How many times have you come home after a hard day prepared to cook a delicious chicken recipe only to realize you forgot to defrost the chicken? In such time-crunched situations, you can always count on your microwave to come to the rescue.
Defrosting chicken in the microwave is a quick and easy process, but you need to make sure to use the correct settings to prevent any mess. So, here’s a handy guide on the appropriate microwaving steps and some tips and tricks on how to defrost chicken in microwave.
Do You Need to Defrost Chicken Before Cooking?
Yes, you must defrost chicken before cooking any recipe.
When you’re short on time, it might be tempting to throw the chicken directly into the pan straight from the freezer and cook your chicken recipe immediately. But this is something you should never do. Keeping the taste and texture aside, cooking frozen chicken might lead to several foodborne illnesses.
This is because when you cook a frozen chicken before fully defrosting it, there are chances that the chicken’s center part remains raw while the outer edges get cooked or even overcooked. This can create a comfortable environment for bacteria to thrive and grow inside your chicken.
Is it Safe to Cook Chicken Before Defrosting it?
The US Department of Agriculture says it’s okay to cook frozen chicken in the oven or on the stovetop without first defrosting it. Keep in mind, though, that you might need 50 percent more time to cook frozen chicken than to cook a fully thawed chicken.
So, if your recipe suggests 30 minutes of cooking time on the stovetop or in the oven, you might need an hour to cook frozen chicken. Make sure to use a food thermometer to check whether the chicken has been completely cooked before you eat it. When the internal temperature reaches at least 165℉ all over, it’s safe to dig in.
The USDA suggests two other ways of defrosting chicken apart from the microwave method. First is submerging a sealed bag containing frozen chicken pieces in cold water or placing it in the fridge overnight. Never use hot water to defrost chicken as it can promote bacterial growth. Second, to minimize and prevent bacteria growth, cook the chicken immediately after thawing.
Can You Defrost Chicken in the Microwave?
Yes, as long as you take the appropriate steps mentioned below, it’s absolutely safe to defrost chicken in the microwave.
Is It Safe to Defrost Chicken in the Microwave?
Yes, it’s safe to defrost chicken in the microwave. It’s also the quickest method of thawing chicken. But if you don’t microwave the chicken properly, it may result in hot spots where some meat parts get cooked while others remain raw. This is again dangerous as it can cause foodborne diseases to develop.
And if you don’t take the proper measures, your chicken might start cooking if the timer is set for too long. A microwave uses low power heat to thaw frozen meat, and once defrosted, the meat starts cooking slowly.
Likewise, defrosted chicken is perishable and shouldn’t be kept at room temperature for long. Hence, the thawed chicken should be cooked and consumed immediately to prevent the growth of foodborne bacteria. Always remember to not refreeze the chicken after defrosting, and it’s only after cooking it perfectly can you freeze it again.
How To Defrost Chicken in Microwave
Here are the steps to defrost chicken in the microwave.
#1. Remove the chicken from the freezer and unpack it.
#2. Place the chicken in a microwave-safe bowl that is large enough to fit the chicken and can prevent the excess juice from spilling out.
#3. Clock in the defrost setting on your microwave.
#4. If your microwave doesn’t have the defrost option by default, set it to 30–50% power.
#5. The time depends on the weight and quantity of the chicken. But if you’re unsure, defrost it for two minutes, let it stand for one minute, check progress, and repeat.
#6. After every round, separate and loosen up the parts. Along with accelerating the thawing process, this will ensure there are no hotspots created inside.
#7. It’s best to place boneless and skinless chicken pieces in the microwave as they tend to thaw faster and better than a whole chicken.
#8. Don’t keep the chicken inside for too long as it can start to cook. And once defrosted, consume immediately.
How Long Does It Take To Defrost Chicken In the Microwave
Depending on the amount of chicken used and the wattage of your microwave, it can take anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes.
Tips On How to Defrost Chicken in the Microwave
Here are some quick tips for defrosting chicken in your microwave.
#1. Microwave settings can differ from brand to brand. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions properly for the best results.
#2. To prevent the frozen chicken from completely drying out during microwaving, don’t overextend the timer limit.
#3. Never place the frozen chicken in a microwave before removing its plastic packaging.
#4. When any frozen meat begins thawing, it releases juices that can cause a mess in your microwave. Place a microwave-safe plate made of glass or ceramic to collect those dripping juices.
#5. For better results, defrost the chicken for 2 minutes at a time by using the microwave’s defrost setting.
#6. Most modern microwaves come with a default rotating feature. But if yours doesn’t, manually turn the meat every 2 minutes to ensure adequate defrosting of all areas.
#7. Instead of placing the whole meat inside the microwave, cut it into pieces first. Along with proper defrosting, this method can also prevent overcooked hotspots.
#8. Cook the chicken immediately after it’s defrosted to prevent the growth of foodborne bacteria.
A Few Parting Words
Hopefully, this brief guide on how to defrost chicken in microwave will help you cook your chicken properly.
Contracting foodborne illness from consuming uncooked chicken is very common. And the perils of consuming improperly handled chicken are plenty. Be vigilant while the chicken defrosts in your microwave.
Clocking in the wrong settings or leaving it in for too long or too little can leave the chicken spoilt and non-consumable. Remember, however tempting it may be to try cooking frozen meat, a fully thawed chicken is not only easy to cook but can also keep the bacteria at bay.