Ever have a "V8" moment where you open the freezer shortly before the witching hour and wish you had stuck those lamb chops in the fridge last night to defrost slowly all day? Story of my life. Well according to food science writer Harold McGee, if you've got half an hour or so before the hungry masses descend, you can indeed safely thaw compact cuts in a hot water bath without compromising quality. McGee outlines the technique—and the research behind it—in thisNew York Timespiece. Hip-hip-HOORAY!

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