How to Defrost Chicken Effectively and Fastest?

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Written By Kaiya Martin

Chicken is one of the most popular types of meat. It often becomes the main ingredient in many families’ meals. Surely everyone will find that plucking and cooking a chicken by yourself is very complicated. That is why frozen chicken is more widely used thanks to its convenience and speed. However, it is rather difficult to know how to defrost chicken. This process is very important, if you do the wrong thing the chicken will lose its delicious flavor. Bacteria can even cause food poisoning because the wrong defrosting process causes bacteria to grow rapidly. So, how to defrost chicken effectively and fastest?

Why Should Defrost the Chicken?

If you or your family loves to eat chicken, defrosting the chicken is a must. You have to do this process properly so even pay attention to it, otherwise your chicken may contain a lot of harmful bacteria. Defrosting chicken is very important because when you cook frozen chicken directly, it causes a lot of problems, specifically:

If you or your family loves to eat chicken, defrosting the chicken is a must
If you or your family loves to eat chicken, defrosting the chicken is a must
  • The chicken will not cook evenly

I am sure that if you ever cook frozen chicken directly without defrosting it, this will be the case. The situation here is that the outside of the chicken is cooked, even scorched when grilled, but the inside of the chicken is not yet cooked. May still be frozen or bloody. This will make your dish unpalatable, even inedible because bacteria spread from the raw meat. You must discard the dish or cook it again.

  • Chicken cannot be eaten raw

it’s important to know that chicken cannot be eaten raw. Some foods can be eaten raw, such as salmon, oysters, etc, but chicken cannot. Chicken should be thoroughly cooked to remove all harmful bacteria.

Usually, you need to prepare the chicken before cooking. A hard frozen chicken can be difficult to split or prepare. So you need to defrost the chicken to make the recipe easier. In particular, the taste of chicken cooked after defrosting will be more perfect than if you cook it directly when it is frozen.

  • Harmful bacteria will develop if the chicken is defrosted incorrectly

The first thing you need to remember when you want to emergency chicken defrosting is “safe first”. Don’t be too impatient to defrost the chicken but forget the important rule: according to the USDA, defrosting food in dangerous ranges – between 4 degrees C and 60 degrees C – any type of bacteria can increase double within 20 minutes.

Any type of bacteria can increase double within 20 minutes

Any type of bacteria can increase double within 20 minutes
Any type of bacteria can increase double within 20 minutes

Campylobacter is a bacteria that easily occurs in meat, especially frozen chicken. When the human body is invaded by this bacteria, there will be high fever, diarrhea, and strong stomach contractions. According to research by experts, the duration of these manifestations will last for a week even worse if your body is weak. Or maybe Salmonella, it is a bacteria as dangerous as campylobacter bacteria. If you use uncooked chickens, the risk of attack by this bacteria is not low and will cause severe diarrhea, Clostridium perfringens is a fungus that makes diarrhea last longer.

In short, we need to defrost the chicken properly and defrost it properly to ensure it is safe, to help it retain its fresh flavor. Here, we will show you how to defrost chicken effectively, safely and fastest!

How to Defrost Chicken in a Refrigerator Cooler?

To make chicken delicious and safe to use, it needs to be defrosted for as long as possible. A sudden drop in temperature kills the bonding fibers of the chicken and makes them soft and flaky. Therefore, the best way to defrost chicken and most recommended by many experts is defrosting the chicken in the refrigerator’s cooler. This chicken defrosting process usually takes about a day, depending on the size of the chicken.

If you want to defrost a large chicken, it can take about 20-26 hours. So I think, if you want to do this safe defrosting of chicken, you should move the frozen chicken to the refrigerator compartment the night before. This is pretty easy, if you want a chicken dish the next day at noon, put the chicken in the cooler the night before.

Letting the chicken defrost in the refrigerator’s cooler is the safest way to defrost, but it also takes longer than other methods. Because the low temperature in the cooler of the refrigerator inhibits harmful bacteria growth. And the gradual lowering of the temperature will help keep the fibers from becoming sticky.

Simply place the chicken in the cooler near the bottom of the fridge to prevent any spillage from spilling onto other foods in the refrigerator. If the chicken is not wrapped, place it in a small bowl or saucepan to prevent the defrosting water from spilling. You should especially find a box with a lid or wrap your chicken. This will help prevent your chicken from haunting other strange odors in the refrigerator.

Letting the chicken defrost in the refrigerator’s cooler is the safest way to defrost

Letting the chicken defrost in the refrigerator's cooler is the safest way to defrost
Letting the chicken defrost in the refrigerator’s cooler is the safest way to defrost

Defrosting an entire chicken in the refrigerator cooler can take up to 24 hours. Pay attention to the chicken. Records indicate that it takes at least 5 hours to defrost 0. 453 kg of meat in the refrigerator. It should be quite time consuming with this method and you need to plan properly in advance.

Once the defrosting process is completed in the refrigerator, the chicken will soften and no longer harden. You can check if the chicken is completely defrosted by placing your hand on the chicken’s empty stomach. If there is still ice in the belly of the chicken, you may need to leave it in the refrigerator for some more time to defrost it completely.

After being defrosted, the chicken can be refrigerated for 1-2 days. You can defrost them first and prepare them for a day or two. Note, however, that defrosted chicken should not be frozen. This will affect the quality and flavor of the chicken. They won’t even have any of the nutrients inside.

Why wouldn’t I suggest defrosting the chicken on the outside? It will probably defrost chicken faster, but it will also cause harmful bacteria to grow faster. In fact, when the chicken is left open to the outside environment at room temperature, it will stimulate bacteria to grow and penetrate the chicken most strongly. You can also add bacteria to your dishes. So, you shouldn’t defrost chicken at room temperature.

How to Defrost Chicken by Soaking in Cold Water?

If you feel the chicken is defrosting in the refrigerator for too long. Or you forgot to put the chicken in the refrigerator cooler. Do not worry! You can try defrosting with water. The water will slowly defrost the chicken, but you shouldn’t add the chicken directly to the water. The bacteria can spread the skin anywhere.

Please put the chicken in the ziploc bag before defrosting. The ziploc bag will protect the chicken from bacterial contamination during defrosting. This also prevents the sink from becoming contaminated and bacteria cannot follow the water that spreads.

The water will slowly defrost the chicken, but you shouldn't add the chicken directly to the water
The water will slowly defrost the chicken, but you shouldn’t add the chicken directly to the water

Look for a large bowl or bowl to hold a whole chicken. You will need a pot large enough for the chicken to be submerged in the water. Then, leave the whole chicken bag in the pot and fill it with cold water. You can add a little salt to your water bath. Wanting will make your defrosting process faster. I didn’t compare it and it worked. Note that the whole piece of chicken must be submerged in water.

Do you wonder why using cold water and not hot water? Do not use hot water to defrost it as it will help bacteria to grow quickly. The sudden drop in heat will also break the bonds in the meat, making the chicken fluffy and not delicious.

You can change the water every 30 minutes for faster defrosting. If you leave the whole chicken to defrost it, it will take longer. If your chicken weighs 1. 5kg, you should defrost it for 3 hours or more.

You should cook all the chicken before you want to put it back in the refrigerator. Defrosted raw chicken will not be able to be refrigerated immediately while still alive. It is not good!

How to Defrost Chicken in the Microwave?

A microwave oven is a versatile tool in your kitchen. And of course, every microwave oven has a display defrost function. The chicken will be defrosted quickly. Be aware, however, that defrosting chicken in the microwave can pose other dangers as well.

This means that if the chicken is defrosted for too long, the chicken will become hot and easily become a place for bacteria to multiply. It is important to avoid defrosting the whole chicken in the microwave as it is susceptible to infection. Microwave whole-chicken defrosting also causes the chicken to lose its nutrition and taste.

The chicken will be defrosted quickly
The chicken will be defrosted quickly

First remove the chicken from the bag and remove the label that comes with it. Place the chicken in a microwave bowl to catch any water leaks during defrosting.

Place the chicken bowl in the microwave and set the preset defrosting mode. If you don’t know how long to defrost, start by defrosting for 2 minutes. Wait 1 minute then check and continue defrosting. Until you find the chicken is completely defrosted, remove the chicken and cook as desired. But don’t let the chicken overcook when defrosted.

You must cook chicken immediately after defrosting and before refrigerating it again.


  • The lower the defrost temperature, the less chance the bacteria will get into the chicken.
  • Avoid defrosting chickens by leaving them at room temperature in the cooking area as this will become susceptible to infection.
  • Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw chicken.
  • If you leave the whole chicken defrosted in the microwave, it won’t work as well. You can still defrost the whole chicken, but by doing so the chicken will become susceptible to infection.

Cook Frozen Chicken Directly without Defrosting It

This method of cooking doesn’t get much encouragement, but you can do it if you don’t have time. However, you can only use this method with your oven or induction hob instead of a regular stove to prevent bacteria from multiplying.

You can cook the chicken while it's still frozen
You can cook the chicken while it’s still frozen

If you’re in a hurry to prepare a roast or stewed chicken, you can cook the chicken while it’s still frozen. You can roast a frozen chicken. However, some sequences must be noted. First, the temperature in the oven should be at 50-60 degrees C, at least 10 – 15 minutes. Then take the chicken, wash it with ice, grease it with spices, add heat and once again bring the chicken to the oven. If you put the chicken in the oven right away, it won’t cook evenly.

Or you can wrap the chicken in foil and put it in the oven. First, keep the meat on low heat until the chicken melts, then simply open the foil and add heat. You will have a well-cooked and fragrant chicken.

Final Words

Frozen chicken is a convenient food and is widely used in recipes. However, its defrosting process cannot be ignored. You need to take safe and effective defrosting practices to get delicious chicken. We have shared for you how to defrost chicken. Hopefully, it can help you have the perfect chicken meal.

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About the author

Kaiya Martin

Kaiya Martin is the Founder of KITCHEN BAR. Kaiya graduated with a degree in Communications and Journalism from Fordham University. Prior, Kaiya spent time in the travel world and enjoy cuisines.

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