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The “Cold Water Method” Will Defrost Your Chicken Safely and Quickly

When it comes to quick-and-easy staples to have in the the kitchen, everyone knows that chicken is king; this lean white meat is not only a healthy dinner option, it’s also a versatile meat that can be prepared in so many different ways, from tasty finger foods to delicious grilled chicken breast dishes. Of course, despite all of those amazing chicken breast recipes you have bookmarked, it’s inevitable that you’ll someday find yourself with the chicken still in the freezer come dinnertime — which is when you’ll need to know exactly how to defrost chicken safely and quickly.

Luckily, there are several different ways to safely thaw your frozen chicken just in time for a delicious, no-fuss meal. Here, we’ve outlined three different methods to defrost chicken as recommended by the USDA, so you can decide which one best suits your current needs. One thing to remember, though, is that you should never thaw your chicken by leaving it out on the counter or submerging it in hot water, as this will allow bacteria to multiply rapidly. (Of course, you could also skip the thawing altogether and just cook it frozen as is, but this method will make the cooking time about 50 percent longer.) Whether you’re cooking up chicken to include in a healthy sandwich or planning to bake it with some veggies, here’s how to defrost chicken in three safe methods:

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The Refrigerator Method (One Day)

This method takes the most amount of planning ahead, as it takes at least a full day for the chicken to thaw, but it’s also the safest and most recommended. To defrost using this method, simply place your frozen chicken in the refrigerator; make sure your refrigerator temperature is set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and keep the chicken wrapped and placed in a container, tray, or dish that will prevent the juices from leaking onto other foods (you can also place it in the bottom shelf of the fridge for this purpose).

As for the length of time it takes to defrost, a large whole chicken may require at least 24 hours for every 5 pounds of weight, while a smaller amount of chicken — such as a pound of boneless chicken breasts — may take a full day. Once thawed, your chicken can remain in the fridge for an additional day or two before cooking; it can also be refrozen without cooking, though there may be some loss of quality.

The Cold Water Method (One Hour)

Though faster than refrigerator thawing, this method requires more attention. First, place your chicken in a leak-proof package or plastic bag; this step is important as it prevents any bacteria from the air or surrounding environment to be introduced to the food, and also prevents the water from damaging the meat tissue. Fill a large bowl (or your kitchen sink) with cold water; then, submerge the bag containing the chicken in the water. Remember to change the water every 30 minutes so it continues to thaw.

Small packages of chicken (about a pound) may defrost in an hour or less, while packages of 3 to 4 pounds can take 2 to 3 hours, according to the USDA. Chicken that is thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately — or if refreezing, should be cooked before being placed in the freezer.

The Microwave Method (10 Minutes)

If you’re short on time, using a microwave is the fastest method to defrost chicken. To safely thaw chicken in the microwave, remove any packaging before placing it in a microwave-safe dish or container and covering the dish loosely. Use the defrosting setting on your microwave to defrost for two minutes at a time, checking the meat and turning or flipping it periodically to ensure even thawing. (If you don’t have a defrost setting, set your microwave to cook at 20–30 percent of its full power.) Depending on the wattage of your microwave and the size and thickness of the chicken, defrosting will take seven to eight minutes per pound.

One important thing to remember is that chicken that’s thawed in a microwave should always be cooked immediately after defrosting. Since microwaves may heat up the chicken to temperatures in which bacteria thrive, promptly cooking the chicken to proper temperatures is the only way that will ensure that the potentially dangerous bacteria be destroyed. Only once the chicken is cooked is it safe to refreeze.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

This commenting section is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information on their web site.

When it comes to quick-and-easy staples to have in the the kitchen, everyone knows that chicken is king; this lean white meat is not only a healthy dinner option, it’s also a versatile meat that can be prepared in so many different ways, from tasty finger foods to delicious grilled chicken breast dishes. Of course, despite all of those amazing chicken breast recipes you have bookmarked, it’s inevitable that you’ll someday find yourself with the chicken still in the freezer come dinnertime — which is when you’ll need to know exactly how to defrost chicken safely and quickly.

Luckily, there are several different ways to safely thaw your frozen chicken just in time for a delicious, no-fuss meal. Here, we’ve outlined three different methods to defrost chicken as recommended by the USDA, so you can decide which one best suits your current needs. One thing to remember, though, is that you should never thaw your chicken by leaving it out on the counter or submerging it in hot water, as this will allow bacteria to multiply rapidly. (Of course, you could also skip the thawing altogether and just cook it frozen as is, but this method will make the cooking time about 50 percent longer.) Whether you’re cooking up chicken to include in a healthy sandwich or planning to bake it with some veggies, here’s how to defrost chicken in three safe methods:

This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

The Refrigerator Method (One Day)

This method takes the most amount of planning ahead, as it takes at least a full day for the chicken to thaw, but it’s also the safest and most recommended. To defrost using this method, simply place your frozen chicken in the refrigerator; make sure your refrigerator temperature is set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and keep the chicken wrapped and placed in a container, tray, or dish that will prevent the juices from leaking onto other foods (you can also place it in the bottom shelf of the fridge for this purpose).

As for the length of time it takes to defrost, a large whole chicken may require at least 24 hours for every 5 pounds of weight, while a smaller amount of chicken — such as a pound of boneless chicken breasts — may take a full day. Once thawed, your chicken can remain in the fridge for an additional day or two before cooking; it can also be refrozen without cooking, though there may be some loss of quality.

The Cold Water Method (One Hour)

Though faster than refrigerator thawing, this method requires more attention. First, place your chicken in a leak-proof package or plastic bag; this step is important as it prevents any bacteria from the air or surrounding environment to be introduced to the food, and also prevents the water from damaging the meat tissue. Fill a large bowl (or your kitchen sink) with cold water; then, submerge the bag containing the chicken in the water. Remember to change the water every 30 minutes so it continues to thaw.

Small packages of chicken (about a pound) may defrost in an hour or less, while packages of 3 to 4 pounds can take 2 to 3 hours, according to the USDA. Chicken that is thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately — or if refreezing, should be cooked before being placed in the freezer.

The Microwave Method (10 Minutes)

If you’re short on time, using a microwave is the fastest method to defrost chicken. To safely thaw chicken in the microwave, remove any packaging before placing it in a microwave-safe dish or container and covering the dish loosely. Use the defrosting setting on your microwave to defrost for two minutes at a time, checking the meat and turning or flipping it periodically to ensure even thawing. (If you don’t have a defrost setting, set your microwave to cook at 20–30 percent of its full power.) Depending on the wattage of your microwave and the size and thickness of the chicken, defrosting will take seven to eight minutes per pound.

One important thing to remember is that chicken that’s thawed in a microwave should always be cooked immediately after defrosting. Since microwaves may heat up the chicken to temperatures in which bacteria thrive, promptly cooking the chicken to proper temperatures is the only way that will ensure that the potentially dangerous bacteria be destroyed. Only once the chicken is cooked is it safe to refreeze.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

This commenting section is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information on their web site.

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