Leaving chicken at room temperature can be unsafe and cause illness.
Here are two safe ways to thaw frozen chicken
How to Defrost Chicken:
Depending on how much time you have, frozen chicken can defrosted in the refrigerator or a cold water bath. Both methods have their pros and cons, but in the end, youll have thawed chicken thats ready to be cooked.
How to Thaw in Cold Water
A water bath is the best method to thaw frozen meats if youre short on time.
Place the meat in a leak-proof, zip-top bag to avoid the water getting in and making your meat soggy.
Submerge your bag in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes.
Small bags (around 1 pound) may take up to an hour. A 3 to 4-pound bag may take 2 to 3 hours.
Foods thawed using this method should be cooked before re-freezing. Youll want to cook your meat fairly quickly after thawing, depending on how long your meat has been out of the fridge.
Thawing Chicken in the Refrigerator:
The safest way to thaw meat is by moving it to the refrigerator first, but that involves some planning in advance and can take up to 2 days, depending on how much-frozen chicken.
Allow up to 24 hours per 1 to 5 pounds of frozen meat.
Its best to keep the meat in the bottom drawer so that if anything leaks, it doesnt contaminate food stored below it. If your chicken has already been unwrapped, place it in a bowl or pan to catch all the juices. Gross, right? But its one more thing to avoid a mishap.
Refrigerators set at 35F take longer to thaw than those set at 40F so check your fridges settings before you get started so you can know what to expect.
Fridge-thawed items remain safe for a day or so and can be refrozen if needed (but there might be some loss of quality).
If youre not cooking right away, store thawed meats in the coldest parts of your refrigerator (mostly that means towards the back of the fridge).
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