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How To Defrost Chicken In Microwave + 6 Tips And Tricks

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Frozen food straight from the store is often the simplest option for a large number of people, especially in today’s fast-paced world.

Chicken is one of the most common foods that come in this form, or perhaps scientifically better said in this aggregate state. 

But, of course, a good number of you may wonder what the best process is after you get the chicken in such a condition, in this case how to defrost chicken in the microwave.

So, although it is not very complicated, it is still necessary to know both basic steps and some useful tips, which can greatly help you and simplify things. And, you are in the right place to learn how to defrost chicken in microwave the most proper way.

Now, let’s find the best tricks and tips to defrost chicken in the microwave properly.

How To Defrost Chicken In Microwave In 3 Steps?

frozen chicken in the microwave

In this paragraph, I will go through several basic steps on how to defrost chicken in  microwave in a simple and effective way.

1. Removing Frozen Chicken From The Packaging

If you bought frozen chicken from the store and you want to defrost it immediately, the first logical step you should take is to unpack it. Then it is good to immediately put it on a microwave-safe plate.

The main reason for using a microwave-safe plate is, as the name suggests, safety, primarily of the meat, but also of the entire defrosting process.

2. Properly Adjusting Your Microwave

After you have taken the chicken out of the package and placed it in the microwave-safe dish, it is very important to adjust the defrost settings correctly.

And the best way is to set your microwave, not on full power, but at 50% of power, and for two minutes per pound of chicken.

Your best option is to use the defrost button, of course, if your microwave has one. If it is a modern one, chances are that it has.

It is located on the microwave keypad and, when you press it, the system will automatically set it on 30 to 50% of full power before doing its thing. 

3. Cooking Your Thawed Chicken

When the process in the microwave is complete, it is important to emphasize that the best option is to cook the chicken immediately.The reason for this is that room temperature can favor the growth of harmful bacteria.

In some specific cases, it is possible to put it in the fridge for some time, but you should only do it if you really have to because it is not really recommended. 

An additional great tip at this stage before you take the chicken out of the microwave for cooking time, just in case, check if there is any parts still  frozen and, if so, maybe leave it for another 2 to 3 minutes to thaw completely.

2 Extra Safe Ways To Defrost Chicken In The Microwave

the chicken is thawed in the microwave

An important question is whether it is even safe to defrost chicken in the microwave. Well, the general answer is yes. But, there are two notes to go through to essentially answer this question.

1. You Cannot Cook Frozen Chicken

First things first, it is very important to know that you can’t cook frozen chicken under any circumstances. Why do I emphasize this?

Because it can happen that a certain part of chicken remains insufficiently thawed, and this can lead to bacterial growth. And we all know what harmful bacteria can do to our health.

Therefore, it is primarily important to check whether the whole chicken has been thawed properly before sending it to the pot or oven.

2. Be Careful Not To Cook The Chicken In The Microwave

Another important instruction is also related to bacteria growth, i.e. to prevent the development of bacteria.

It is about the fact that it is important to pay extra attention to the length of time you keep the chicken in the microwave so that you don’t accidentally cook it in the microwave itself.

As we already know, cooking insufficiently thawed chicken will lead to undesirable bacterial growth that can lead to food poisoning and health problems.

2 Good Alternative Methods To Defrosting Chicken

the chicken is thawed with cold water

As I have already said, the process in which you can defrost frozen chicken in the microwave is not the only method of defrosting, but there are two other very good methods still worth mentioning.

1. Defrosting In The Fridge

Although the defrosting time is much longer than is the case with the microwave method, this is certainly the safest way to defrost your chicken. Also, you can marinate frozen chicken and then place it in the fridge to defrost.

• The first important thing that you must do before you even put your frozen meat in the fridge is to set the internal temperature to below 5°C. A higher temperature may cause the growth of bacteria.

• The second important thing is to put the packaging in a large bowl or plastic bag. The reason for this is to stop juices and drips leaking onto other food in the fridge.

• Another important tip is to put it on the bottom of the fridge to stop raw chicken juices from contacting other food.

And in the end, it should be said that you will have to keep the chicken in the fridge for about 5 hours per 450 grams. And when it has thawed enough, it can be stored in the fridge for another 24 hours before use.

2. The Cold Water Method

A very good method to thaw your chicken in the best possible way. However, the question arises: why cold water? Why not hot water?

Well, I’ve already talked about this when I referred to the risks of cooking frozen chicken, and that this can cause the growth of harmful bacteria.

It’s exactly the same thing with hot water, where the frozen chicken would be suddenly warmed up and this would create too much risk for bacteria growth.

So, the cold water method. This method actually branches into two sub-methods:

• The method of defrosting in changing cold water

The first one is the method of defrosting in cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, as suggested by the USDA.

This is considered the best defrosting method, where you can submerge your chicken in a cold water bath, and it is proven that you will get the best results. It doesn’t take much time (only about 1 to 1.5 hours) and it is a very safe method.

• The method of defrosting in cold, running water

The second sub-method is the method of defrosting in cold, running water. With this method, the only difference is that the cold water flows constantly, so it is not necessary to change it as in the previous case.

But, of course, that is why a much larger amount of water is consumed and the average time is not much less than in the previous case.

4 Risks Of Defrosting Chicken In The Microwave

black microwave frozen chicken

Risks are an integral part of life, like most aspects of life. It is the same in this case.

But, of course, it should be emphasized that with adequate knowledge of the possible risks associated with defrosting chicken in the microwave, it is very possible to make good prevention of all unwanted consequences.

Let’s start with risks:

• First, there is the risk of bacterial growth and the associated risk of food poisoning.

• Second, warm temperatures can rapidly multiply bacteria and that is something that should always be kept in mind.

• Then, refreezing improperly thawed chicken can make the meat tough and dry. It can also lose nutrients because of that.

• And, finally, if you don’t defrost the chicken properly, it may lead to overcooked or undercooked parts.

As you can see, there are certain risks that can lead to consequences that put you in the danger zone, but if you stick to the recommended steps and the knowledge of the possible risks, you can get the best results.

6 Interesting Tips And Tricks

Now let’s move on to a slightly more pleasant topic. Tips and tricks are always useful in almost every process, so it is in this case as well. And it is certain that it will help you achieve a great result, in this case a nice slice of tasty chicken.

So, let’s look at some useful tips and tricks that will help you get your perfect delicious chicken:

1. First, it is essential to remove the whole bird packaging, and also to remove any possible ice crystals from your chicken.

2. Before you put your chicken or chicken pieces into the microwave, it is a good idea to cover it with damp paper towels, or perhaps with plastic wrap.

3. If your microwave doesn’t possess a defrost button, you will have to set your microwave power to 50% because higher power can cause it to cook unevenly.

4. Check the defrosting process to make sure that your chicken is properly defrosted.

5. You must make sure that the chicken does not thaw too much, that is, it does not start cooking in the microwave itself.

6. Because of the food safety guidelines, it is not out of place to repeat that the best solution is to cook the chicken immediately after defrosting it in the microwave oven due to the very high risk of the development of harmful bacteria, as recommended by the USDA. You should do the same before refreezing it.

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

the woman takes the defrosted chicken out of the microwave

The general answer to this question is 2 minutes per pound of chicken, but there are also factors like the size of the chicken and the wattage of your microwave.

The time needed to check the condition of the chicken itself, i.e. how far it is from being thawed, should also be added to this.

When all of this is taken into account, the time needed to defrost chicken is obtained.

And then you are free to sit back on your comfortable couch and wait for your microwave to do its job. 

What To Do Without A Defrost Button?

Firstly, it is essential to put your chicken on a microwave-safe plate. Then, as I already said, you must put your microwave on 50% of full power for about 2 minutes.

After that, you must check if it is defrosted properly. If not, then it is better to let it continue for another minute to defrost properly.

When you are sure of that, you must cook it right away and then restore it in the fridge.

This is the best and easiest way to properly and most efficiently defrost chicken in your microwave oven.

How To Defrost Chicken Breasts In The Microwave?

First, you must place one or two pieces of the breast on a microwave-safe plate, and then set the microwave for one minute of defrosting and check it over, of course.

When you check it over, it’s a good idea to let it thaw for an extra 30 seconds just in case, to be 100 percent sure that it has thawed.

 After checking it again to ensure it’s properly defrosted, it is best to cook it right away.

After cooking it, you can freeze your cooked chicken or put it in the fridge. If you choose to freeze it, the USDA recommends that you keep it frozen for 3 to 4 months not for safety but for quality reasons.

Frozen chicken breasts, whether they are on the bone or boneless, must be defrosted before you prepare them for cooking.

And The Conclusion Is…

After taking this knowledge into account on how you defrost chicken in the microwave, you’ll find it is easy to do it on your own. There are a few more tips, tricks, and questions on how to defrost chicken in microwave, of course.

But I have tried my best to answer the most important questions that can be asked on this important topic in the most concise and effective way.

I’m sure that this article will greatly help you and make it easier for you to defrost your chicken, chicken breasts, or chicken thighs in the best, safest, and most efficient way.