This is news we can use. How to speed up the process of thawing frozen meat. I have wondered if this was a safe way to thaw meat. Now someone has done the experiments and figured out that, yes, this works and you won't give yourself food poisoning in the process. I have often used cool tap water. This was the recommended method for thawing that I learned in culinary school. But, obviously, things go quicker if you thaw the meat in hotter water. Cool water thawed steaks in 20 minutes. Somewhat hot water thawed them in 11 minutes. As comparison, it took 18-20 hours to thaw similar steaks in the refrigerator. You won't achieve these quick thaw times in your kitchen unless you have an immersion circulator that keeps the water temperature consistently hot (Look Ronnie! Another use for David's immersion circulator!) but even starting with 125 degree F water will speed things up.
One caveat: this method has only been tested in fairly thin cuts like chicken breasts and 1" steaks. The testing hasn't been done on large roasts so isn't recommended for big cuts.
You can read the whole article in the New York Times: A Hot-Water Bath for Thawing Meats