Air thawing of meat comprises of two basic types. One method is thawing the meat in still air and the other is air blast thawing the meat. Dealers agree that both methods of air thawing are extremely effective, however, thawing meat in still air would require the consideration of certain environmental factors. With the right meat processing equipment, meat thawed using this process is always the best.
Thawing In Still Air
In this method of air thawing, blocks of meat, single frozen meat and fillets can be kept out in the open on an overnight basis. In order for this method to be effective, the surface of the meat must not become excessively dry. To avoid dryness in the surface of the meat, the air temperature must not exceed 18°c. This method of air thawing is typically undertaken on a small scale. Thawing meat in the still air requires a large amount of space to lay out the meat and it can take several hours on end for the thawing process to complete. This method is most popularly used at home or in a small-sized meat restaurant. On an average, in the 15°C air temperature, a 100 mm thick block meat would take almost 20 hours to completely thaw. However, to quicken the process of thawing, the meat in the block must be separated as soon as it is possible.
Air Blast Thawing
Air blast thawing is a much more rapid way to defrost meat and other varieties of frozen meat. In order for this method to be effective, the meat should be stacked on mesh trays and each tray should be at a distance from of twice the thickness of the size of the meat blocks being thawed. The airspeed that is used to blow over the meat for thawing should not be less than 6 m/s. In order to prevent the drying of the surface of the meat, the air that is blown must be saturated with moisture so that heat is transferred to the meat and the thawing process is completed in an adequate way.