I have defrost a variety of items in the fridge, in the microwave and on the bench. If it is food that is in a pre-sealed pkt I read the instructions, but if it is meat or fish I put it out on the bench in a tray
I have an unheated utility room, where the freezer resides, so I often leave things to defrost overnight on the work surface in there. If I put something into the fridge still fully frozen, then it is usually still frozen in the middle when I want to use it.
I only use the microwave if I want it defrosted in a hurry. Another trick is to leave the frozen food in a bowl of cold water, as this conducts heat more efficiently than air so your food will defrost more quickly that way. it does need to be securely sealed though!