Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
"It would work, if you can find alternatives to each of the steps involved in this process."

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



trickle thaw bendy straw

well, not really a straw
  [vote for,

Thawing chicken in water is faster than doing it in the open air. It really does work - it stays colder (and therefore safer) on the outside but thaws more quickly. If you keep the water moving around a little, it thaws even faster. So you just trickle a little water in the bowl While it is thawing.

Then you have to listen to the faucet trickle while you're trying to watch Jeopardy.

So what is needed is a flexible plastic wand whip thing with a little cylindrical spiral on one end. fit the spiral over the head of the faucet and the trickling water will cling to the wand. The other end of the wand is placed in the bowl. Then a constant stream of water will run noiselessly into the bowl.

nomocrow, Mar 08 2007


       Have you tried a piece of string? Like people use with dripping faucets?
Galbinus_Caeli, Mar 08 2007

       //Have you tried a piece of string?// I don't think it will taste as good as the chicken.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 08 2007

       //I don't think it will taste as good as the chicken.// Have you tasted my mother's cooking?
Galbinus_Caeli, Mar 08 2007

       No. Have you tried tying a parcel with it?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 08 2007

       barmy. +1   

       trouble with this is, I need to pee...
po, Mar 08 2007

       Have you tried a piece of string? Like people use with dripping faucets?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 08 2007

       I've used a sock to quiet a dripping faucet. It's easier than string.
baconbrain, Mar 08 2007

       Yes, but would you be entirely comfortable with the idea of eating a chicken which had been defrosted downstream of a sock?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 08 2007

       I've eaten bean sprouts that were sprouted in a jar with a sock over the top. Just for your comfort, the socks were new, never worn. I used to make juggling beanbags from infant tube socks, so I had a couple of packets, and a predisposition to mis-use them.   

       As far as this idea goes, a regular bendy straw and a twist-tie off a bread wrapper would work, but not sell for near as much money. [+]
baconbrain, Mar 08 2007

       What is needed is a small pump driven by a similarly small Stirling engine. The engine picks up the heat from the air and transfers it to the cold water flowing through the pump, whereby it is conveyed back to the cold bird, cooled again, and comes back to the engine to repeat the process.   

       Saves on water, fun to watch. Rinse the engine out when you're done or it'll smell skanky after a few dinners.
elhigh, Mar 14 2007

       You could use a fluidyne stirling -cycle pump.
nomocrow, Mar 14 2007

       // If you keep the water moving around a little, it thaws even faster.
Actually, keeping the water moving is a way to keep it *cool*, arguably *slowing* the thawing process, at least after the outside of the meat has reached water temperature.
(You don't want any part of the meat to be warm because the warmth would allow bacteria to multiply.)

       It's a good idea to put your chicken into a sealed bag (with no air in it) before dunking it in the cold water. The bag won't isolate it from the water's temperature (you get the same thaw), but will prevent the water from getting into the meat and make it taste worse. If you do that, you don't even have to wash your socks before you use them as a trickle stop!
jutta, Mar 15 2007

       //Actually, keeping the water moving is a way to keep it *cool*, arguably *slowing* the thawing process//   

       That's not right. Circulating the water (ideally, fast enough to keep it all at the same temperature, even next to the chicken) will conduct heat to the chicken faster and therefore thaw it faster. Conversely, stagnant water will develop a temperature gradient (coldest next to chicken), and heat transfer from water to adjacent chicken will be slower.   

       (I agree about bacterial growth. Stirring accelerates the warming of the chicken, and hence leads to a greater temperature gradient *through* the chicken, so that outer parts will be warmly bacteria-friendly before inner parts have defrosted. Nevertheless, the total time to defrost will be less if you stir.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 15 2007

       Hm. I agree that the total time to defrost will be less if you stir only; I don't know if it still will be less if you stir and chill, as opposed to unstirred stagnant water that would slowly heat to room temperature - it depends which of these processes is stronger.   

       To make things worse, since water near freezing is *lighter* than slightly warmer water (but not lighter than much warmer water), this all gets even more confusing and probably depends on the precise temperatures involved; and I don't know how much convection would be created by the heat differentials inside the water all by itself!
jutta, Mar 15 2007

       That is immaterial in the scenario proposed by [nomocrow] if one assumes that the water that is constantly being added to the bowl creates sufficient turbulence.
I tend to think that this assumption is valid. After all, if you want to noticeably reduce the thawing time you'd need to add quite a bit of water.
methinksnot, Mar 15 2007

       //the total time to defrost will be less if you stir only; I don't know if it still will be less if you stir and chill// I may be getting confused. If you put the chicken in a finite body of water (initially warmer than the chicken), stirring will speed thawing and will also (therefore) increase the temperature gradient from the centre of the chicken to the periphery (thereby perhaps increasing the risk of bacterial growth at the periphery while you're waiting for the centre to defrost).   

       If you chill the water by some external means, then things will thaw more slowly (all other things being equal), sure.   

       If you chill and stir, then defrosting will be faster to the extent that you're stirring (and hence preventing the water next to the chicken from being *especially* cold) but slower to the extent that all the water (including that next to the chicken) will be colder than if you didn't chill. Hence, the result will be some intermediate situation.   

       All that really matters is the boundary temperature (ie, the temperature oif the chicken's skin, which will be equal to that of the peripoulteric water).   

       Personally, I'd have a Pot Noodle or eat out.....
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 15 2007

       I don't think stirring will make much difference - and passing water through the system would only have an effect where the water is at a higher temperature.   

       Water is better than air at defrosting because it has a (really) high heat capacity. In a system of frozen chicken and cool water, the water will 'soak' up the coolness of the chicken, until such time as the entire system is in equilibrium.   

       Having water pass through the system may assist, but not much - since the optimal temperature of the water will be only slightly higher than that of the chicken.   

       The only way to speed up the process is to use hotter water. And this runs the risk of defrosting the outside of the chicken at a much faster rate than the inside of the chicken - if parts of the chicken are unfrozen, they may begin to harbour conditions condusive to bacteria multiplication - if this happens for a length of time, the number of bacteria present at the point of cooking may be enough to cause illness. Best to allow the chicken to defrost evenly.
zen_tom, Mar 15 2007

       Wouldn't it be better to simply kill the chicken just before cooking? That would save all the trauma of freezing and thawing and worrying about bacteria and all.
Galbinus_Caeli, Mar 15 2007

       [Zen] The idea is to keep the chicken as cold as possible while thawing it as quickly as possible. If the water entering the system is under the line for optimal bacterial growth, then everything in the system will stay under that line.   

       Water is constantly going over the side of the bowl, which is carrying the "cold" out of the system, while fresh water is coming in, which brings in heat.   

       In a stagnant system, however, the water in the bowl will first get cold, then will start to warm to ambient room temperature. If the ambient temperature is high enough, this can result the same dangerous situation you get if you simply add hotter water.   

       Moving the water has two effects: it replenishes the water, which keeps it cooler, and it moves the water over the surface of the meat (or the bag that it is in), which places more water in contact with the meat.   

       This allows the chicken to give up heat at a constant rate without large temperature differences developing in the meat itself.   

       I think stirring makes a big difference in this case. If you've ever sat in a very hot bath you've probably noticed that moving around makes the water seem much hotter. Even where the temperature difference is much less, I think this must have some effect.   

       [Jutta] Moving the water probably does cool a bit it due to increased evaporation, but I think this is negligible where water is constantly entering and leaving the system.   

       It is a good idea to put it in a plastic bag - I omitted this because I always freeze and thaw in the same freezer bag.   

       [methinks] You end up adding a lot more water than I had thought. A 1/32 inch stream of water trickles almost 9 gallons per hour.
nomocrow, Mar 15 2007

       There is probably no other point in the known universe where this conversation could be had.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 15 2007

       an alternate universe or down the pub.
po, Mar 15 2007

       //You end up adding a lot more water than I had thought.//
Hey, you wanna make-a an omelette, you hafta breaka somme eggs.
methinksnot, Mar 15 2007

       Yes, but I don't know any pubs. So they are not part of the known universe.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 15 2007


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle