3 Best Methods to Thaw Frozen Chicken

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Frozen food is the new age answer to quick and easy meals. You no longer have to run to the grocery store to buy fresh chicken every time you cringe to have a delicious chicken dish. Frozen chicken is readily available in all forms, say boneless, breasts, wings and any other possible type of chicken variant. Having said that, it is equally difficult to go through the thawing process.

Thawing actually means bringing back frozen food to room temperature. This is essentially the only hitch as far as frozen chicken is concerned. Many of us keep wondering how to thaw frozen chicken pieces easily and safely. It all depends on the amount of preparation time you have in your hand. If you are ready to make chicken the next day, you can thaw it in a longer but safer way. But if you are in a real hurry, you can still hang on to your frozen chicken by defrosting it by faster methods. So, here are some of the best proven chicken thawing methods with their pros and cons.

Under Cold Running Water

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If you really want to thaw your frozen chicken without spoiling it and that too in a jiffy, you should try out this easy and safe method to bring it to a normal temperature before cooking. Make the kitchen sink your thawing station. Take the frozen chicken in a tightly sealed pack, and submerge it fully in a bowl filled with cold water. Now while keeping this bowl in the kitchen sink, turn on the tap and let a continuous stream of cold water flow over it. As the water volume is flowing, it will take away the coldness of the frozen chicken fast by convection and its temperature will come to near normal very quickly.

This thawing method is safe as it doesn’t take too long. Do not feel tempted to use hot water, anticipating that it will defrost the chicken faster. Rather, it will cook it to some extent and may spoil its freshness too. So, take cold water and you will be happy with the results. But you cannot store chicken thawed in this way back in the fridge or freezer without cooking it. So, thaw that much that you want to cook or cook whatever you have thawed.

Thawing in the Refrigerator

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This is the most conventional method that has been suggested to be the safest too. Frozen chicken is taken out from the freezer section and kept in the ‘defrost’ section of the refrigerator. If there is no such section in your fridge, you can use the bottom shelf. You should keep an important fact in mind while thawing in the refrigerator; the chicken tends to release its juices as it gradually comes to a normal temperature. So, keep it in the front of the thawing shelf so that the juice doesn’t spoil other things kept in the same shelf. You should keep it in a deep bowl or pan if the chicken is not sealed. The uniform temperature inside the fridge ensures no bacterial growths and good thawing.

You need to be a planner for this method as it takes a long time. The thumb rule says that 0.453 kgs of chicken takes about 5 hours to thaw. So, you should pre-plan your cooking and keep aside 12 – 24 hours for defrosting frozen chicken before the actual cooking time. In spite of the longer preparation time, the chicken comes out really soft and tender.

You can check if your chicken has completely defrosted before taking it out refrigerator by touching the chicken’s cavity. If there are any left ice-crystals, it indicates that it needs to be left out a little more for defrosting. Wondering what to do with defrosted chicken if you want to store it back? Instead of freezing it back, it is advisable to keep it in the coldest part of the refrigerator where it will stay fresh for 1-2 days more.

Using a Microwave For Thawing

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Your microwave turns out to be your best friend when you don’t even have an hour to thaw the frozen chicken. Just ensure it has the ‘defrost’ mode. Unwrap the chicken pieces in a microwave safe bowl. Most of the ovens have the ‘defrost’ option and can be set to the defrost mode by entering the weight of the food to be defrosted in kgs. But it is best to defrost the frozen chicken in parts and the time settings should be in minimal zone. Smart microwaves will automatically select the time according to the weight. If you are not sure about the exact time, you should defrost it for two minutes and check the pieces after one more minute passes by. If left, you can go on more for one minute at a time.

Be cautious not to cook the chicken, just defrost it. Also, this kind of defrosted chicken has to be cooked before storing back in the refrigerator to avoid bacterial growths. Immediate cooking is what you need to do to microwave defrosted chicken.

Never be tempted to thaw frozen chicken at room temperature by simply placing it on your kitchen surface directly from the freezer. This puts your food in the ‘Danger Zone’ i.e. in a temperature of 20 – 22 degree celsius which actually spoils meats very fast. You might be happy to have thawed it in a few hours but the E.Coli bacteria that grow inside at this temperature can be really harmful for your digestive system.

Adding a little bit of vinegar also speeds up the thawing process. So whichever method you are using, top it up with a dash of vinegar over the chicken pieces. You can always rinse it off before cooking of course! You can then enjoy cooking tasty chicken recipes and that too almost instantly done minus the waiting period.

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How to defrost chicken

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3 Best Methods to Thaw Frozen Chicken in Hindi

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This post is also available in: hiहिन्दी (Hindi)


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  1. kriti June 24, 2016

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