It is dinner time, you’ve got plans to make a delicious fried chicken dish with some yummy sides. You go to the fridge to grab the chicken and you can’t find the chicken! It hits you, and you realize something terrible! You forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer the night before, and it is still frozen! Now you have to figure out how to thaw that chicken as fast as humanly possible or dinner is ruined. What a dilemma!
This kind of thing happens all the time. People are very busy! Sometimes, they are too busy to remember to thaw the chicken the night before. This leads you to ask a ton of questions. How can you speed up the thawing process? Can you just sit it on the counter to thaw or soak it in hot water? Is it safe? What about using a microwave oven? Can you defrost chicken in microwave ovens? Yes, you can defrost chicken in a microwave! But before I get into that, let’s discuss the other methods you can or can’t use.
Can You Defrost Chicken in Hot Water?
There are several different ways to defrost your chicken. Some are safe and some aren’t. All raw meats have temperature ranges called, “danger zones,” which are temperatures in which the meat can go bad. This is why we always store meat in the refrigerator or freezer. It has to stay at a particular temperature in order to be safe to consume.
The same idea goes to meats when they are being thawed out. You still have to keep the meat out of the danger zones in order for it to be safe. Danger zones are temperature ranges your meat can fall under that encourages bacterial growth. If you allow the meat to grow bacteria during the thawing process, it can make you sick when you consume it; even after it has been cooked.
Let’s discuss defrosting chicken in hot water. It sounds like one of the best ideas to get your chicken to thaw out quickly. You need to cook dinner asap, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, hot water places frozen chicken in the danger zone thus making it unsafe to eat. It is better to thaw the chicken out in cold water. The process takes longer, however, you can be assured that you aren’t going to make yourself or your family sick.
Can You Defrost Your Chicken on Your Countertop?
Another defrosting method that people are tempted to use is sitting the chicken on the countertop to thaw at room temperature. I’ve been tempted to try this method when I’ve realized I still had a few hours before I had to cook. I figured I could just leave it out of the fridge at room temperature, and let it start melting off the frost. What’s the harm in that?
Well, the harm is that unfortunately unless your house is as cold as the inside of your fridge, this can be dangerous too. That is right! The room temperature in your house is also another danger zone for meat. The chicken can very well grow bacteria at room temperature, ruining the meat before you can even start to cook it. Let’s not ruin dinner!
It is safest to let the chicken thaw in the fridge overnight; but if you can’t wait overnight, you can thaw it in a bowl of cold water. What if you’re on a really tight schedule, and you have no time to let it thaw in cold water? That leads us to want to use a microwave! So how can you defrost chicken in microwave ovens? Is it really safe?
Is It Safe to Defrost Chicken in the Microwave? Yes, It Is.
Have you ever noticed that little magical button on your microwave that says, “defrost.” Some microwave ovens have a button that says, “auto-defrost” or “power defrost.” However, as long as it says “defrost,” you won’t ever have to stress when you forget to thaw out your chicken again. The defrost button on microwaves was designed to do exactly what it says. It defrosts meat.
When you use this setting, it will usually ask you to enter the amount of meat you are trying to defrost in pounds. You push the button and presto! You will have thawed out meat within minutes. No more ruined dinners thanks to your handy dandy microwave! But is it safe? Thawing meat quickly in hot water or room temperature isn’t safe. Why would thawing it in the microwave be safe? Well, the truth is that it can still bring the meat into the danger zone.
The difference why this way is safer is that it thaws very quickly, and then you can cook it right away. It isn’t in the danger zone long enough to grow harmful bacteria. When it sits on your countertop or hot water, the thawing process takes longer, and bacteria have time to flourish. Don’t stress about defrosting chicken in the microwave, but get it cooked quickly
Can You Defrost Chicken in Microwave Ovens? Yes, You Can!
How can you defrost chicken in microwave ovens? Easily! Now that you know what you know, it doesn’t matter that you forgot to set the chicken in the fridge the night before to thaw. You’ve got a solution for that!
Although it is ideal to let the chicken thaw overnight in the fridge; if you’ve got some extra time, you can sit it in some cold water and be assured that it will still be safe to eat. You know to never ever leave your chicken on your countertop to defrost.
You also know to never thaw it out in a bowl of hot water. It is very important to you and your family’s health to keep chicken out of the danger zone. If you end up needing to thaw your chicken super fast, remember that you can throw it in the microwave for a few minutes!
It is really magical! Keep in mind that you’re going to have to cook that chicken immediately just to be safe. That won’t be a problem; since the whole point was to thaw it quickly so you could cook it right away. Let’s give a big thanks to whoever invented the microwave! Now you can cook a quick and delicious meal for you and your family.