Found the perfect recipe to make for dinner tonight but stuck with a frozen pound of chicken? This is the post that will help you defrost chicken in water quickly.
Chicken is my favorite protein to cook because it creates so many amazing dishes my family loves. Over time, I’ve picked up many tips and cooking techniques, including the best way to defrost chicken with cold water.
Defrosting Chicken in Cold Water
Using cold water to defrost takes less time than placing it in the fridge overnight. You will need to keep an eye on the time to change out the water, but it’s a very simple process other than that.
Time needed: 2 hours
How to Defrost Chicken in Cold Water
- Make a Cold Water Bath
Fill a large container with water at 40F or below.
Place the bag of frozen chicken in the water.
Every 30 minutes, change the water to prevent the environment from getting too warm.
It’s tips like this and the ones in my Chicken. It’s What’s for Dinner eBook that helps you make juicy, cooked chicken no matter the recipe. Along with 100+ recipes, it includes every detail you need to know, like the best temperature to bake chicken or how to cook different cuts.
How Long Does it Take to Defrost Chicken in Water?
Thawing chicken in water takes about 1 hour for 1 pound of chicken, and longer, up to 2.5 hours when defrosting about 3 pounds.
You can speed up the process by checking on the chicken inside the bag and making sure the chicken breasts, thighs, or mixed pieces are not clumped together. Separating them throughout the thawing process ensures that all areas of the chicken are submerged in water so no pieces are still frozen.
The table below shows approximate thawing times for chicken breasts, thighs, and mixed pieces in water.
|up to 2.5 hours
Thawing Chicken in Hot Water
Defrosting chicken in hot water is a food safety hazard and one method I don’t recommend. While it takes less time, the warm environment creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
What if I Accidentally Thawed Chicken in Hot Water?
If you’ve accidentally thawed chicken in hot water, the safest course of action is to throw it out and cook something else. Breakfast for dinner is always a good idea when you’re short on time.
Next time, use the cold water bath or try cooking frozen chicken. It’s safe and works whether you want to cook it on the stove-top or in the oven.