How to Defrost Frozen Chicken
Nobody wants food poisoning! That’s why it is important to know how to defrost frozen chicken safely.
What you need to know about thawing frozen chicken
Make sure that you know how to defrost frozen chicken safely. One big mistake that people make is not thoroughly checking the joints your chicken, even if it looks thawed from the outside, the meat at the center may still be partially frozen or have remaining ice crystals. So even if you follow the cooking instructions step by step, the center may still not be properly cooked. This can spoil the taste and change the texture of your meat. Additionally, uncooked chicken puts you at serious risk of food poisoning. Don’t leave your chicken on the counter to defrost or thaw. Bacteria will begin to grow and spoil your food within a couple of hours in any environment with a temperature of more than 40 degrees F. Even in the fridge, where the temperature is cooler, food will begin to spoil in a day or two. So, keep your chicken and other meat (or seafood) frozen until you are ready to use it. Then make sure to defrost it the right way.
Defrosting Chicken in Water
When thawing frozen chicken, be sure to use cold water. Using warm water runs the risk of uneven thawing and bacteria growth. First make sure your frozen chicken is in a watertight package. Using a vacuum seal machine when freezing will make this step easy. Any leaks in the package will allow the meat to get wet and begin the process of spoiling.
A good timing guideline is to allow a thawing time of 30 minutes per pound. It is also important to change the water approximately once every 30 minutes because the frozen meat cools the water even more and can slow down the defrosting process.
It is also important to keep the packages submerged. Packages of frozen meat will float in water. Many people will use a pan or something heavy to keep them down. A great tool for this is the Versa Rack ® which is easy to use and fits most sinks. You should always cook your chicken the same day you defrost it.
Generally speaking, the safest way to defrost is in the refrigerator. The problem is this can take a long time, a big roaster for instance can take days. This works well if you’re a planner, but not if you need to thaw quickly for a family dinner. You can store chicken for up to three days once it has been defrosted using this method.
A third option is to use your microwave. If you are going to use this method, make sure to cook your food immediately after defrosting. Also keep in mind that defrost times can vary in different microwaves with different energy levels. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model of microwave for de-frosting food. Many people note that using a microwave to defrost chicken has changed the taste. This indicates that you must thoroughly check that the meat is ready for cooking, a good tool for this is a kitchen thermometer.