How to Quickly Thaw a Whole Frozen Chicken

Written by angela lafollette Google
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How to Quickly Thaw a Whole Frozen Chicken
Quickly thaw a whole frozen chicken in cold water or in the microwave. (whole roast chicken with bacon image by hazel proudlove from

A whole chicken allows you to feed many people. Whole chickens are typically found frozen at supermarkets, and you need to thaw them completely so that you can cook them to a safe internal temperature of 73.9 degrees Celsius. If you are pressed for time, you will not be able to thaw the whole chicken in the refrigerator. You can quickly thaw a whole chicken in cold water or in the microwave, then proceed to cook the chicken the way you prefer.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Airtight bag
  • Cold water
  • Microwaveable dish
  • Cling film

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  1. 1

    Place the whole frozen chicken in an airtight bag.

  2. 2

    Fill a sink full of cold water. Never use hot water to thaw the chicken. You will need enough to cover the chicken completely. Place the chicken in the sink.

  3. 3

    Change the water every 30 minutes until the chicken thaws completely. Thawing time using this method is about 1 hour per pound.

  1. 1

    Remove the whole chicken from its package.

  2. 2

    Place the whole chicken on a microwaveable dish.

  3. 3

    Place cling film loosely over the whole chicken. Move the defrost setting on the microwave to medium-low. Check your user's guide, as some models will allow you to enter the weight of the chicken.

  4. 4

    Press the defrost button. Follow any directions that your microwave gives you. Defrost the whole chicken for 2 minutes. Check on the chicken frequently to feel for ice crystals inside the cavity. Continue to defrost the chicken in 2-minute intervals. The defrosting time will vary according to the size of the chicken and the power of your microwave.

Tips and warnings

  • Remove the giblets from the chicken's cavity once you thaw it.
  • Do not thaw a whole chicken at room temperature.
  • Cook a chicken immediately after you defrost it to prevent the growth of bacteria.

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