Thawing Chicken Safely in a Microwave

You’re about to get started with making your evening meal, only to realize that you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer before you needed it.

So your chicken is still frozen solid, which means you’ll have to go hungry, right? There’s no need to panic, there is a super easy way to defrost your chicken using your microwave oven.

Thawing Chicken Safely in a Microwave

It couldn’t be easier to use your microwave to defrost your frozen chicken. However, there are a few caveats that you will need to bear in mind when it comes to using your microwave to thaw your chicken.

It will be important to make sure that you use the correct settings so that you don’t cook your chicken accidentally.

So how do you defrost your chicken safely in your microwave?

Make sure to first remove your frozen chicken from all its original plastic packaging. Next, you will need to use a microwave safe plate to place your chicken on.

Now you will want to select the defrost setting on your microwave to ensure that your chicken thaws out properly. Typically chicken needs around 2 minutes per pound to thaw out thoroughly.

Today, we’re going to extensively cover the issue of defrosting your chicken safely in your microwave. So you’ll have all the know-how you need in order to properly thaw your chicken and use it safely with your next dish. 

Can You Thaw Chicken in a Microwave?

Yes, you can indeed thaw your chicken by using your microwave! In fact, this is the quickest and easiest method to do so.

Make sure to put your frozen chicken on a microwave safe plate, select the defrost setting, then set the time accordingly. Your chicken will need to be defrosted for around 2 minutes for every pound.

Make sure to keep an eye on your poultry while it defrosts. This is because if you thaw it in your microwave for extended periods of time, you will run the risk of the meat starting to cook. Make sure to open the door every couple of minutes to ensure that your chicken is defrosting properly.

It will be important to only use your defrost setting to try and thaw out your chicken. This is because if you were to use the standard heating settings, this will start to cook your chicken. The chicken will also start to cook if it’s left alone for too long.

You should use your freshly defrosted chicken immediately after you have finished thawing it. This is to prevent any food borne bacteria from developing on the meat itself. The longer your chicken is left untouched, the more likely bacteria will start to populate it.

Can You Thaw Chicken Safely in your Microwave?

You’ll be pleased to know that it is perfectly safe to defrost your frozen chicken using your microwave. This is actually the quickest method to thaw your chicken safely so that you can use it for cooking. 

The only caveat to remember is that you shouldn’t set your defrost timer for too long when trying to thaw out your chicken. This is because your chicken will start to cook if it is left to heat for long periods of time, even if you are using the defrost setting. 

Your microwave typically uses a much lower level of heat to defrost items such as your frozen chicken. So if your chicken is exposed to this heat over a longer period of time, it will still start to cook.

Remember that it will be best to use your newly thawed chicken for cooking straightaway. You also shouldn’t leave it out at room temperature for extended periods of time.

Your freshly thawed chicken will need to be placed in your refrigerator within 2 hours. Anything over this time could increase the production of food borne bacteria that you want to avoid.

Should I Thaw my Frozen Chicken Before Cooking It?

Yes, you should always thaw your chicken thoroughly before you use it for cooking. This is because any chicken which hasn’t been defrosted first will end up overcooking on the outside while staying raw and uncooked in the middle. 

There are three main methods that you can use to defrost your chicken before you need it for cooking. You can take it out of your freezer the night before, then allow it to defrost naturally over a period of 24 hours in your refrigerator.

You could place your frozen chicken in a sealed bag, then run it under cold water. Or, the most efficient way to defrost your chicken is to use the microwave method.

Once you have thawed your frozen chicken properly, it will be much easier to use in cooking. If you cook your now thawed chicken straightaway, there will be less chance of harmful bacteria appearing on it.

How To Thaw Chicken Fast?

It couldn’t be easier to defrost your chicken fast. All you need to do is place your frozen chicken on a microwave safe plate or dish that doesn’t need a cover.

Next, you will need to use your defrost setting to blitz your chicken for around 2 minutes for every pound of meat. Remember to check your food every now and then to ensure that it is defrosting evenly and that the meat isn’t cooking.

In order to thaw your chicken safely, you will need to remove it from all of its original plastic packaging. You can also use a microwave safe lid placed over your chicken to help trap any steam. This will start to gradually warm your meat instead of cooking it.

Once the timer has finished, and you notice that your chicken is still frozen slightly, then you can continue using the defrost setting in 30 second blasts to allow your meat to thaw out completely.

How Long Does It Take to Thaw Chicken in a Microwave?

Thawing Chicken Safely in a Microwave 1

The general rule of thumb for defrosting chicken in your microwave is that it will take around 2 minutes for each pound of chicken. Another thing to bear in mind is that it will also entirely depend on the wattage of your microwave.

If you have a lower wattage microwave, it will take much longer to thaw out your chicken than it will if you had a higher wattage microwave.

It will also be entirely dependent on how many pieces of chicken you are trying to defrost at any one time, as well as how thick each piece of chicken is.

To get the best results from thawing your frozen chicken, it will be best to only place around one or two chicken pieces in your microwave at any one time. This will allow your chicken to defrost quicker.

Set your defrost setting for around 2 minutes for each pound of your chicken, then monitor it to ensure that it doesn’t cook.

To ensure that your chicken is able to evenly defrost, make sure to turn it over around halfway through defrosting. This will prevent your chicken from having frozen spots at the end of the thawing process.

Should You Thaw Chicken over Long Periods of Time?

The short answer is that no, you shouldn’t thaw your chicken over longer periods of time. This is because the longer your chicken is exposed to the heat in your microwave, the more likely it will be to cook the meat.

There is also the likelihood that food borne bacteria can increase if it is cooked over a longer period of time.

This is because once the meat of your chicken reaches above 40℉, food borne bacteria starts to appear on it, and can multiply quickly.

If you leave your then defrosted chicken out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, you will run the risk of this nasty bacteria becoming more prevalent. If you were to then cook this chicken, there’s more of a chance that you could make yourself ill.

So once you have finished defrosting your chicken, you should make sure to cook it straight away. This can help to avoid any nasty bacteria from forming on your food.

Can You Thaw Chicken in a Microwave without using the Defrost Setting?

Don’t have a defrost setting on your microwave? There’s no need to panic, you can still use your microwave to defrost your chicken. However, you will need to set your microwave to around 30% power usage. This will give it the lower heating power it needs in order to defrost your chicken safely.

By lowering the power usage of your microwave to 30%, you can still use the general rule of thumb for 2 minutes worth of heating time for every 2 pounds of chicken.

Make sure to adjust the cooking time that you use depending on how heavy your chicken is, how thick the meat is, as well as the wattage of your particular microwave.

Make sure to separate any frozen pieces of chicken if you can, as well as rotate and flip them during the defrosting process. This will allow the chicken to defrost thoroughly and more evenly.

Top Tips for Thawing Chicken in a Microwave?

Here are a few of our top tips for helping to get the best results out of defrosting your chicken using the microwave method.

Remember that not every microwave is the same. Some models have a higher or lower wattage, which dictates how much heating power they have. If in doubt, you can always consult with the manufacturer manual to get the best results from the defrosting process.

Don’t heat your chicken for long periods of time in your microwave. This can dry out the meat and make it less tasty to eat. It can also cause more food borne bacteria to develop over time.

Make sure to take your frozen chicken out of its original plastic packaging before you microwave it. You should also place it on a microwave safe plate or dish such as ceramic or glass. This can catch the juices that fall off your chicken as it thaws.

Blast your frozen chicken in 2 minute increments. This will prevent it from cooking, and ensure that you can check it’s defrosting properly. You should also turn your chicken over at several of these intervals to ensure that it defrosts evenly.

To get the quickest results from thawing your chicken, it will be best to separate it into fewer pieces. This will take much less time to defrost properly, and it will mean that your chicken is less likely to suffer from hot spots.

And finally, once you have finished defrosting your chicken, you should make sure to use it for cooking straightaway. This will minimize the likelihood of food borne bacteria appearing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to defrost chicken in the microwave?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to defrost your chicken in the microwave. In fact, this is actually the quickest and most efficient way to do so. Your chicken will need around 2 minutes for every pound to defrost, and you will need to use the defrost setting to so safely and without cooking the meat.

How long does chicken take to defrost in your microwave?

Your chicken will need around 2 minutes for every pound of meat in order to defrost evenly and safely.

Make sure to do this in 2 minute increments, turning over your chicken so that it defrosts evenly and hot spots don’t get the chance to develop. By doing this in stages, you can also monitor your chicken as it defrosts.

How do you defrost chicken quickly in the microwave?

All you need to do is remove your frozen chicken from its original packaging, then place it on a microwave safe plate. Next, you will need to microwave your chicken for around 2 minutes for each pound. Make sure to separate your frozen pieces so that it won’t take as long to defrost.

In Summary

So there you have it! The general rule of thumb is that your chicken will need around 2 minutes in the microwave for every pound of meat. It will also be important to use your defrost setting or lower the power of your microwave to around 30%.

Make sure to blast your chicken in 2 minute increments, and turn the meat over so that it can defrost properly and evenly. You should also cook your thawed chicken immediately once it has finished defrosting.

Jess Smith
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