There is a lot of ways to thaw chicken. But when it comes to hygiene and the quality of the meat, some methods are better than others. Here’s our recommendations on how to thaw chicken in the best way.
Slow thawing in the refrigerator is best
In a busy kitchen it can be tempting to quickly thaw the frozen chicken products on the kitchen table. But if you thaw the chicken at room temperature, you allow bacteria to spread.
Instead, we recommend that you thaw the meat in the refrigerator, where the low temperature gives the bacteria difficult working conditions. The slow thawing in the refrigerator is at the same time most sensitive to the meat, which better preserves its natural juice, flavor and texture – and ultimately gives you the best product and results.
Thawing chicken in the refrigerator typically takes 1-2 days depending on size (about 5 hours per 500 grams). It is therefore not the most flexible method, but fortunately, our products are easy to pick up from the bag continuously, because they are frozen quickly down individually.
Faster thawing in (cold) water
We are aware, however, that the kitchen flow and capacity can stand between even the best of intentions, and sometimes you may need to thaw the chicken products faster than the fridge allows.
In those situations, we recommend taking the products you need and thaw them in a bowl of cold water. Here it is important that you put the products in a sealed bag so that the water does not destroy the meat tissue and forms bacteria in the meat.
With this method, the meat will typically be thawed after approx. 2-3 hours, however, you should calculate longer time for whole chickens. Also, you need to change the water every 30 minutes so that the meat does not reach a temperature that can cause bacteria to spread. That’s also the reason why you shouldn’t thaw the products in hot water, since it’s an open invitation to bacteria.
The very fast emergency solution
Unpredictability is part of the professional kitchen, and if you get orders you have not planned for, there are also a few other methods you can use. However, we consider these to be emergency solutions, and we clearly recommend the two previous methods.
The microwave oven is one option, if you need it to go very fast. If you choose this solution, be sure to prepare the meat immediately after thawing, as the microwave starts the cooking process. Also note that this method may negatively affect the taste and structure of the meat.
Another option is that you do not thaw the products at all, but instead prepare them directly from frost. It will take about 50 percent longer than if the product is thawed. However, this method depends on what you are going to use the product for. It may work well if the meat is to be used in dishes that are to be cooked slowly, while the reverse is not recommended if the product is to be grilled or roasted.