Can You Defrost Chicken Using A Microwave?

Can you defrost chicken using a microwave, really.

Yes, it’s a thing. I bet you have tried to thaw your chicken during a refrigerator, or worse using warm water or basically leaving the frosted chicken on a counter top at room temperature?

You probably have had some experience with any of the methods mentioned above. The experiences are probably bad, but let’s bring them up anyway them.

When you use a refrigerator, defrosting takes long for many of you, and possibly didn’t rub you off the proper way. It is quite understandable; it is too slow.

For some, you might have tried defrosting your chicken using warm water or simply leaving it to thaw at the table top counter. The experience must have been very unpleasant, to mention the least.

With that said, you’d better read on and get to know how you can defrost chicken using a microwave, and have your questions on this method answered.

Is It Safe To Defrost Chicken Using A Microwave?

The answer for this matter is yes and no.

To most proponents, it’s safe to defrost chicken using a microwave. As for those that disagree on whether it’s safe to defrost chicken using a microwave, they do have good reason to believe so.

Turns out, there’s a thing called “danger zone”.

A term coined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), it refers to when meat temperature is between 40 and 140oF. At this temperature, bacteria begin to multiply rapidly.

To the proponents’ credit, the USDA considers defrosting chicken using a microwave to be safe. However, there’s a catch to that. Once the chicken has been defrosted it’s imperative to cook it immediately to avoid any chance of getting sick.

While it’s going to be safe in accordance with the USDA to defrost chicken using a microwave, you run the chance of forgetting to cook the chicken once it’s thawed, in which case that chicken would be spoiled and not fit for human consumption.

How long can you freeze a chicken? Read my post about it here.

Safest Method to Thaw Chicken

Putting Frozen Chicken in Refrigerator

However, what both the proponents of defrosting chicken using a microwave and people who oppose it might agree on is; the safest method to thaw chicken without the fear of propagating bacterial growth inside the meat, is defrosting the chicken using a refrigerator.

When you thaw chicken meat using a refrigerator, you may freeze the chicken once more if you change your mind about cooking the chicken. This is often impossible with the other method of defrosting chicken or any meat for that matter.

Put Chicken Under Tepid Water (Not Hot!)

The other alternative method if using the refrigerator is simply too slow is to thaw your frozen chicken using tepid water. Not hot though.

It is somewhat faster than thawing using the refrigerator but it’s safe, there’s no risk of reaching the “danger zone” or cooking the chicken prematurely.

How Can You Defrost An Entire Chicken Using A Microwave?

Now that it’s clear – defrosting chicken using a microwave is safe, let’s move on and find how you can defrost an entire chicken using a microwave.


  • Consult the microwave manual on how you can set about defrosting chicken or meat. This is often because different microwaves vary in terms of settings.
  • Remove any packaging material on the chicken that’s to be thawed.
  • Put the chicken on a microwave-safe dish.
  • Thaw the chicken for two minutes using the defrost setting on the microwave.
  • Check to determine the chicken is thoroughly defrosted. You may check the chicken cavity for any ice crystals.
  • If there are any ice crystals, using the defrost setting on the microwave, repeat the defrosting process until the chicken thoroughly thawed.

A point to note is that, once you’ve defrosted your chicken using a microwave, you ought to cook it immediately and under no circumstance must you refreeze the chicken.

How Can You Defrost Chicken Using Microwave Without A Defrost Button?

So everything has been great about how you can defrost chicken using a microwave, until it came to where a defrost setting is mentioned. Incidentally, your microwave happens to lack a defrost setting.

Worry not, it is still possible defrost your chicken using a microwave, even though your microwave doesn’t feature a defrost setting.


  • Weigh your chicken once you remove it from the freezer or check the packaging label. This is important in setting the cooking timer.
  • Put your chicken on a microwave-safe dish.
  • Set your microwave to run at 20-30% its full power.
  • Set the microwave’s cooking timer. The defrosting period for chicken is 6-8 minutes per pound of meat. you’ll also use defrosting options i.e. defrosting certain foods, if they’re available in your microwave
  • From time to time, stop the timer and flip the chicken for even defrosting
  • Once the chicken is thoroughly thawed, remove it from the microwave and cook the chicken immediately. Don’t refreeze the defrosted chicken

Defrosting cooked chicken

Defrosting cooked chicken is one fairly simple process and you may use a refrigerator, tepid water or a microwave.

Thawing cooked chicken using a microwave is actually the easiest and fastest of all methods to defrost chicken


  • Remove all packaging wrappers from the cooked chicken
  • Place the chicken on a microwave-safe bowl to trap any excess liquid. A microwave-safe plate also will work fine if the quantity of frost on the chicken isn’t too much
  • Set the microwave on low heat and defrost the chicken for 6-8 minutes per pound
  • Heat the chicken on high heat once it’s thoroughly thawed. you’ll check this by visibly looking for ice crystals. A well-thawed chicken should be soft to the touch. However, do that once the chicken cools


There it is it, all of your questions answered on how you may defrost chicken using a microwave, plus how you’ll set about defrosting chicken using microwave

Remember, once you defrost chicken using the microwave, make sure that you cook the chicken immediately and never refreeze chicken that has be defrosted

Can you cook frozen meat? Find out here.

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