How to Quickly Thaw Ground Beef in a Microwave? (Complete Guide)

You’ve been planning to dig your mouth into a juicy burger once you retire home after work, but you forgot to take the ground beef from the freezer. What happens now that you really want to cure the craving?

Relax, you can still take the burger. You can thaw your ground beef in a microwave within minutes and start preparing your snack.

How to quickly thaw ground beef in a microwave? Get the ground beef from the package and place it on your microwave-safe plate. Set the unit to 30% power and microwave for about 3 minutes. Flip the meat on the other side and let it thaw for a minute longer.

See, it takes you not more than 5 minutes to get your ground beef perfectly thawed. Quite fast, right? Continue reading to learn how to defrost ground beef in a microwave.

But before that…

How to Freeze Ground Beef Safely

Listed below are a few tips on how to freeze your ground meat safely and with ease.

  • When shopping for raw ground beef, ensure that you get a package that’s tightly wrapped.
  • Freeze the meat as soon you get home.
  • If planning to cook the meat the same day, you can store it in the original packaging.
  • If freezing it for longer storage, remove it from the original packaging and put it in freezer zip-top bags.
  • Get a rolling pin and gently flatten the meat to about a ½-inch thick. This helps remove any excess air in the bag.

How to Quickly Defrost Ground Beef in a Microwave

How to Quickly Thaw Ground Beef in a Microwave

Thawing minced beef in a microwave will take 3 to 5 minutes per pound. Note that after defrosting it in the microwave, you have to cook it immediately afterward.


Some parts of the meat will start cooking as you defrost it. Therefore, to maintain the freshness and quality of your mincemeat, cook the meat right after defrosting it.

Cooking the meat immediately also helps avoid rapid bacteria growth.

To defrost the ground beef quickly in the microwave, remove it from the packaging and place it on a plate (microwave safe).

Set your microwave at 30% or use the unit’s defrost settings. Then, place the plate with the ground beef inside.

After thawing the meat for about 2 to 3 minutes, flip and rotate it and let it continue defrosting for about a minute or even defrosting.

How Else Can You Defrost Ground Meat Quickly?

Another quick method of thawing ground beef is submerging it in a pot/bowl of cold water. The process should take less than 1 hour.

The process results in evenly thawed meat, and it works best if the beef is no longer in its original packaging. If possible, transfer the ground beef in a zip-top bag.

Seal the zip-top bag securely before submerging it in the pot of water to prevent water from getting into the meat.

Fill a large pot/bowl with water and dip the frozen ground beef in. Change the water every 15 minutes for the best results.

Once defrosted, cook the meat immediately. Another important thing to note is that you should never refreeze the beef before cooking it after using this method.

Refreezing raw meat defrosted under cold water or in a microwave increases the risk of bacteria growth. That’s why you need to cook the meat before refreezing it.

Still Have Questions

  1. Q. Is it safe to defrost minced beef in a microwave?

    Yes, it’s safe to thaw ground beef in a microwave. For the best results, put the frozen minced meat in a zip-top bag and place it on a microwave-safe plate.

    The zip-top bag keeps the beef’s juice and moisture intact. Defrost it for 2 to 3 minutes on 30% power. When thawing the meat, flip it over halfway for even results.

    And since ground beef is considered perishable, cook it immediately after thawing it to avoid the rapid growth of bacteria.

  2. Q. Must I defrost ground beef before cooking?

    Yes, you need to thaw ground beef before cooking it, especially if you intend to make patties.

    However, it’s possible to cook the ground beef before defrosting it by making a few adjustments in the cooking method.

    Just ensure that the oven’s cooking temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking the frozen heat under high heat prevents the growth of bacteria during the cooking process.

  3. Q. Can I refreeze frozen ground beef that is thawed already?

    You can refreeze the thawed ground beef depending on the method you used to defrost it and how long you’ve kept it under room temperature.

    If you defrosted the minced beef in the refrigerator and didn’t want to cook it immediately, you can refreeze it for at most 48 hours.

    Since it’s already cold, you don’t risk rapid bacteria growth. However, if you defrost it by submerging it in cold water or a microwave, don’t refreeze it before cooking it.

  4. Q. How long does ground beef take to thaw in cold water?

    Froze ground beef takes at most an hour to thaw in cold water. If you want it to defrost faster, change the cold water every 15 minutes.
    This helps maintain the cold temperature of the water.

  5. Q. Does meat thaw faster in cold water?

    Thawing meat in cold water is relatively fast. It takes 30 minutes to an hour to get the meat perfectly defrosted.

    Defrosting the meat in cold water is faster than doing it in a refrigerator, which takes about 24 hours. It’s, however, slower than thawing the meat in a microwave.

  6. Q. How long does it take to thaw 1 lb of ground beef in a microwave?

    For 1 lb of ground beef, it takes about 5 minutes in a microwave, 90 minutes in cold water, and 24 hours in the fridge.


If in a hurry and want to defrost your ground beef fast, a microwave comes in handy. It’ll take you about 5 minutes to get your meat thawed.

Thawing minced meat in a microwave is not only the fastest method but also the easiest.

If you have an hour to spare, you can thaw your beef in cold water. If you choose to use this method, remember to change the water periodically for faster results.