In the scallop video I defrosted one on the tray and one on the plate. In 15 minutes the scallop on the tray is defrosted on one side, the scallop on the plate is still a frozen brick. In 45 minutes after I flipped the scallop one it was totally defrosted. I use a thermometer probe to measure the temperature of both scallops. The scallop on the tray showed 36°F, the other tray is below freezing point.
If you know a little bit of physics why defrosting trays work is pretty obvious. Frozen food lying on an aluminum tray thaws more rapidly than food lying on a tabletop rather than on a plate or a wood cutting board because aluminum is a better conductor of heat. What this means in practical terms is that the warm air in the room is transferred faster to the piece of fish or meat on the tray than when it is on the plate or the cutting board.
There is nothing remarkable here and you can get the same results using any heavy duty piece of metal, such a large coopper or aluminum pan or skillet.
In attached video you can see a piece of salmon that was in my freezer for several weeks. I show it in one hour when it is totally thawed out. Without the tray it took me several hours to defrost the salmon filet.
How does thermal conductivity work? The higher a material's thermal conductivity the faster it can equalize it's temperature with what it is touching. Heat "flows" from the aluminum to the frozen fish, increasing the temperature of the frozen fish and decreasing the temperature of the aluminum tray. Heat also flows throughout the entire tray so that even the parts of the tray that are not touching the fish are losing heat. As it loses heat it becomes cooler than the surrounding air. Since the tray and the air want to be same temperature the heat from the air is absorbed by the tray increasing its temperature, which in turn heats up the frozen fish. Since there is endless supply of warm air in the room this processes is continuous. The fact that the tray has feet on the bottom which elevates it from the table increases air circulation and helps the temperature exchange with surrounding air.
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Ali Julia review ★★★★★