Defrosting Chicken In The Microwave (6 Easy Steps)

chicken microwave

Humans have been eating chicken for a very long time. The estimated length of time is 7,000 to 10,000 years ago. Humans have kept chickens for longer than that as well, starting in southeast asia and china.

They also think they found some evidence of people eating chickens in Israel. That leaves plenty of time for new recipes to come about and new ways to cook as well as heat the chicken up. 

We now have grocery stores and butchers that we can go to, to pick out the perfect chicken for our dinner recipes.

We use stoves and roasters as some of the cooking equipment, and we also use the refrigerator and the freezer to help keep our chicken fresh and ready to cook.

These will play big parts in the next things we talk about, especially the freezer and fridge. We also talk about the few ways to help cook the chicken as well.

So, if we do freeze our chicken, what are some ways we can thaw, or defrost, the chicken before cooking it?

Well, there’s a few ways to defrost one. You can use cold water and have the chicken submerged in it, ensuring to change the water until it thaws out. 

You can also use the fridge to defrost it as well. If you do this method however, it would help to do it the night before or two nights before.

You might be able to get away with doing it as soon as you wake up. That way it has a while to defrost. 

 There is one other way and we will be talking about it in this article, so if you want to know if you can and possibly how to defrost a chicken on the microwave, keep reading on!

frozen chicken

Can You Defrost Chicken In The Microwave?

You can absolutely defrost a chicken in the microwave if you are in a rush and need it done as soon as possible. Or maybe it just slipped your mind to take it out of the freezer. We have all been there once in our life.

There are a couple things you should know before you try to use this method. First, you have to make sure that the chicken is thawed throughout the entire chicken before you can even think about cooking it. If the middle is still frozen, the chicken wont cook evenly.

Second thing you should know is you need to be careful you don’t leave the chicken thawing in the microwave for too long. If you do there could be drying out and uneven cooking as well.

Of course one of the most important steps of preparing the chicken is properly defrosting it.

How to Defrost Chicken In The Microwave

There are steps to doing this properly, so let’s look at this step by step guide:

  1. Start by removing the chicken from the packaging it came in. If it seems a little frosty or icy, remove it.
  2. Place your chicken in a microwave safe bowl or you can use a dish instead. 
  3. Cover the dish/bowl with a lid or plastic wrap.
  4. Make sure you set your microwave to the defrost setting. Then you want to do 1-2 minute intervals per ounce of chicken.
  5. You want to check the chicken after a couple times if it is still not thawed, do 30 second intervals.
  6. Once it is thawed, you are going to want to cook it immediately. It will start to dry out if it sits for too long.

Do not forget the chicken could keep cooking once you pull it out of the microwave. So be careful if it is.

It could also be quite hot if you cut into it. So, let it sit for a minute or two before cutting into it.

How Long Does It Take To Defrost Chicken In The Microwave? 

You can’t wait for the long hours it takes for a chicken to defrost naturally, so you revert to the microwave method. This way is a lot faster and it only takes minutes instead of hours.

If youre in a rush or maybe this was a last minute idea and you have chicken in the fridge, this is a great method to use for those situations.

So, how long should it take for chicken to defrost in the microwave? It all depends on how much chicken you are trying to defrost at one time to be completely honest.

However, the average time is estimated from 8 to 15 minutes. Of course these are done in intervals, and do not forget to check it every once in a while, so you don’t accidentally overcook it.

If you do this, there are steps to it that I have listed above. Follow them to ensure you are defrosting in the microwave the proper and safe way. But the best way to defrost is naturally, if you have the time to wait.

More: Can You Microwave Cookie Dough

Can I Cook Chicken From Being Frozen?

Safety is always the number one priority when it comes to handling raw foods, especially meats. You want to always make sure you’re doing it right and properly so it will be safe to consume. 

Cooking frozen chicken is safe, however cooking time will take about 50% longer than if it was thawed out.

But you cannot cook frozen chicken in a slow cooker or a microwave. Doing it in the slow cooker will have the chicken slowly cooking in what’s called the ‘Danger Zone’ in temperature.

This zone ranges from 40 degrees to 140 degrees. Bacteria will be able to grow which is very dangerous for us to consume.

Cooking the entire chicken in the microwave is also not an option. The chicken will be cooked too quickly on the outside, not allowing the interior to be cooked properly and therefore making it inedible.

You can use the microwave to heat chicken up like stated above, but you will need to immediately cook it afterwards.

Thankfully, there’s a couple ways to do it, including the oven, stovetop, instant pot, and the air fryer. 

To do it in the oven, you will need to understand that cooking a chicken in the oven from frozen is the same process as from fresh, except that there are longer cooking times.

Because of this, it is better to start the frozen chicken at a lower temperature than you would if it was fresh, around 350 to 365 degrees, to help balance out the cooking time. The time is different for each part of the chicken. 

The stovetop method can be done by simmering. You can sauté it, but it could char the outside without fully cooking the inside.

So, the best way to do it on the stovetop is by simmering it in a pan sauce, broth, or some kind of jarred sauce. The broth or sauce will make your chicken moist.

Another method you can use is by using the instant pot. This way is fast and easy, like we would all expect from it.

To cook from frozen you will need to place the frozen chicken in the inner pot, no overlapping the chicken.

Sprinkle your desired seasonings on the chicken, then add a cup of broth. Using the manual button, set it at high pressure and the cooking time depending on your chicken.

Then just let the pressure naturally release from the instant pot for at least 5 minutes. Then a quick release, and let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before slicing or shredding.

The last way we are going to talk about in this article is using an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to the temperature 360 degrees, then rub the chicken with your preferred seasonings and some oil.

Add the chicken to the air dryer and set it for the temperature of the chicken, shaking it halfway through. Once your chicken thermometer says 165 degrees, and you’re good!

More: How to Defrost Ground Beef in Microwave

How Do You Defrost Frozen Chicken Quickly?

The quickest way to thaw, or defrost, your chicken is by running hot water into a bowl, the temperature of the water should be around 140 degrees, then you can submerge your chicken still in its packaging.

Stirring the water every once in a while will help keep cold water from forming. This technique should have your frozen chicken thawed within 30 minutes or less.

You can do it the other ways that were mentioned, like the microwave, but this will be the best and safer way.

What Happens If Chicken Starts To Cook While Defrosting?

Like it was stated before, meat safety is very important to abide by, so you and no one else gets sick. If it isn’t properly cooked, thawed and prepared there is a chance you could get very sick.

If the chicken starts to cook while defrosting, it could potentially start harboring bad bacteria and it can become unsafe to eat in a short amount of time. The best thing to do is to get rid of the chicken and start fresh.

You should take the chicken out of the microwave when the ice particles melt away because leaving it in too long will start to warm it and cook it.

How To Defrost Chicken In The Microwave Without Using The Defrost Button?

Defrosting chicken using the handy dandy defrost button on the microwave makes it a quick and easy task.

Press the button and it will start defrosting, and you can do whatever else for preparation.

But what if your microwave doesn’t come with a defrost button? Do not fret, because you can still use your microwave.

All you have to do is put your chicken in the microwave, then you will have to manually input the time you want to cook it for. 

You can also change the power to 30% by using the Power Level button, which is what you’ll want when defrosting manually. Make sure you are turning your chicken as well, every 2 minutes or so.

Is Defrosting In The Microwave Safe?

Using the microwave to defrost your meat is perfectly safe as long as you are following the proper procedures and you are looking out for any signs of it getting warm or cooking.

Make sure that you also immediately start cooking your chicken after you defrost it, like it is stated multiple times in this article. That way it is still safe after you use the microwave.

Sure, there are definitely safer ways to do it, like the fridge and the bowl of water method, but the microwave is a good method if you are in a hurry. 

Some Tips 

Thawing and cooking chicken can be a hassle in itself. But doing it the proper way will save you time, especially when you need it.

We have covered everything we needed to about decorating chicken using a lot of different appliances, but particularly microwaves. Although there are little tips that can help along the way as well.

Tips are always helpful and they can even help you thaw, or defrost, your chicken! Here are some that I gathered, just to help give it a little more thawing power:

  1. Leaving your chicken out at room temperature to thaw is dangerous and makes the chicken unsafe to eat. 
  2. Make sure you take the chicken out of its original packaging before you thaw using a microwave.
  3. The packaging can stay on if it is thawing in water, which helps with grip and easy handling of the chicken.
  4. If you are using the fridge to defrost your chicken and it is already unwrapped, putting it on a baking sheet or in a bowl should help keep any leaks or other things at bay.
  5. If you want to be extra safe that water doesn’t get on your chicken when you are defrosting via a water bowl, you can use a ziplock bag to put your chicken in. 
  6. After thawing your food, make sure you never refreeze the chicken, it is potentially unsafe to do so.
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