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What is the best way to defrost chicken?

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asked Nov 17, 2015 in Food and Drink by Catherine L.
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Do not thaw anything at room temperature. The riskiest temperatures for bacterial growth are between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Leaving meat out on the kitchen counter will defrost it, but the extreme variance between the surface and inner layers is a breeding ground for microorganisms you don't want to eat or serve anyone.

The safest and easiest way to thaw chicken specifically is in a refrigerator. If the chicken is unwrapped, put it in a container or bowl so the juices don't spill. Chicken will thaw between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The closer your fridge is to 40 F, the faster it will thaw, but make sure the fridge is 40 or below for the previously stated reasons.

Estimate five hours per pound of chicken, so anticipate a day or more for a whole bird. Thawed chicken is safe in the fridge for a one to three days, but shouldnever be refrozen. Smaller cuts of meat that are not whole birds can be thawed faster using hot and cold water bowl methods.


answered Nov 17, 2015 by Topher (27,830 points)

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