed, cook lamb straight away – don’t leave it on the kitchen bench or in the fridge.
Q. Should I thaw cooked lamb meals in the fridge or microwave?
A. Either way is tasty. For fridge, cover until defrosted and reheat in oven or microwave. For a quick dinner, thaw and reheat lamb in microwave until meal is piping hot.
Q. Can I refreeze defrosted raw lamb?
A. Uh, nope. Aside from microbial risk, refreezing dries lamb out. Why? Because meat contains water, which freezes into crystals, rupturing the meat fibres. This causes the meat to leach water when thawing, so the lamb becomes tougher and drier when refrozen.
Q. How do I stop cooked lamb from drying out in the microwave?
A. Two things to remember here: keep it moist and stir/turn plate halfway. Put simply, microwaves work by heating up water molecules, so it’s easy for food to dry out. Reheat in portions; drizzle stock or water over lamb and cover to trap the steam. Heat for 2 minutes on high, then stir food or turn plate halfway during cooking to distribute heat evenly. Stand for 1 minute. When done, the middle of the plate will feel hot underneath. Careful when removing the covering – steam burns!
Q. How do I reheat whole casseroles in the microwave?
A. The same rules apply. Pop casserole in a deep-sided microwavable dish, cover, heat on high and stir now and then. Heating time will depend on casserole size – just make sure it’s piping hot throughout before serving. Enjoy!