How to Thaw Chicken Fast

Christine Albury

Need to know how to thaw chicken fast? We've got the answer on how to do it safely!

We’ve all been there. It’s 5:30 p.m., and there’s nothing to cook for dinner except frozen chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks.

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Now what?

We need a way to defrost the chicken pieces quickly and safely. The fastest way is using the microwave, where it will take about 7-9 minutes per pound, depending on the make of your appliance.

Keep in mind, if you have a whole chicken, it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator for a couple days.

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Thawing Chicken in the Microwave

  1. Place your package of chicken on a microwave-safe plate and put in the microwave.
  2. Heat on the defrost setting of your microwave for a minute or two, just enough to be able to pry the chicken pieces out of the package.
  3. Discard the package, clean your plate, and place the frozen chicken directly on the plate.
  4. Cover the chicken loosely with wax paper to prevent any juices from splashing your microwave.
  5. Heat on the defrost setting according to your microwave’s instructions per pound of poultry, but subtract a minute or two.
  6. Keep an eye on the chicken to make sure it’s not getting cooked on the edges. You just want it thawed.
  7. Cook the thawed chicken immediately.
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Thawing Chicken in Water

  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Don’t use warm or hot water, as that can cause bacteria to grow while you’re thawing the chicken.
  1. Place your package of frozen chicken in the bowl, submerging it under the water.  After 10 minutes or so, remove the chicken from the package and place the meat in a resealable plastic bag.
  1. Drain the water from your bowl (the water won’t be cold enough anymore) and replace it with fresh, cold water. Submerge the bag of chicken in your bowl.
  1. Wait another 10 minutes and check on the progress. You may need to change the water again.
  1. It should take up to 30 minutes total to thaw your chicken pieces.

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Christine Albury

About Christine

I'm a mom of 5 and love making healthy baby food with wholesome, natural ingredients. In 2005 I started the Homemade Baby Food Recipes website, sharing recipes for everything from simple fruit purees to gourmet curries for the baby food connoisseur! You'll also find plenty of tried and tested tips to help encourage even the most reluctant diner to enjoy a wide range of nutritious new foods. If you enjoy cooking, then you will LOVE learning to become head chef for a very special little customer!