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Best Defrosting Trays

Updated March 2024
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Best of the Best
Mirra Kitchen Extra-Thick Fast Defrosting Tray w/ Drip Tray Set
Mirra Kitchen
Extra-Thick Fast Defrosting Tray w/ Drip Tray Set
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Large & Effective
Bottom Line

This rubber set holds more steak, collects the drippings, and saves you time and energy with its extra-thick design.


The thicker, more pronounced design promotes faster thawing and better airflow. It's easy to store with baking sheets and other flat kitchen accessories. Buyers praise how easy it is to clean and use for an affordable price. It also makes a wonderful gift for grill masters.


Some disagree with claims that it is dishwasher-safe.

Best Bang for the Buck
Evelots Meat Defrosting Tray
Meat Defrosting Tray
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Fast Performance
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This inexpensive, no-frills option will get the job done almost as well as pricier picks.


An affordable option that only takes 30 to 60 minutes to thaw frozen meats. Features a dishwasher-safe design, a large surface area, and aluminum construction.


Not as solid as some competing models.

Cuisinart BBQ Defrosting Tray
BBQ Defrosting Tray
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Trusted Brand
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A well-made, effective product that's manufactured by a popular brand known for making quality kitchen goods.


Features a thin yet durable build that doesn't take up a lot of storage space. Crafted of aluminum that defrosts food quickly and evenly. Works well for thick cuts of meat.


Can't be placed in the dishwasher, so you must wash it by hand.

CQ Essentials Defrosting Tray Set
CQ Essentials
Defrosting Tray Set
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Best for Large Households
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This pair of defrosting trays is a must-have for anyone who barbecues on a regular basis.


Includes two trays. Extra-wide defrosting tray. Premium aluminum construction. Suitable for a wide range of foods. The nonstick surface is easy to use and easy to clean.


Not very speedy when it comes to thawing thicker foods.

Blazin' Thaw Family Size Defrosting Tray, 16"
Blazin' Thaw
Family Size Defrosting Tray, 16"
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Best for Meat
Bottom Line

Thaw a roast or up to four midsized steaks on this rugged aluminum thawing plate made specifically for meat.


The grooves allow air to pass through more evenly and thaw it in a fraction of the time. Its black and red design looks great next to similarly colored stovetops or grills. This one's built to last as well.


Silicone edges may not contain all drippings; best to put something beneath it.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best defrosting trays

We’re all familiar with the disappointment of forgetting to properly thaw food, whether it’s a chicken you didn’t take out of the freezer for dinner or the burgers still glistening with frost by the grill as your party guests arrive.

If this happens to you, don’t worry. A defrosting tray can speed up the thawing process. How? Made of thermally conductive materials like aluminum or copper, a defrosting tray transfers energy from the environment to the food you put on it — no electricity needed. With a defrosting tray, you can whittle down a day-long thawing process in the refrigerator to an hour or less on the tray.

If thawing efficiency is your top goal, there are several features to look for as you shop. For example, some defrosting trays have feet that raise them off whatever surface you’re using, like a countertop. The raised nature of these trays allows warm air to circulate beneath them for even more efficient thawing.

The thickness of the tray’s material also impacts its effectiveness. While many trays are 2 to 3 millimeters thick — and do a fine job — a 6-millimeter option can thaw food even faster. For added convenience, some defrosting trays have drip trays or raised edges that prevent water and juice from spilling onto your countertop as your food defrosts. 

We researched defrosting trays and found the Mirra Kitchen Extra-Thick Defrosting Tray to be a quality option that checks all the boxes. It's an excellent choice for throwing together last-minute dinners or getting steaks ready for the grill.

Best defrosting trays

Mirra Kitchen Extra-Thick Defrosting Tray 

Our top pick was designed with speed in mind. At 6 millimeters thick, it can conduct more heat than 3-millimeter options, and its deep grooves allow for warm air to move beneath the meat so your food is ready to cook in as little as 30 to 40 minutes. 

In addition to thawing quickly, the Mirra defrosting tray has a high-quality plastic drip tray that collects juice as meat thaws, keeping the mess to a minimum. What’s more, the height of the tray raises the warming surface so warm air can circulate below it.

With an 8-by-14-inch aluminum surface area, you can defrost up to three large steaks at a time with this tray. And since it’s nonstick, you won’t have to pry your food from it. When you’re finished thawing, both the thawing tray and the drip tray can be tossed in the dishwasher. 

With this purchase, you get a pair of reusable baking and barbecue mats that can be used to cook veggies or fish right on the grill. In short, Mirra Kitchen thought of everything to make this set a cook’s dream. 

Evelots Meat Defrosting Tray

Though this tray may be basic, its low price allows cooks who want a large thawing area to purchase two trays for less than the cost of one tray from many competitors. If you want to get creative, you could also place an extra tray on top of your frozen food as it thaws to enhance the process. 

That said, this option is not elevated like some others, so you won’t get the benefit of air circulation beneath the tray. And, at 1.5 millimeters thick, it’s one of the thinnest mats we recommend. 

Made of aluminum, the Evelots tray has a nonstick food-grade silicone coating on its 8-by-14-inch surface, which can accommodate three large steaks at a time. Though it’s not dishwasher-safe, a quick scrub in the sink brings the tray back to like-new condition. A hole punched in its top left corner lets you hang it among your pans or grilling tools for drying and storage. 

Cuisinart BBQ Defrosting Tray

The Cuisinart brand is popular for a reason. Its reputation for quality kitchenware is apparent in this defrosting tray’s robust build quality and attention to detail. It has a textured aluminum surface that looks attractive on the counter. Note, however, that this product must be washed by hand to preserve its integrity.

At 13.8 inches long and nearly 8 inches wide, you can thaw a few steaks or chicken breasts at once on this tray. While it’s not the thickest at only 2 millimeters, it does feature deep grooves on top and raised feet on the bottom to encourage the flow of warm air around your food.

CQ Essentials Defrosting Tray Set

Not sure which size tray you need? Think you might need more than one? This affordable set includes a large 13.78-by-7.75-inch tray and a smaller 11.81-by-7.75-inch tray, both of which are 3 millimeters thick. If you host cookouts or regularly prepare large amounts of food, it’s an excellent choice.

Made of aluminum with a nonstick Teflon coating, these trays are safe to place in the dishwasher, so there’s no need to dread cleanup after your cooking session. Silicone feet prevent the trays from sliding on your counter and decrease thawing time by creating an air gap between them and their resting surface. What’s more, the feet are removable for an even more thorough clean.

We love the bright orange color on the corners of these trays. If you’re grilling outside and happen to drop one in the grass, there’s no need to fret or search very long — you’ll find it.

Blazin’ Thaw Defrosting Tray

This aluminum meat-thawing tray is available in two versions: a 14-by-8-inch size and a 16-by-8-inch “family size,” which makes it the longest on our list by a couple of inches. Its design and branding are geared toward grill fanatics, but its effectiveness and 6-millimeter-thick build are sure to please anyone looking to prepare frozen meat on a tight schedule. 

Large draining channels speed up the defrosting process while keeping cold liquid from pooling around your food. This tray has full-length red silicone end caps that look attractive while gripping the countertop, raising the tray for improved air circulation and preventing liquids from spilling over the sides as your food thaws. They can be removed to clean the tray, which you can do right in the dishwasher

Defze Defrosting Tray

The unique look of this off-white tray is an apt choice for anyone wanting to match lighter-colored kitchen appliances or tools. Though it may not look it, the tray is made of conductive aluminum alloy and coated with nonstick silicone, so it works just as effectively as any of the darker-colored trays. 

We appreciate the well-designed lip that runs around the entire edge of the tray to prevent liquids from dripping onto your counter. In keeping with its practical design, ridges on the underside of the tray welcome consistent airflow while your food is thawing. Notably, you’ll need to wash this tray by hand rather than running it through the dishwasher.

While this tray’s smaller size of 8.62 by 6.65 inches isn’t meant for larger meals, it’s suitable for one-person dinners and prepping meat for stay-at-home date nights.

Yundoog Defrosting Tray

The red silicone bumpers of this 13.62-by-7.8-inch aluminum tray tightly grip your countertop while ushering airflow beneath the board. The tray is not dishwasher-safe, but it comes with a silicone scrub brush that gently cleans the nonstick surface when used by hand. 

With the bumpers removed, this defrosting tray is thin enough to slip into cabinets or between cookbooks. You could even lean it up against your backsplash.

When not in use, a hole in the tray’s corner allows you to easily hang it up and out of the way. If you prefer not to clutter your kitchen rack, however, you could also use the tray’s included adjustable hanging loop to let it swing from your grill, a hook in your pantry or just about anywhere else. 

Chefly Fast Defrosting Tray

From seafood to veggies, this thawing tray makes short work of whatever you want tonight’s dinner to be. Bottom rails raise it above your counter surface to allow for thaw-expediting airflow. The rails are built in, so there's no risk of losing them in the after-dinner shuffle and limiting the tray’s effectiveness. Its nonstick surface makes food removal easy and lets you spend more time enjoying your meal and less time scrubbing at the sink. 

You can get this Chefly tray in a 13.8-by-7.8-inch or 11.8-by-7.8-inch size. We suggest purchasing the smaller of the two if your kitchen or cookout space is limited.

Benefits of using a defrosting tray

Defrosts safely and quickly: In many cases, a defrosting tray can reduce the thawing time for frozen foods by half or more. At the same time, you don’t have to worry about bacteria developing because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) lists defrosting trays as a safe way to thaw food.

Thaws food uniformly: You don’t have to worry about some parts of your steak, chicken or pork chop remaining frozen while other areas fully defrost because the tray helps all parts of the food thaw at the same rate.

Defrosts without using the microwave: While you can defrost food quickly in a microwave, there’s always the risk of overheating the meat, which can rob it of its juiciness and flavor. 

Stores easily: A defrosting tray is a fairly slim, flat tool that can easily be stored in a cabinet.

Defrosting tray features to consider


Most defrosting trays are roughly the same size, 14 by 8 inches, which is big enough to defrost three to five steaks (depending on their width). However, there are smaller options. For example, 11 by 8 inches is a popular size for defrosting a couple of steaks and is a good option if you usually cook for one or two people. 


Many defrosting trays are made of aluminum because it’s an effective and efficient conductor of heat. Aluminum pulls heat from the air and transfers it to the food, thawing it 8 to 10 times faster than it normally would. For the quickest, safest thawing, choose a defrosting tray made with antimicrobial food-grade aluminum or aluminum alloy.

Some higher-end defrosting trays are made of copper, which conducts heat even more effectively than aluminum. But copper scratches easily and is more difficult to clean, so it’s often coated with aluminum for easier maintenance.


When meat and other foods thaw, moisture (condensation) develops. Combined with the colder temperature of the food, it can cause the food to stick to the tray’s metal surface. This can make removing thawed meat difficult. Many defrosting trays are treated with a nonstick coating to make it easier to remove defrosted steak, chicken and other food items from the surface.

Water reservoir

As food thaws on a defrosting tray, it produces moisture that can quickly accumulate on the surface. The liquid could easily overflow off a flat tray and spread harmful bacteria across your kitchen counter, which must then be carefully cleaned up. But some defrosting trays have a built-in water box to collect the water. You can easily dispose of this water once the food fully thaws.


Some defrosting trays must be washed by hand, particularly those with nonstick surfaces. That’s because the surface could be easily scratched in the dishwasher. That said, there are many dishwasher-safe options if you want a low-maintenance tray.

How to get the best results from a defrosting tray

  • Leave frozen food in a plastic bag to thaw. Wet foods can make a mess when left to defrost uncovered. When you thaw food on a defrosting tray, you can leave it in a plastic bag. Note that food that comes on a foam tray should be removed from the packaging.
  • Use two trays for even faster defrosting. If you want to defrost your food even more quickly, place a second defrosting tray on top of your meat with the defrosting surface touching the food.
  • Place paper towels under the tray. If your defrosting tray doesn’t have a water reservoir to catch moisture from the food as it thaws, place paper towels beneath the tray to soak up excess liquid.
  • Warm the tray to restore its effectiveness. If you need to defrost food in batches and the defrosting tray is getting too cold to work effectively, run it under warm water for a minute or two between batches.


Q. How much does a defrosting tray cost? 

A. Defrosting trays vary in price based on size, material and whether they come with accessories. Small defrosting trays made of aluminum range from $7 to $15. Midsize defrosting trays made of aluminum alloy and small defrosting trays made of copper range from $15 to $30. Midsize trays with accessories and larger options made of aluminum alloy cost $30 to $45. Midsize to large trays made of copper range from $30 to $50.

Q. Is it safe to use a defrosting tray to thaw all kinds of meat?

A. If used properly, the USDA does recommend a defrosting tray as a safe method for thawing frozen meat. However, it’s important to remember that it isn’t safe to let meat stay in the dangerous temperature zone of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours. 

While a defrosting tray can usually defrost a standard-size piece of meat in that time, it might take longer for larger pieces, such as a whole chicken or a particularly thick steak. To be safe, those items should be defrosted using another method.

Q. Can a defrosting tray double as a cutting board?

A. All defrosting trays are made of aluminum or copper, which are relatively soft metals. Using a knife to cut on the tray could scratch and damage the surface and affect its performance. Instead, use a dedicated cutting board to cut your meat once it’s defrosted.

Q. How should I clean my defrosting tray?

A. Some manufacturers warn buyers not to clean their thaw trays in the dishwasher. If yours is not dishwasher-safe, gently wash it with warm, soapy water and a sponge. Or, use a bristled brush or a silicone brush. 

Avoid metal scrubbers or abrasive sponges, as these will scratch and wear down your board’s nonstick coating. Whenever possible, opt for antibacterial soap, as this helps prevent germs from accumulating on the board, especially after thawing raw meat.

Q. Are the nonstick surfaces on defrosting trays safe?

A. While Teflon coatings were known to contain a potentially harmful chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, its use in cookware has been banned in the United States since 2014. Additionally, some of the harm associated with nonstick cookware is directly related to exposing the coating to extreme temperatures. Since thawing trays aren’t used for cooking, there is little risk to worry about in that regard. 

To keep the coating from chipping off of your tray, carefully follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, and don’t scratch its surface with metal utensils.