When you’re preparing your meats for cooking, always bring them to room temperature before cooking; this is especially true of a steak or chop that you intend to sear before turning down the heat. At colder temperatures, you block the enzyme that helps make the meat tender. HoniAnn has a hard time with this rule, having been raised in an era when hyper-sanitation was taught. But remember that meat spoilage follows the 4-hour/40º-140º rule. That is, meat will spoil if left at a temperature between 40º and 140º for 4-hours. You will not get anywhere near a 4-hour on-the-counter time if the meat is thawed in the refrigerator before you put it out to warm.