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How To Thaw Scallops Like A Pro

Food & Recipes, Blog

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Today, we’re offering a kitchen tip on how to thaw scallops…

…so they taste as if they were just brought home from the market!

The process of thawing food involves warming food that has been…



Keeping it in a refrigerator for a long period of time…

…will cause it to grow bacteria. It is therefore important…

…to understand that different foods should be thawed…

…at different times.

Using this method, we can prevent food from becoming…

…contaminated with bacteria and make them suitable for use.

By doing this, we can thaw different kinds of frozen food such as…

…scallops fish, chicken, ground beef, etc.

Pay attention…

Food needs to be properly thawed to maintain its natural texture.

Among the different methods of thawing, there are refrigerating…

…microwaving, keeping under cold water and putting at room…



But, wait! Before moving to the next section…

Let us hear Audrey’s story!

Hey there, I’m Audrey. I’m a big foodie!

The nearest supermarket had a package of frozen scallops…

so I bought a package to add scallops to our cooking repertoire…

along with frozen shrimp we use regularly.

Once defrosted, I soaked the scallops in warm water, patted them…

dry then sliced them in half, drizzled them with olive oil, added salt…

and pepper, then grilled them. We grilled them for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

The results were terrible. They were chewy and dry.

Guess the scallops weren’t thawed properly…

Let’s jump right in!

How to Thaw Scallops in Different Ways

It’s likely that you only have canned or frozen seafood options…

…unless you live on the coast (in which case I can’t help but feel jealous).

Obviously, frozen seafood isn’t as delicious as fresh seafood – but that’s…

…just how it is. You can still get good results with frozen scallops, but you…

…will have to know how to thaw scallops properly.

Now, let’s discuss how to thaw scallops without further delay:

Thaw Scallops in the Refrigerator

credits: thecanniballa.com

In spite of the long time, it takes to fully thaw scallops…

…in the refrigerator, it will result in the best-tasting scallops.

As the frozen scallops will defrost gradually…

…there is almost no chance that they will be damaged…

…or contaminated during the thawing process.

The following materials are needed: 

  • Scallops
  • Refrigerator
  • Bowl
  • Plastic wrap

If you are looking for a portable fridge to keep your frozen scallops when you are going somewhere, I have the best recommendation for you!

How To Thawing Scallops:

Scallops should be gradually defrosted

…in order to achieve the natural texture.

There is no risk of damaging scallops in this manner.

A full day of defrosting is necessary in order to get a…

…complete and quiet result.

Even though the process takes time it provides complete…

…protection against viruses and impairments. 

  • Thaw scallops at 37°F is the best scenario when it comes to setting the temperature of a refrigerator. Therefore, set the temperature of your refrigerator to 37°F degrees.
  • Place them in the bowl after removing the package. If you are taking all the scallops into the same bowl, use one that is large enough. Place the scallops in the bowl after removing them from the package. Make sure the bowl has enough space to accommodate all scallops and that the ice is melting properly.
  • Afterwards, wrap the bowl of scallops securely after you have placed the scallops in it.
  • Put the wrapping bowl in the refrigerator. Scallops should be placed on a free shelf.
  • Scallops should be defrosted for the entire day. Put out the bowl after 24 hours and check the scallops with your finger. Scallops with no frozen spots will be chilled and sedate. If defrosting does not happen fully, wind them up again and let them defrost for a few more hours.

A Little Tip For You

  • Be sure your refrigerator doesn’t have anything else that could be damaged at 37°F when you set it to this temperature.
  • If the bowl doesn’t have enough space for scallops, you can use another bowl.
  • You shouldn’t put scallops in the refrigerator without setting the temperature.

Keep reading…

Thaw Scallops in the Microwave

Thaw scallops
credits: thecanniballa.com

Thaw scallops in the microwave when time is of the essence.

Make sure you watch them closely so you don’t accidentally cook them.

Place the scallops in a microwave-safe dish, cover them with a paper towel…

…and set the microwave to the defrost setting…

…or 30 percent of the regular setting.

Remove the bowl after 30 seconds and check the scallops.

If necessary, freeze them for 30 more seconds.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…

…frozen scallops should be cooked as soon as they are thawed in a microwave…

…as this method begins to cook the seafood.

Thaw frozen seafood gradually by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. If you have to thaw seafood quickly, either seal it in a plastic bag and immerse it in cold water, or — if the food will be cooked immediately thereafter — microwave it on the “defrost” setting and stop the defrost cycle while the fish is still icy but pliable.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The following materials are needed:   

  • Microwave  
  • Scallops  
  • Microwave-safe Bowl  
  • Paper towel   

I know what you are thinking about. You are looking for the microwave-safe bowl, right? I found a long-lasting bowl! They are easy to clean, microwave well. Here it is:

How To Thawing Scallops:

  • Using your microwave is a quick and easy way to thaw scallops if you are short on time.  The first step is to set your microwave for defrosting scallops. Scallops are very brittle, so you cannot defrost them in the microwave using the standard setting.
  • Use a bowl that can be microwaved. Put the frozen scallops in the package after removing it from the freezer. Using proper glass containers with high sides is the best way to contain the melting ice water around the frozen scallops.
  • Paper towels should be used to cover the bowl. Using thick paper helps to prevent the scallops from becoming overcooked when defrosting in the microwave.
  • Microwave the scallops for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Pull the bowl from the microwave after 30 seconds and check the scallops by touching the center with your finger. There shouldn’t be any frozen parts there.

A Little Tip For You

  • Scallops can be made tougher using microwave defrosting.
  • Choosing a bowl that holds enough scallops will be a challenge.
  • It is not possible to use thin paper towel in this way. It may melt or dissolve. So, you need a thick, three-ply paper towel.

Looking For A New Microwave?

Check out the top 2021 recommendations for microwaves here!

Thaw Scallops Under Running Cold Water

credits: thecanniballa.com

Thaw scallops that haven’t been in the refrigerator overnight…

…under cool running water to defrost.

Scallops should not come into direct contact with water.

Instead, place the frozen shellfish in a resealable plastic bag…

…seal it tightly, and place it in a bowl of cool running water.

USDA FSIS states that one pound of frozen sea scallops…

…takes about 30 minutes to defrost.

The following materials are needed:   

  • Scallops  
  • Running cold water  
  • Plastic Bag  
  • Bowl                                                                 

Do you need a resealable plastic bag? Okay, here it is! For that reason, I bought them to preserve fruits and vegetables as well as other foods, but you can use this for thaw scallops…

On Amazon: $32.99

On Walmart: $39.29

How To Thawing Scallops:

  • You can use running water to thaw scallops faster. The first thing you need is a resealable plastic bag. Put the frozen scallops in the bag and seal it properly after removing the package. Avoid getting the scallops wet. You must seal the bag perfectly to avoid contamination.                                                                      
  • Put the bag of scallops into a large bowl that has enough room to contain the scallops and drag it under water completely.                                                                
  • Once that is done, the bowl can be set in a sink and a sink of cool, clean water is poured into it. Water must be at least 50°F to properly thaw scallops. If the bag is not properly thawing, move it after some time.   
  • In most cases, only 30 minutes are needed. Just like after 10 minutes, replace the water again and again. Let the bowl remain silent after you refill it again. After 30 minutes, drain the water from the bowl and check the scallops by touching the center. Scallops have a soft and warm surface.

Go on…

Thaw Scallops at Room Temperature

credits: merchdope.com

Defrosting frozen food at room temperature is not good…

…because it increases the risk of decreasing the taste of the food.

The bacteria will begin to multiply on the food surface in this way.

You can thaw scallops or other frozen foods like fish, meat…

…and chicken in a sink under cold running water with a plastic bag.

Scallop Buying and Preparation Tips

Scallops don’t smell fishy when they’re fresh…

…but you can’t smell them when they’re frozen.

Choose sea scallops that are white, light orange…

…or peach in color. 

There are a variety of color options for bay scallops.

If you buy frozen scallops, make sure the sizes are…

…uniform so they cook evenly.

Before cooking, place the scallops between layers…

…of paper towels and press gently to release excess…


If you are frying or sauteing, they will brown better…

…and they won’t make baked dishes soggy.

Scallops should be thawed before being cooked.

As they cook, frozen scallops release liquid and…

..become rubbery and tough.

If some of you still don’t have any idea where to buy the scallop, I will recommend you these delicious frozen scallops! They arrived frozen solid, packed in dry ice. After thawing, I fried them in butter with a splash of light olive oil to keep the butter from burning!

Sea Best Bay Scallops, 16 Ounce

Individually quick frozen naturally low in fat Mild, sweet flavor Resealable bag

Thaw scallops

On Amazon: $32.99

On Walmart: $39.29

Last, but not least…

You Should Check the Package Instructions

When cooking frozen sea scallops, some types of them…

…must not be defrosted first.

As an example, most commercial brands of breaded…

…whole scallops are intended to be pan-fried or deep…

…fried straight from the freezer; the instructions on…

…the package specifies that the scallops must not be…

…thawed beforehand.

To prepare frozen sea scallops, always follow the cooking…

…directions provided with the seafood. For more information…

…about how to cook or defrost your particular brand contact…

…the manufacturer’s customer service department.

Scallops should be heated to 145 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce…

…the risk of foodborne illness, as recommended by the FDA.

An Idea To Enjoy Scallops : Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Seafood can be cooked from frozen. To keep the flavor…

…and texture of fresh seafood, prepare it within 48 hours or fewer.

Frozen seafood, on the other hand, can keep its flavor…

…and texture for up to 6 months in the freezer.

You don’t need to cook it until it’s entirely thawed…

How Do You Make Bacon Wrapped Scallops?

Scallops, bacon, maple syrup, garlic powder, soy sauce, salt…

…and pepper are all used in this recipe. It’s as simple as that!

Each scallop is wrapped in half a slice of bacon and toothpick attached…

The remaining ingredients are combined to make a sweet and savory glaze…

…which is drizzled over the scallops while they are cooking.

Serve with a sprinkling of herbs and enjoy….

Tips for Bacon Wrapped Scallops

  • Pick the biggest scallops you can afford. Larger scallops are easier to wrap in bacon and will not overcook when the bacon crisps.
  • Use a typical cut of bacon because thick cut bacon will take too long to cook thoroughly.
  • If you’re serving the scallops as an appetizer, leave the toothpicks in place. If you’re serving them as a main dish, remove the toothpicks.
  • This recipe is also delicious with shrimp!

How Do You Reheat Bacon Wrapped Scallops?

The best way to eat these scallops is just out of the oven…

The scallops can be reheated the next day, but you run…

…the danger of overcooking them. Warming your scallops in a pan…

…over medium heat until the bacon is crisp, around 3-4 minutes…

…is the best way to reheat them.


  • 2 pounds large sea scallops patted dry

Sea Best Bay Scallops, 16 Ounce

Individually quick frozen naturally low in fat Mild, sweet flavor Resealable bag

Thaw scallops

On Amazon: $32.99

On Walmart: $39.29

  • 1 pound bacon slices cut in half crosswise
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Maple Grove Farms Pure Maple Syrup, 12.5 Oz

That’s why our Grade A maple syrup is renowned for its wonderful flavor, color and consistency

Thaw scallops

On Amazon: $18.89

On Walmart: $17.99

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Kikkoman Japan Made Soy Sauce, 33.8 Ounce

33.8 oz All purpose seasoning. Brewed by Kikkoman. Product of Japan.

Thaw scallops

On Amazon: $22.89

On Walmart: $25.99

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • cooking spray

PAM Non Stick Original Cooking Spray, 6 OZ

 PAM Original Cooking Spray makes cleaning your cookware quick and easy. Formulated for superior no-stick performance, this no stick spray for cooking will help you easily pull off your next meal.

Thaw scallops

On Amazon: $15.99

On Walmart: $16.00


  • Preheat the oven to broil. Using cooking spray, coat a sheet pan.
  • Each scallop should be wrapped in a slice of bacon and secured with a toothpick. Arrange the scallops on the baking pan in a single layer.
  • Combine the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Half of the mixture should be brushed on top of each scallop.
  • Broil for 10-15 minutes, or until scallops are cooked through and bacon is crisp. Halfway through the cooking time, brush the remaining sauce over the scallops.
  • Serve with a parsley garnish.

Phew, that’s quite a list…

Sum Up!

You have many options when it comes to thawing frozen scallops.

Scallops can multiply bacteria if they are not thawed properly…

…which can lead to food-borne illness.

Therefore, you should thaw scallops overnight in the refrigerator…

…but you can also use the microwave or cold water to speed up the…



So there it is – a detailed guide on how to thaw scallops…

…without contaminating or damaging them.

The microwave method is not recommended.

It’s too risky to accidentally cook the scallops.

In any case, these are all valid methods of thawing scallops…

…and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

In the end, it’s up to you.

Which technique from this post are you ready to try first?

Either way, let me know in the comment section below!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I avoid food poisoning when I’m preparing scallops?

There are a few simple steps you can take to avoid food poisoning when cooking scallops.

First and foremost, always wash your scallops thoroughly before cooking them.

You can also sanitize the scallops by dripping them with lemon juice…

…or boiling them for three minutes.

Finally, make sure to cook scallops until they’re just slightly pink in the center…

….they should not be mushy or overcooked.

Can thawing scallops in the refrigerator or in cold water help prevent food poisoning?

There is no definitive answer when it comes to whether..

…or not thawing scallops in the refrigerator or cold water helps prevent food poisoning.

However, since scallops are a seafood…

…many experts believe that thawing them in cold water …

…as opposed to freezer temperature – may be best for preventing food-borne illness.

Should I cook my scallops until they are slightly pink in the center or just slightly rare?

Some people believe that scallops should be cooked until…

…they are slightly pink in the center, while others believe…

…that they should be slightly rare.

Ultimately, it depends on what you prefer.

If you prefer scallops that are slightly pink in the center…

….then cook them for about 3-4 minutes per side.

If you prefer scallops that are slightly rare…

…cook them for about 2-3 minutes per side.

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