3 Quick & Easy Tips to Defrost Chicken Fast

Mavis Loh Blog

In a rush to get going for your BBQ party? Or perhaps you simply forgot to remove the frozen chicken from the freezer like what your wife told you to do so 3 hours ago. Proper defrosting of meat can be tricky, and there are a lot of ways to get it wrong. Poor preparation can lead to bland or unpleasant tasting food, but more importantly even food poisoning. But luckily there’s a safe way to thaw chicken when you’re up against the clock. Here are 3 quick and easy tips to defrost chicken fast.

Defrosting chicken in cold water

Kicking off this list is a method tried and trusted by professional kitchens. If it’s good enough for the pros then it’s certainly good enough for us. This method is perhaps the fastest out there while also the least prone to compromising the overall quality of your chicken. Fresh meat always tastes better than defrosted, but this method manages to allow the chicken to retain a lot of the flavor and textures that you’d get from pre-frozen meat.

Simply submerge the bird into a large bowl with two-thirds to three-quarters of it filled with cold water. Change out the water every 10 minutes to keep the water fresh and at an ideal cold temperature. To speed up the process, you may want to consider pulling the bird apart as it thaws if you’re working with a whole bird. This will help the water get into more areas of the bird, including its cavities.

It’s important to note here that it’s absolutely IMPORTANT that the water is COLD to prevent bacteria from growing!

Defrost chicken in the microwave

Microwaving chicken to thaw it is one of the most widely used methods of defrosting meat. However while this method is quick (about 5-10 minutes), it does demand you to pay very close attention as it defrosts as it is very easy for this method to stray into the range where you actually start to cook it rather than allowing it to thaw. This can ruin the texture of your meat, making it very tough and can even expose the meat to bacteria development.

The best thing to do is to check the meat every one to two minutes, checking for when it has properly defrosted. Once it’s ready then you can transfer it to your grill or oven for cooking.

Most microwaves at home have defrost settings, but if yours doesn’t then I recommend using a medium-low setting for two to three minutes before flipping the chicken over. I recommend stopping and flipping every minute until it has thawed and is ready to cook.

Defrost chicken in hot water

A final thawing method here is using hot water, however I would only recommend this as a last resort. Place the chicken in a large bowl, and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of its flesh. Be sure to have a constant stream of hot water pouring over the chicken. Allowing it to simply sit in hot water means that the water will cool down, losing the effect of the water. Also make sure you cook it immediately after thawing so that the surface of the chicken is not exposed to the effects of bacteria.


Ultimately the best way to defrost chicken is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight. It ensures that can food can thaw properly without leaving it at risk of being at risk of bacteria developing on it. Not only is it safe, but it thaws your meat evenly so that it can cook beautifully without losing any quality.

Unfortunately however we don’t always have the luxury of time on our side, so a quick thawing method is a good work around. Alternatively, you could always save yourself the time and hassle by getting Sunday Roast to work their magic on your BBQ party. Not only will you get safe but tasty foods to party the night away! What are you waiting for?