Have you ever wished that you could defrost a steak or a few chicken breasts quicker than your refrigerator allows you? If so, then you may want to take a look at some of the best defrosting trays on the market. Also called defrosting plates and thawing trays, these kitchen tools can defrost any frozen food quicker than expect while retaining the taste you love so much.Even if you already know you want a defrosting tray to make meal preparation easier and more efficient, you might wonder how you choose from all the fantastic options on the market. That’s where we can help by offering our take on the 10 top trays and sharing all the information you need to pick the right one for you. We’ll also look at what features to consider when buying a tray so you can be confident about your final decision.
For fast defrosting or meat and other foods, the Urbanviva Fast Defrosting Tray for Frozen Food is an excellent choice. It’s safe to use, easy to clean, and made of high-quality, dishwasher-safe materials for convenience in your kitchen.
The VonShef Defrosting Tray with Red Silicone Border is another reliable option that can be used to defrost both large and small cuts of meat. It can defrost even large steaks in less than an hour and does it safely so you can feel good about the meal you’re preparing.
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Defrosting Trays
Our first choice for a top defrosting tray is the Urbanviva Fast Defrosting Tray for Frozen Food. This is a simple and easy tray to use, even for those who have never used a defrosting tray in the past. Unlike other methods, it allows you to quickly defrost chicken, steak, and other foods without using hot water, the microwave, or even the refrigerator.One of the major perks of this particular tray is that it’s straightforward to clean, so you aren’t stuck scrubbing it after a meal. If you want an idea of long it takes to defrost your favorite dishes, a pork chop can be fully thawed in around 30 minutes with this tray, leaving you plenty of time to prepare a meal for the family.
When you’re looking to defrost burgers, steak, lamb chops, or other meats, the VonShef Defrosting Tray with Red Silicone Border is a great option. The border around the tray is more than decorative, being designed to prevent liquid from spilling off the lip of the tray. It’s also dishwasher-safe, so you can get the cleanup done in no time once a meal is over.Massive cuts of meat can thaw in about an hour, while smaller cuts like bacon, sausages, and shrimp thaw in even less time. There’s no need to preheat anything or use hot water; the tray stays cool to the touch while drawing heat into your foods.
3. Qchef MW1832 DFTBlack Quick & EZ Defrosting Tray
Another fantastic choice is the Qchef MW1832 DFTBlack Quick & EZ Defrosting Tray, which has unique metal properties to thaw frozen food quickly without the need for hot water. The material is high-tech and made to draw the cold away from the food, so it thaws an entire cut of meat quickly evenly. It also has a non-stick surface for more comfortable use and simple cleanup after thawing is done.
This tray measures 14x8x.01 inches, so it can easily be stored or moved from one place to another. It’s also lightweight at just one pound in weight, making it quick and easy to transport. Those who are looking for an inexpensive option that can thaw meats and vegetables quickly will certainly want to keep an eye on this one.
4. Evelots New Meat Defrosting Tray
When what you want is a natural and straightforward method of defrosting meat, the Novinex Defrosting Tray Ultimate Rapid Thaw is a tool that might work for you. It can quickly thaw both large and small foods in record time, with small cuts needing only around 30 minutes before they can be cooked. It has a large, flat surface, so you can pile on the meat for family dinners or gatherings.If you have a small kitchen without much extra space, this option will slip easily into tight spaces for storage or can be hung using a hook on the wall. On top of that, this defrosting tray comes from a trusted seller in Vermont, so you can be sure of the quality and reach out to customer service if something goes wrong.
5. BeChef Defrosting Tray
If you’re skeptical about how well a defrosting tray can work at thawing out meats and other foods, the BeChef Defrosting Tray can show you exactly how well these trays can do their job. It’s made of quality materials and has a professional construction, so you can expect it to last. The use of aluminum in the tray makes it a great heat conductor that will evenly thaw out a variety of foods.This tray is 14.5x10.2x1.6 inches, which is a bit deeper than most trays, but not enough that it will be hard to find a storage space for it. It also weighs just over 1.5 pounds, so moving it around or taking it to a new location won’t be an issue.
6. MN Majestic Large Defrosting Tray
The MN Majestic Large Defrosting Tray has a very sturdy build while remaining portable and easy to store. It’s a reliable and durable tray that has corner edges to help the tray grip onto the countertop to prevent accidents and spills. It’s easy to use for anyone since all you need to do is take it out, put frozen food on top of it, and let it do the work.Some of the many foods that can be thawed using this defrosting tray include steak, chicken, pork chops, fish, and burgers. This tray is 14.5x8x1 inches in size and weighs only 16 ounces, so it works well for those who plan to travel with it. Those who want plenty of space for defrosting at a great price won’t find much to complain about with this tray.
7. Kusine Premium Defrost Tray and Thawing Plate
When you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to defrost meat and vegetables, the Kusine Premium Defrost Tray and Thawing Plate is one to keep an eye on. It doesn’t require hot water, electricity, or chemicals to work; it’s all done through the aluminum construction that draws heat into your frozen foods. It also ensures that all the flavor, vitamins, and minerals stay in the food.The design of this defrosting tray is unique, with a concave shape to facilitate draining liquids as the food defrosts. It’s also dishwasher-safe so you can easily wash and sanitize the tray after use. If you have been searching for a clean, environmentally-friendly way to defrost food, this is highly recommended.
8. Nuovoware Fast Defrost Tray
Are you interested in one of the most efficient options for thawing out frozen steaks? If so, the Nuovoware Fast Defrost Tray is a great choice that uses aluminum material to thaw things quickly. It’s easy to use, as all you have to do is place the frozen food on the tray and then give it some time to work.This is another concave defrosting tray that pulls liquid toward the center so that it won’t leak out over the sides. Once your food is thawed, you can simply dump out the excess liquid and move on. It’s marketed as defrosting eight times faster than defrosting at room temperature, so you can make meals in a flash.
9. That! Inventions Professional Quick Food Defrosting Tray
That! Inventions Professional Quick Food Defrosting Tray and Thawing Plate will fit into any modern kitchen and offer a better way of defrosting wings, chicken breasts, steaks, and other foods. The material used keeps the flavor and nutrients in the food so you can serve it knowing you’re offering the best meal possible. While the main tray is silver, you can choose accents in black or red, depending on preference.This defrosting tray has an innovative design to prevent spills and messes while the thawing is in progress and can easily be cleaned once you’ve done. It offers a great way to save time and effort when cooking, whether it’s just for you or a large family.
10. CQ Essentials Rapid Thaw Food Defrosting Tray
Rather than offering a single defrosting tray, the CQ Essentials Rapid Thaw Defrosting Tray sets you up with two of them, and each is designed for different sizes of frozen foods. The trays are otherwise identical and include an aluminum construction that conducts heat in an efficient and even manner.While there is no drip catcher with this defrosting tray, it does have rubber edges that hold the liquid back from getting on the counter. The edges are also exceptional at keeping the tray stable, so it won’t move around if it gets bumped or jostled. As with most other trays, this one ensures the flavor stays in your food where it belongs.
11. Danoib Fast Defrosting Tray
As with other defrosting trays, the Danoib Large Fast Defrosting Tray can thaw out all kinds of meats, vegetables, and other frozen foods. However, it also has cold plate technology, which means that you can pop it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes and then use it to keep items like meat, cheese, fruit, and sushi chilled for guests. So when you buy this model, you’re getting far more than most other models offer.This tray keeps all the nutrients in your food. It’s a gentler defrosting option than using a microwave, cleaner than soaking food in water, and won’t make a mess on your countertops while in use. The thing that might be a dealbreaker for some is that it isn’t dishwasher-safe, because the micro fin could be damaged in the appliance.
12. Novinex Defrosting Tray
Are you here because you’re tired of waiting hours upon hours to defrost steak or chicken for a meal? If so, the Novinex Defrosting Tray Ultimate Rapid Thaw could change up your routine for the better. It makes it easy for you to defrost and start preparing everything from poultry to beef, fish, and vegetables.This is one of the thicker models on our list, and that makes it conduct heat better to cut down on your waiting time. However, it’s still thin enough that you won’t have trouble finding a space to store it in your cabinets. If you want an alternative to using the microwave, the refrigerator, or water to defrost your foods, this option is an excellent choice for the money.
Reasons You Should Add a Defrosting Tray to Your Kitchen
If you’re wondering why you would buy a defrosting tray when you could just put frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight, we want to explain why the tray is the better option. There are many benefits associated with defrosting trays, and you’ll likely find that having one will make your life and meal preparation more relaxed than ever before. Here are some of the reasons you should buy one for yourself:
- Offers Safe and Quick Defrosting – When you use a defrosting tray, you can expect to reduce the time to thaw foods by half or even more. This is excellent in situations where you want to start a meal quickly but defrosting meat would take several hours or more. These trays are also certified as safe to use by the United States Department of Agriculture.
- Provides Even Thawing of Food – Sometimes, when defrosting meat, you may notice that part of a cut will be fully thawed while other parts are semi-frozen or even still solid from time in the freezer. With a defrosting tray, this is no longer something with which you must concern yourself. The tray ensures that all parts of the food defrost at the same rate, so there’s no more guessing.
- Offers an Alternative to Microwave Thawing – Some people choose to thaw food quickly using the kitchen microwave, but others are worried about the potential hazards of this practice. Having a defrosting tray will give you the ability to thaw your food quickly without the worry or hassle that is often associated with microwave thawing.
- Easily Stored and Transported – Most of the time, the defrosting trays you see on the market are flat and come in a slim design. This makes it simple to store them away in your cabinet after you use them. If you need to transport the tray to another location, you’ll be happy to hear that they are also typically very lightweight, so getting them there won’t be a problem.
Essential Considerations When Buying the Best Defrosting Tray
Rather than choosing a defrosting tray at random and hoping for the best, it’s a better option to know everything you can about the trays you’re considering. The size of the tray, how easy or difficult it is to clean, and what materials are used to construct it can all affect how the tray works. Rather than leaving you to figure these different factors out on your own, we’ll share some of the most important things below.
Time it Takes to Thaw Using a Defrosting Tray
While all defrosting trays speed up the process of taking meat from frozen solid to ideal for cooking, not all do this in the same amount of time. Some trays can take well over an hour to defrost meat, which may not be enough of a time difference for it to be useful for you. Others will be much quicker and make it easier to whip up dinner in record time.
It’s best to look for a defrosting tray that thaws meats in the shortest amount of time possible. This will save you time every time you take something out of the freezer to prepare later.
Materials Used to Create the Defrosting Tray
As with anything you buy, some materials are going to stand up better to constant use than others. Any material in a defrosting tray needs to be a highly conductive metal to offer effective results. However, it’s equally essential that the metal is durable so the defrosting tray lasts a long time and you get your money’s worth.
Many of the defrosting trays listed above are made of aluminum, and for a good reason. This material is highly effective and efficient at pulling heat from the space around you and transferring it into the food you want to cook. Since this makes the defrosting process significantly quicker, it’s considered one of the best materials you can use.
Even within the aluminum material, there are several different varieties that can be bought on the market. For the very fastest thawing, antimicrobial food-grade aluminum is considered the top option.
Those who don’t mind paying a bit more can also choose a copper defrosting tray. These offer exceptional heat conduction while ensuring that heat is distributed evenly, so a whole cut of meat defrosts at the same time. However, copper scratches easily, so you’ll want to choose a model with aluminum coating to prevent this issue and avoid oxidization.
Level of Construction of Defrosting Trays
As expected, when you defrost meats or other foods, it results in moisture. When cold food is placed on a warm tray, this can result in the food sticking to the tray itself. This can cause issues after you finish the defrosting process since you’ll have to scrub off bits of meat.
This is one of the reasons that a high-quality construction is so important with these trays. The best trays for defrosting are ones that are coated with a non-stick material that keeps food from sticking.
The Best Size for a New Defrosting Tray
Everyone is different, so saying one size is the best is nearly impossible. However, we can tell you that you want to be sure you choose a tray that meets your individual needs. For some, that might be a tiny tray, while others may want a huge tray that is capable of defrosting vast amounts of food. Most people will be happy with something in the middle, but take time to think about what you tend to defrost and how much space it will take up.
Cleaning Needed with Defrosting Trays
If you prefer to use the dishwasher and avoid washing by hand, you need to be sure that’s possible with the tray that you decide to buy. The good news is that most aluminum defrosting trays are dishwasher-safe, so you can enjoy easy cleanup after making a meal. However, there are exceptions, so make sure you check on this if it matters to you.
Ease of Transport and Portability with a Defrosting Tray
Some people may plan to use their defrosting tray only at home, while others may need to transport it between several locations. Portability may not be the top priority of the former group, but the latter will appreciate something that transports easily. This means that you should be looking for lightweight trays that can be carried without hassle.
Whether the Defrosting Tray Includes a Water Reservoir
When food thaws, it creates moisture that often accumulates on top of the defrosting tray. If there is a lot of liquid, it can overflow from the flat tray and even spread bacteria to your kitchen counter. This leads to extra cleaning that you need to do to ensure your kitchen is safe and healthy. However, some models come with a reservoir that collects the water so you can dispose of it once the thawing process is complete.
Frequently Asked Questions About Defrosting Trays
So now you have an idea of what the top defrosting trays are and which features they offer. You also know what your priorities are when buying one so you can get a tool that works well in your kitchen. However, you may have other questions, and we want to cover some of the most common, so you have all the information you need.
How Long Will it Take for Items to Defrost Using a Defrosting Tray?
It ultimately depends on the tray you choose, but you can expect meat and other foods to defrost in around 40 minutes to two hours. There are many factors that go into how long defrosting takes, so this is only an average. The type of food, the thickness of the cut of meat, and the amount of food can all affect the actual answer. However, when you compare it to defrosting in the refrigerator, you can expect it to be much quicker.
Do Defrosting Trays Actually Work?
Absolutely. These trays have all been tested and do precisely what they claim to do. Most trays are made from lightweight, high-quality aluminum (or copper), which is excellent for conducting heat. The ability to remove heat from the air and into frozen meat or other foods might seem like magic, but it’s all based in science, and it does work.
Can Defrosting Trays Be Used for Other Things, Such as Cutting or Dicing Food?
While a defrosting tray might resemble a cutting board when you look at it, the two items are quite different. As such, you should not use your defrosting tray as a cutting board. It is not designed for this kind of use, and using a knife on the tray surface can leave cuts and scratches. This can damage the tray or make it less effective the next time you use it to defrost steak or ribs.