Are you thinking about thawing chicken in the fridge but want to ensure it’s safe? Or wondering how long it will take? I’ve got you!
This short post thoroughly covers those concerns so you can thaw it safely and it doesn’t go to waste.
Can You Thaw Chicken in the Fridge?
The fridge is the best way to defrost chicken because it keeps a constant temperature and it reduces bacterial growth. It also doesn’t require any extra attention compared to other thawing methods.
That being said, thawing it in the fridge requires a little planning ahead since it can take anywhere between 24 to 48 hours to thaw. See the table below for more on thawing times.
While you can cook frozen chicken, it’s definitely not the best way.
Is It Safe?
Thawing chicken in the fridge is the safest method since the cold air keeps the chicken well below the 40F range and prevents bacteria from breeding.
It’s also important to place the pack of chicken in a baking dish or leak-proof container to trap any leaks inside so none of the liquid can contaminate other refrigerated items.
How Long to Defrost Chicken in the Fridge
Chicken can thaw overnight or take a couple of days, depending on whether the chicken is whole or frozen together in large pieces.
Freezing chicken properly (in the correct portions) can be a big time saver. The following chart breaks down thawing time based on the amount of chicken.
Can You Refreeze Chicken after Thawing in Fridge?
In theory, you can refreeze chicken after thawing, but it’s not advised due to changes in texture and the risk of foodborne illness. If you happen to thaw chicken, only to have a change in dinner plans, it’s best to cook the chicken first and then freeze it for easy use in future meals.
If it’s boneless, skinless chicken cuts, I recommend pan searing, then slicing and freezing them so you have pre-cooked chicken to add to pasta or stir-fries. You can also quickly poach your chicken breasts or poach the chicken thighs for a simple, fuss-free method.
If the raw chicken has any signs of going bad, it’s best to check if it’s still good. More on how to tell if raw chicken has gone bad in this post.
If it’s bone-in, skin-on cuts, bake, then shred the chicken before freezing. Shredded chicken is great for soups or tossing in your favorite sauce and using it in tacos, wraps, and more!
How to Thaw Chicken in the Fridge
- 1 pack frozen chicken
- Large baking dish
- Remove the frozen chicken from the freezer and place it in a baking dish or plate.
- Place it in the refrigerator and allow the chicken to thaw for 24 to 36 hours, depending on the amount (1-3 lbs).