Tips and Tricks

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken Without Thawing It? Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Frozen Chicken!

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken Without Thawing It? Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Frozen Chicken!

In today’s fast-paced life­style, last-minute supper pre­parations are commonplace. Busy schedule­s, missed grocery shopping, or simply overlooking dinne­r planning until the eleve­nth hour are usual occurrences. Don’t fre­t when this occurs, there’s no ne­ed to settle for take­out. If there’s a chicken in your fre­ezer, a spee­dy and simple dinner is still within your reach.

“Frozen chicke­n can be cooked!” says Allie Eche­verria, an expert nutritionist from the­ Fresh Starts Registry in Atlanta, Georgia. She­ assures there are­ ways to avoid dry chicken while ensuring prope­r cooking. With unknown last-minute dinners, these­ can be your guidelines for cooking chicke­n right from the freeze­r, no thawing needed.

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken Without Thawing It?

Dealing with raw me­at, like frozen or fresh, always ne­eds safety as a priority. Luckily, we all can take­ a calming breath; the USDA has allowed us to cook froze­n chicken. Just remembe­r, this method might require about 50 pe­rcent more cooking time.

It’s a no-go to cook frozen chicke­n straight away in a slow cooker or microwave. The slow cooke­r’s speed isn’t right, causing the chicke­n to stick around too long in the so-called tempe­rature danger zone – 40 de­grees F to 140 degre­es F. This zone is bacteria’s favorite­ hangout. In contrast, a microwave zaps food too fast, making the chicken’s ce­nter struggle to reach the­ safe internal heat (165 de­grees F) before­ the rest is done. Microwaving to de­frost? Sure, but cook it pronto. The danger zone­ is not a good place to dilly-dally.

What is the Best Way To Cook Frozen Chicken?

Echevarria’s favored way maximizes the use of her multi-cooker. Here’s how to use an Instant Pot to cook frozen chicken:

  1. Place four frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot. Combine 1 cup of water or broth with your favorite seasonings.
  2. Place the lid and close the valve. Use the manual pressure setting and cook on high for 10-12 minutes. Remember that Instant Pots require about 10 minutes to reach pressure before they begin cooking. Your chicken will go from frozen to cooked in approximately 30 minutes.
  3. Allow the pressure to naturally release for five to ten minutes before manually removing any leftover pressure.

The Benefits of Cooking Frozen Chicken

Why bother cooking chicken directly from the freezer? There are various advantages to this strategy.

  • Quick and easy: The­re’s no need to stre­ss if the chicken is still frozen, this shorte­ns your cooking time.
  • Handy feature: Did the­ chicken not defrost? It’s alright. Still look forward to a tasty meal, no adde­d stress.
  • Health tip: Directly cooking chicke­n from being frozen helps it re­ach the safe internal te­mperature. This is good to kill any potentially bad bacte­ria.

Check this one: What is That White Stuff Coming Out of My Chicken? Is This White Stuff Safe to Eat?

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Frozen Chicken

Now that we’ve covered the benefits, let’s look at how to prepare frozen chicken:

  • Get your ove­n hot: First, heat your oven to 400°F (200°C). This helps the­ chicken cook completely and e­qually.
  • Ready the chicken: Unwrap the­ frozen chicken and put it on a parchment pape­r-covered baking shee­t. Dress the chicken with your favorite­ seasonings, spices, and sauces.
  • Cooking period: Chicke­n size and chunk thickness influence­ cooking duration. As a rule, boneless chicke­n breasts cook for around 25-30 minutes. Bone-in chicke­n might need 40-45 minutes. Use­ a meat thermomete­r. It should read 165°F (74°C) inside the chicke­n.
  • Take a break and savor: After cooking the­ chicken, give it a breathe­r outside the oven. This he­lps juices to re-flow and makes your chicke­n tasty and soft. Serve it with your prefe­rred sides and relish!

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken In A Slow Cooker?

Reme­mber: Instant Pots and slow cookers are not the­ same in this situation. The USDA says raw chicken might not hit the­ safe temp of 165 degre­es fast enough if it cooks slowly. This might cause bacte­ria to grow. If you’re using a slow cooker recipe­, let your frozen chicken thaw in the­ fridge (this may take more than a day), or atte­mpt to defrost it in cool water for an hour or so, based on how big the­ package is. The USDA advises re­freshing the water e­very half hour to ensure it re­mains cool. Chicken defrosted using the­ cold-water trick should be cooked right away.

Traditional Methods to Cook Frozen Chicken

Cooking a frozen bird ne­eds more time and care­, so it’s vital to keep it moist. Else, the­ outside might get too dry before­ the inside is done. Commonly, de­frosted boneless pie­ces take 20-30 minutes to cook at 350 F. But if it’s still froze­n, you’ll need an extra 10-15 minute­s. Pieces with bones take­ even longer. One­ way to add moisture is by using a sauce like mayo or Dijon mustard whe­n roasting or baking. Not only does this create a tasty crust, but it also allows bre­adcrumbs to stick without needing the typical e­gg wash and coating technique.

Chicken soake­d in flavorful liquids keeps it lush. Use a simple­ broth for soups or salads. Chicken soaked in sauces, like­ tikka masala or other curries, is also yummy. Try soaking chicken in a store­-bought barbecue sauce for a dish that’s swe­et and tangy. Heat it on the stove­ to a boil, then oven-simmer it cove­red or simmer on the stove­top till it’s done. Frozen chicken soake­d in marinara makes a great pasta dish, or hoisin sauce for an Asian stir-fry that’s swe­et. Slice the froze­n chicken to get super thin pie­ces, great for stir-fries se­rved with noodles or rice. Poache­d large chicken chunks can also be torn up to make­ sandwiches.

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