How to quickly defrost a chicken: 5 ways

how to quickly defrost a chicken

This guide on how to quickly defrost a chicken outlines 5 ways to get it ready to cook, plus how to defrost ground chicken.

Find more food quides, tips and advice


  • How to defrost a chicken slowly
  • How to quickly defrost a chicken
  • Can I bake frozen chicken?
  • How to thaw ground chicken

Chicken is an essential way to feed a family quickly, tasty, and satisfying. However, chicken has one drawback – it takes a long time to defrost. Of course, there are methods that can thaw a chicken in minutes, but the quality of the meat suffers. So let’s try to understand all the ways to defrost chicken.

How to defrost a chicken slowly

To make the chicken juicy, tasty and healthy, it must be thawed for as long as possible. A sharp drop in temperature kills the fibers of the tissue and the meat becomes soft as porridge. Therefore, the refrigerated chamber is the most suitable method for thawing chickens, and depending on the size of the carcass, it usually takes about a day. A large chicken can be thawed for 30 hours. If you’re planning on making a chicken dinner tomorrow, don’t forget to put the chicken out of the freezer on one of the refrigerator shelves tonight.

The frozen carcass must be removed, pulled out of the packaging film and placed in the cup. The tank should be so deep and wide that the meltwater does not drain away. You can cover a mug with a chicken with a film or a lid so that the smell of the chicken does not spread in the refrigerator. It also protects the meat itself from foreign odors.

If you don’t have that much time to defrost, you can speed up the process and simply leave the chicken at room temperature instead of in the cooling chamber. To do this, take the carcass out of the freezer, remove the packaging, put it in a cup and leave it on the table. This will thaw the chicken for about 4-5 hours. The chicken will thaw even faster if you make multiple cuts on the chicken. However, this is only relevant if the chicken will be finished later and not baked. The cuts on the entire carcass will spoil the appearance of the plate.

How to quickly defrost chicken

There are several ways to quickly thaw chicken. Also remember: Wash dishes and tools that have come into contact with chicken or the defrosted water from frozen chicken thoroughly with hot soapy water and wash your hands thoroughly!

How to quickly defrost chicken 1: use water

Immerse the chicken with water. This is the best way to thaw chicken quickly. The fact is, water melts ice better than air. Dip the frozen chicken carcass in a basin of cold water. The ice will thaw in a few hours. To make the process go faster, you can soak the meat in warm water and then change the liquid regularly as it cools. 

There is a lot of controversy about whether to remove the packet when thawing chickens in water. You still don’t have to remove the packaging so the chicken doesn’t lose its flavor and after cooking it will be more succulent and tasty. Pouring frozen meat with hot water is not recommended, otherwise the fibers will simply boil and lose their structure.

How to quickly defrost chicken 2: the microwave method

The most popular tool for thawing a chicken carcass is a microwave. All modern models of microwave ovens have a defrost function. Just put the chicken on a plate and turn on the microwave for 3-4 minutes, after the specified time, the carcass must be turned over for 3 minutes and defrosted again. 

Then it is necessary to remove the carcass and check that the meat is completely thawed. To do this, lower your hand into the chicken’s belly. If you find ice there, repeat the process. However, resort to this method of thawing should be as infrequent as possible, and the chicken will lose most of of its beneficial properties.

How to quickly defrost chicken 3: the slow cooker

You can thaw a chicken in a slow cooker. To do this, put the carcass on a special stand, designed for cooking manti and steamed chops. Then pour water into the multicooker bowl and set the steam cooking mode. It usually takes 10 minutes to thaw a medium-sized chicken.

How to quickly defrost chicken 4: the oven

Chicken can also be thawed in the oven. Usually this method is used if you plan to bake the chicken in the future. Remove the frozen chicken from the freezer, unpack and place on a baking sheet. The fire should be as low as possible so that the carcass is thawed and not baked. Usually, even the largest carcase is thawed for no more than 20 minutes. After that, the chicken can finish what was previously planned – marinate the meat or rinse it with vegetables and fruits, and then send it back to the oven to set the desired temperature.

Bring the chicken to room temperature

Remember that the chicken will turn out much tastier and juicier if it is at room temperature before being cooked. If the chicken is thawed in the refrigerator, let it warm up on the kitchen counter before cooking.

Can I bake frozen chicken?

This question worries many cooks, especially when there are guests on the doorstep. And you need to make not only the main course, but also salads and even dessert. However, a certain sequence must be followed. First, the temperature in the oven should be at the medium heat and you put the chicken in for at least 10-15 minutes. After that, remove the chicken, remove any more the ice with warm water, season and put the carcass back in the oven. If you put the chicken in the hot oven right away, it will cook unevenly.

Some people prefer to marinate chicken in advance. If you bought a fresh chicken, rinse and marinate it before freezing it. Before putting the carcass in the freezer, grease it with salt and spices, if an emergency situation arises and you need a tasty meal in an hour, you can wrap the chicken carcass in foil and send it to the oven. First let the meat stand on a low heat until the chicken has thawed. Then open the slide and add fire. The tasty and finished dish is ready in 40 minutes.

How to defrost ground chicken

Ground chicken — chicken mince – is a universal remedy for hungry households. Add a bit of boiled porridge, a raw egg, a bit of beef or pork fat to the ground chicken for juiciness, and fry the patties in a pan. You get lots of tasty, juicy, and inexpensive schnitzel. For greater benefit, you can fry the burgers and bake them in the oven or cook them for a couple of minutes with the griller.

If there is ground chicken in the refrigerator, then you don’t every have to worry about a sudden dinner. However, in order to always be at hand, it has to be thawed quickly. If you’re cooking ground chicken, it’s better to break it up into small portions before freezing so that you don’t have to thaw the excess if necessary. Thawed ground chicken is better in the refrigerator or at room temperature. If this is not possible, dip a piece of ground beef in a waterproof bag and cover it with warm water, or put the filling in the microwave for 5 minutes.

Chicken is an excellent product that is not only tasty and easy to digest, but also easy to prepare. However, in order to maintain its flavor and benefits, the carcass must be properly thawed. Defrosting the shock absorbers in the form of a microwave oven and warm water is extremely undesirable and can only be used in emergencies. For the rest of the time, try to defrost the chicken for a long time to preserve the taste and healthy qualities of white meat.