Can You Defrost Chicken in Microwave
What to know

Can You Defrost Chicken in Microwave? Yeah, But There Are Caveats

It takes a couple of hours or overnight exposure to room temperature in order to defrost a pack of chicken. You want to defrost this chicken quick and easy, of course. However, you probably don’t want to do it to the point of affecting its taste or risking germs to form or something.

Raw chicken left at room temperature for too long tends to be susceptible to bacterial growth. The last thing you want to do is suffer from food poisoning because you’re taking too quickly or too fast to defrost your bird icicle.

You want to properly and healthily defrost your microwave in a way that doesn’t lead to you getting salmonella when you eat it. So can you defrost chicken in Microwave? Yeah. It’s relatively easy to.

Defrosting Chicken in the Microwave

Defrosting by microwave is a popular method of thawing frozen chicken. It’s because it’s so easy and quick to do. It’s something most people use in case they forgot to put the chicken down from the freezer to the fridge for gradual thawing purposes.

  • Take note that you should be vigilant when it comes to microwave defrosting. Leaving it inside the oven for too long or on the wrong setting could render your chicken dinner unsafe to consume or inedible.
  • With that in mind, you should first place the frozen chicken on a microwaveable plate piece by piece. It’s better to thaw pieces of chicken instead of one whole chicken since it’s faster.
  • Press the defrost button or setting on your microwave for about minute-long increments. Keep an eye on the chicken pieces to check whether they’re defrosted yet or not.
  • When using the defrost feature of your microwave, you should cook that chicken immediately. Don’t delay any longer because that just increases your contamination risk post-thawing.

Again, you should be extra careful when it comes to leaving the chicken inside the microwave because you’re not cooking it you’re merely defrosting it. You don’t want it to start cooking because it’d taste bad or affect how it will be cooked later.

Can You Defrost Chicken in Microwave

Defrosting Chicken in Water

The easiest and probably safest way to defrost chicken is by submerging it in water. Here are the step-by-step instructions to properly do this defrosting technique.

  • Put the bird inside a sealed sandwich bag. Otherwise, keep your chicken inside the same package you froze it in. This is to prevent the water from entering it and contaminating your frozen bird.
  • Place your chicken bag inside a large, clean washing bowl or mixing bowl. From there, fill the bowl with cold water, submerging the bag with it. The water should be cold instead of lukewarm, warm, or hot.
  • The poultry will end up teeming with bacteria if it’s submerged in non-cold water. Every 30 minutes, you should change the water. The chicken should safely and gradually defrost this way.
  • Once defrosting is through, cook the chicken immediately. Don’t allow that bacteria to have a chance at contaminating that bird.

How long will all this take? It depends on how much-frozen bird you’re defrosting exactly. It takes about an hour to defrost 500 grams of chicken so 250 grams should take 30 minutes and a kilogram should take about two hours.

You may also like: Uses of a Microwave: The Many Applications of a Microwave Oven

Other Methods of Defrosting

You can actually defrost your chicken inside your fridge. Simply take your chicken out of the freezer and into the chiller. This way, the defrosting process is gradual instead of out of control, plus the coldness of the fridge will keep bacteria out.

This might be the safest method of all since it allows you to just leave the chicken in the fridge till it’s ready. However, plan ahead before doing this, and don’t forget that you’ve defrosted the chicken. It should probably take overnight for it to thaw this way.

How to Tell When the Chicken is Properly Defrosted

Check your chicken if it’s thoroughly thawed or not. You can do this by cutting a small slit on the thickest part of the thigh or breast.

Put your finger inside the chicken cut. Feel around it to make sure there are no remaining ice crystals. If you feel ice inside the flesh, that means the defrosting process hasn’t completed yet. You still need to wait for it to fully thaw out.

Placing the Chicken Inside a Sealed Sandwich Bag

One of the ways to ensure safe chicken thawing is by placing it inside a sealed sandwich bag. When defrosting via fridge, let it sit on a lipped plate or bowl in order to keep excess juices from leaking into other food, which should then lead to its spoilage.

Leave the plate at the bottom of your fridge for about 5 hours per 450 grams. Ideally, you should leave it there overnight so as to cook it in the morning. After the chicken is defrosted, you can keep your thawed chicken stored in the fridge for up to a whole day before using it.

The Lowdown on How to Safely Thaw Frozen Chicken

You should thaw whole chicken or larger chicken cuts in the refrigerator. It’s the safest way to thaw the bird without risking bacterial contamination down the line. This is because you can store the chicken safely inside the fridge or cooler for up to a whole day without it spoiling.

Furthermore, thawing the chicken in the fridge is preferable to microwave defrosting because the chicken could end up cooking on the outside before thawing the interior. This results in a terrible chicken dish when push comes to shove.

You can also thaw your chicken with a sandwich bag and a bowl of water. However, it takes quite a long time for a whole bird or large cut of chicken to thaw this way. With smaller cuts of chicken, it’s safer to thaw them via bowl or water or microwave defrosting.

The Final Verdict

It requires a little forethought when it comes to thawing frozen chicken. Even though it’s a relatively simple thing to do, you should still practice at least a modicum of carefulness or presence of mind. You should use a defrosting method that adheres to safety guidelines as well.

The quality and flavor of the final chicken dish will naturally be affected by how well you defrost it. If you want to avoid being forced to stew questionable meat then follow the guidelines above regarding how best to defrost your avian delight.


  1. Esther Clark, “How to defrost chicken“,, Retrieved March 30, 2021
  2. Katie Workman, “How to Defrost Chicken Fast“,, December 17, 2020

Through the years, the microwave oven has become a standard appliance for all homes. It is safe to say that there is no home without a microwave oven. If you are looking for a microwave oven that best fits your needs, You find the right website.

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