We freeze all the meat we buy at the grocery store. This creates a problem, because we usually forget to put stuff in the fridge to thaw in the morning for dinner that night. For the longest time we'd stick the microwave on DEFROST for 7 minutes and nuke whatever we wanted until it was thawed. Anyone who's ever done this knows what ends up happening is you get a defrosted center, but it cooks the outside edges, which is gross. It also pulls juice out of the meat, which makes it not taste as good.
Sometimes all it takes is a single line in a book to get the creative juices flowing. At one point in Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for the Food, he mentions a quick way to defrost is to put the item in cold, circulating water. He mentioned how well a shower worked, but I didn't want to waste that much water. Besides, for just two people, we rarely need to defrost more than a pound of meat at once, usually half that.
So I pulled a $7 mop bucket out of the closet. We had one of those cheapie "mood" fountains sitting on top of it, so I grabbed that too. One quick cleaning of both items later, and I had myself Defrost-o-Matic Mark 1. Fill the bucket with water, drop the whole fountain in (the pump was permanently attached to the ceramic bowl), then put the frozen meat in a ziplock bag and drop that in too. Swear to god, in 5 minutes it'd defrost a whole pound of hamburger meat without cooking the edges or altering the flavor. It was quicker than the microwave.
There were two problems with Mark 1. Firstly, the fountain itself took up a lot of space, and second the pump eventually stopped up and wouldn't move any water. So we thought, "what moves a lot of water and is cheap and easy to find?" Yup, fish tank pump.
One trip to the pet store later and I had myself a $19.95 "aquaclear mini" pump and filter. This is the kind designed to sit on the top edge of the tank, with the pump assembly sitting outside and a long tube extending into the water. The thing mounted beautifully on the lip of the bucket, and now I had the entire bucket to use. 1 pound of hammer-solid frozen chicken thawed in 6 minutes! When I was done, I just dumped the water , dropped the pump into the bucket, and stuck it all under the sink. Setup and takedown in minutes!
So, to build yourself a Defrost-o-Matic, go out and buy 1 standard 14qt mop bucket and the cheapest top-tank water filter you can find. Mount them together and enjoy quick, easy, environmentally-friendly defrosting! My cost: $26.95 (although technically the bucket was free, since we already had it).