How To Cut Frozen Meat: Be Quick But Be Safe, Not Sorry Too

A few days back, my unexpected visitors showed up right before supper. For our meal, I had previously frozen beef steaks, and I also intended to feed the visitors. Fortunately, I had extra meat in my freezer; however, it had not yet thawed.

To swiftly and securely chop frozen meat, I needed a simple solution.

My beloved visitor had come a long way, and I knew they were in need of food. Since I am a well-known cook and a blogger for a kitchen website, everyone expects a wonderful supper at my place. 🙂

I have never chopped frozen meat before, believe it or not. My husband was still at work, so I was by myself. Being or not being? I debated cutting the frozen meat myself or ordering some Chinese cuisine.

How to Cut Frozen Meat?

Of course, I turned to the internet before making my final decision and found out that cutting frozen meat need not be too difficult with a few tricks up your sleeve. Read on to find out what I have discovered!

Check out my guide on how to freeze lunch meat too!

Why Not Try to Cut The Frozen Meat Right Out of Freezer?

First, let me warn you: Never try to cut the frozen meat (or any other frozen food) straight out of the freezer!

Trying to do this with a regular kitchen knife can be very dangerous as the blade will most probably bounce off or slide off the glazed surface of the frozen meat and cut you.

I have seen some injuries of this type, and believe me, they can be quite bad! Be safe at all times!

How to Cut Frozen Meat: Three Super-Easy Methods

So, my hungry guests were served some drinks and left with my boys to entertain them while I rushed back into my kitchen with my tablet in my hands.

First off, I stumbled upon three quick and easy solutions regarding how to cut frozen meat.

My options were the following methods:

1. Running frozen meat underwater

  • According to an online community, one of the best ways to cut frozen meat is to first allow it to sit under running water for some time. In several minutes, the meat will soften a bit, especially near the edges, and you will be able to cut through it more easily.
  • Don’t expect to cut through it like through butter, though! You will still need to have a heavy-duty knife to be able to do the work. The best choice would be a knife with a jagged edge or a meat cleaver. Cleaver has to be whacked vigorously, making quite a noise, so it is not really a valid option when your guests have already arrived. Unless you want to scare them away, that is!

In short: if you own a heavy-duty knife with a serrated edge, place the frozen meat under running water (COLD, not hot!) for a few minutes and you should be able to cut through it easily.

Related: Recommended Butcher Knives with Reviews

2. Thawing the frozen meat with a metal pot

When you are in a race with time, you want quick solutions, and thawing the frozen meat with a metal pot will take only about five minutes. That is quite good, isn’t it?

This method works best for individually packed stakes as the meat needs to be flat and as thin as possible.

  1. You simply remove the steaks from the freezer and (without unwrapping them from their covering or unpacking them from their sealed bags) place them on a baking sheet.
  2. Next, take a metal pot and pour some water into it. You do not need to fill the pot up, but make sure it is rather heavy. The water should best be at room temperature as hot water would cook the meat, and cold water slows down the process.
  3. Place the pot on top of the steaks (or some other meat). Thus, the steaks will be in a sandwich with a baking sheet underneath and a pot with water on top of them.
  4. Take a five-minute break and when you return, the meat should be perfectly thawed and easy to cut through. Of course, thicker pieces of meat such as rib-eye will take significantly longer to thaw.

The good news about this method is that you do not need a special kind of knife, any regular knife you already have should do the trick just fine. However, be careful when cutting the meat and make sure it is placed on a non-slippery surface or a cutting board to stay put. Also, always hold the knife away from you!

Related: Recommended slicers for meat

3. Microwaving frozen meat

The last super-quick method to thaw frozen meat is to first microwave it. If you read my blog, you know that I am not the biggest fan of microwaves, but they can be real life-saving devices in emergencies such as surprise guests’ visits.

  • Microwaving frozen meat takes only about five to ten minutes and cutting through the meat after it should be much easier. It would be best if your microwave has an automatic defrost function. In such a scenario, simply position the frozen meat (unpacked) in the center of the turntable and turn on the defrost setting.
  • In my experience, you should not just leave the microwave and walk away but rather monitor the process. Namely, the meat can often become semi-cooked if you are not attentive and leave it in the microwave for too long.
  • When the frozen meat is thawed, take it out of the microwave and cut it as needed. Once again, make sure it is placed on a cutting board and your knife is sturdy and sharp enough. Some parts might be still quite stiff, so be careful!

See also: Favorite Steak Knives in 2022


If and when possible, allow your meat to thaw by placing it in your refrigerator overnight, or at least for a few hours prior to cutting it. When you thaw the frozen meat in this way, you provide enough time to re-absorb the ice crystals formed between fibers. The meat given enough time to defrost slowly will have a better texture when cooked.

However, when time is of the essence and you require a super-quick solution, you can use one of the three methods I have found and suggested for you. I have tried them all by now, and they all work just fine and make the process of cutting the frozen meat rather easy, but also safe.

As you can see, if you thaw the meat you will have half the battle won. Just make sure you have all the right equipment available too. Investing in a good-quality frozen food knife might be a good idea as well.

In my particular case, I have used the first method. I had a drink with my guests while my meat was thawing under the running water and when I returned to the kitchen I cut through it and prepared a delicious dinner for all of us! 🙂

Let me know how you did!

Related article: Top 5 Knife Blocks Available in 2022


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