How to defrost chicken | Real Homes

How to defrost chicken

These are the methods you can use to defrost chicken quickly and safely

how to defrost chicken
(Image credit: Getty)

Need to know how to defrost chicken? Defrosting chicken is no joke: do it wrong, and you risk food poisoning. Do it right, though, and cooking defrosted chicken is perfectly safe – unlike cooking a whole chicken from frozen, which is likely to result in the inside of the bird remaining raw. 

Find more useful food hacks, recipes and advice on our hub page. 

1. How to defrost chicken in the fridge

Defrosting chicken in the fridge overnight is by far the safest method, but you will need to remember to do it in advance, as it will take at least six hours (ideally eight). Put the chicken into a large sandwich bag and seal. Place inside an extra large mixing bowl and on the bottom shelf of your fridge.  

2. How to defrost chicken in water

Follow the same instructions as for the fridge method, but fill the bowl with cold water beforehand. Make sure the bad is completely sealed to avoid water getting inside. Always use cold water – using hot water creates a breeding ground for bacteria by raising the temperature of the raw chicken. 

3. How to defrost chicken in the microwave

To defrost chicken in the microwave, place it on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on the defrost setting for no more than five minutes at a time. You'll need to repeat this process until the chicken is thawed, but make sure you don't overdo it: if the chicken begins to cook while in the microwave, it won't be safe. You'll also need to cook your chicken as soon as you've defrost it to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. 

More poultry-based reading: