This Is The Quickest, Easiest Method For Defrosting Chicken

Rushing home from soccer practice to make dinner for the family only find you forgot to defrost the chicken is what we affectionately call Monday. And while there are plenty of thawing hacks out there for your frozen meat, they are not all created equal. Many of us quickly turn to the microwave to solve our problem, but this helpful appliance can also make chicken rubbery and not so fun to eat (via Sandra's Cooking Studio). You might be better off ordering pizza if you choose this option. Some defrosting tricks can actually destroy the flavor of the chicken or make it unsafe to eat

Luckily, The Kitchn tested 6 different methods in an effort to find the most effective and fastest thawing technique that also produces chicken that tastes good. Their findings read like the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. There are methods that are too slow when you are looking for a quick defrost fix, methods that are fast but create ugly-looking and not-so-yummy chicken, and a method that is just right to help you get dinner on the table without breaking a sweat. So what is the quickest and easiest way to thaw chicken quickly? 

Use a cold water bath to defrost chicken in a pinch

Taking up to 24 or even 48  hours to defrost your chicken in the refrigerator is the safest approach (via Momables), but it definitely won't work if you only have a couple of hours to get your defrost game plan going. Cutting to the chase, The Kitchn's concluded the best method for defrosting your frozen chicken in a pinch is submerging it in cold water without removing the packaging and changing that water every 30 minutes for up to an hour so that it doesn't warm up to a temperature that could allow dangerous bacterial growth. Obviously, the amount of chicken you have to thaw is going to influence the amount of time it takes. 

Momables concurs this is the quickest method and suggests putting the chicken in a leak-proof zip-top bag to keep it from getting waterlogged. A pound of chicken could take about an hour to thaw while 3 to 4 pounds can take between 2 and 3 hours. If you need smaller chunks of chicken, Momables suggests partially thawing the meat using the cold water bath method, cutting up the thawed parts into pieces, and then placing all of them back into the bag and into the cold water bath to finish defrosting. This will help speed up the process. But it may also expose the chicken to bacteria, so it should be cooked immediately after thawing.