Question: Can you safely defrost steak on the counter if it’s still tightly wrapped in the original store packaging?
Answer: Wrapped or not, that’s an unsafe move.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture warns that it’s dangerous to eat any meat that has been thawed at room temperature.
The problem is that even though the center of the packaged beef may remain very cold as it thaws, the meat's outer layer will be sitting between the bacteria-breeding temperatures of 40°F and 140°F for far too long to remain safe.
You’ve got three good options for thawing food: in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave. Check here for everything you need to know about each of these methods.