Thawing out chicken at a cool temperature in the cooler is the most secure strategy. Individuals who have less time available to them can utilize a virus water shower or the thaw-out setting on their microwave.
While thawing out chicken utilizing one of the speedier strategies, cook it quickly once it is as of now not frozen. Following food handling rules can assist individuals with remaining sound and stay away from foodborne ailments.
Thawing out chicken includes raising the temperature of frozen chicken until it is presently not in a frozen state. The most secure strategy for doing this is utilizing a fridge, which keeps the chicken at a protected, cool temperature while it thaws out.
There are additionally alternate approaches to thaw out chicken that requires some investment, for example, utilizing a virus water shower or a microwave.
In this article, we will disclose how to thaw out chicken securely, and blueprint three techniques for doing as such at home.
How to safely defrost chicken
The safest way to defrost chicken is to place it in a refrigerator. This method is safe because the refrigerator keeps the chicken cool while it is defrosting, preventing it from getting too warm for too long.
To use this method, do the following:
- Remove the chicken from the freezer at least 24 hours in advance.
- Place it in a ziplock plastic bag or container.
- Put it in the refrigerator on a low shelf and leave it there until fully defrosted.
- Cook within 1–2 days.
This method requires some planning ahead, as a person will need to begin the defrosting process at least 1 day before they plan to use the chicken.
The time it takes to work will depend on how big the pieces of the chicken are. Chicken breasts, bone-in chicken, and whole chickens can take 1–2 days to thaw in the refrigerator.
To defrost chicken more quickly, people can use a cold water bath by following these steps:
- Ensure the chicken is in airtight packaging, or place it in a leakproof ziplock bag.
- Place it in a bowl or basin deep enough to completely submerge the chicken.
- Cover the chicken with cold water.
- Change the water every 30 minutes to ensure it stays cold.
- Once the chicken has thawed, cook it straight away.
Never use warm or hot water to defrost the chicken. If water from the faucet is warm, add ice cubes to the basin before using it to defrost the chicken.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that this method will take 2–3 hours for a whole chicken, while a 1-pound package of chicken breasts can take 1 hour or less.
If there are multiple pieces in one bag that are frozen together, it may speed up thawing time to break them apart once they have thawed enough to do so. Break pieces apart from the outside of the bag to avoid opening it.
Many microwave ovens have defrosted settings that allow people to defrost meat even more quickly. People can refer to the owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to use the defrost setting for chicken.
When using the microwave to defrost chicken, it is important to:
- thaw only the amount of chicken a person needs at that time
- place the chicken in a microwave-safe container
- cook the chicken immediately after defrosting it
- clean the microwave thoroughly afterward
Using a microwave to defrost meats can result in warm spots or areas that have already started to cook during the defrosting process. For this reason, it is important to defrost only what is necessary and cook the meat right away.
People should never defrost chicken at room temperature, on the kitchen counter, or in places such as a porch or basement.
The room temperature is around 68°F (20°C), which is well within the “danger zone” for poultry storage. This refers to the temperature range in which it is possible for bacteria to grow in large numbers, which is between 40–140°F (4.4–60°C).
Defrosting chicken at room temperature means exposing the meat to dangerous temperatures for longer than is safe. Doing so raises the risk of bacterial growth and foodborne illness.
Can you cook frozen chicken?
In many cases, it is possible to cook chicken from frozen. The USDA states this is safe to do in most cases as long as a person extends the cooking time by 50% and ensures the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. People should not cook frozen chicken in a slow cooker or in the microwave, for example. These methods cause the chicken to remain at an unsafe temperature for too long. To cook chicken using these methods, it is best to defrost it fully first.
To safely cook chicken from frozen, a person should do the following:
- Wash the hands with soap and water for 20 seconds trusted Source before handling raw chicken.
- Do not wash the chicken. This is potentially harmful to both frozen and unfrozen chicken.
- Treat the frozen chicken in the same way as an unfrozen one with regard to food safety. Use a separate chopping board and utensils and avoid cross-contamination with cooked ingredients.
- Use a method of cooking that heats the chicken up quickly, such as on the stove or in the oven. Lengthen the normal cooking time by 50%.
- When done, check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer. When it reads 165°F (74°C) or above, remove the chicken from the heat.
- Wash the thermometer with hot water and dish soap.
- Using antibacterial wipes or soap and water, wipe down any kitchen surface that may have made contact with the chicken or with the fluids from the defrosting chicken.