How Long can you Leave Chicken Out to Thaw?

Whether you have bought a frozen chicken at the store or you have decided to buy one from the freezer, it’s important to know how long you can leave it out to thaw. The time it takes to thaw your chicken will depend on the type of chicken you have, the type of defrosting method you use, and the temperature you are working at. For the most part, it’s best to let the chicken thaw in the refrigerator. This is the most reliable and safe way to thaw your chicken.

There are many ways to cook chicken, but one thing is certain: you need to have your bird cooked to 165degF to avoid food poisoning and to ensure it is safe to eat. The temperature is also important for preventing salmonella contamination. When cooking a whole chicken, you must check its internal temperature with a thermometer. This is a great way to ensure the right temperature for your poultry.


What is Chicken Meat?

Any more than 60 breeds of medium-sized chicken predominantly descended from the wild red jungle bird (Gallus gallus, family Phasianidae, order Galliformes) of India are called chickens (Gallus gallus). Perhaps the most commonly domesticated bird, chickens, are produced worldwide for their meat and eggs.

The best scientific name for the chicken is up for discussion. Although many taxonomists and ornithologists view it as a domesticated variation of the wild red jungle fowl, others—including the U.S. Department of Agriculture—classify the bird as a subspecies of the red jungle fowl (i.e., G. gallus domesticus). The grey jungle fowl (G. sonneratii) of southern India and other species of jungle fowl, which are also Gallus members, may have contributed to the bird’s ancestry despite the chicken’s strong kinship to the red jungle fowl.

How Long can you Leave Chicken Out to Thaw?

Generally, chicken sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours should be thrown out. The time decreases to just an hour if the room temperature is higher than 90°F. Always keep chicken in the refrigerator for optimal results.

Never defrost frozen chicken in a dish of hot water or on the counter at room temperature. Chicken can grow bacteria when defrosted on the counter or when immersed in hot water, which could make those who consume it ill. If correctly applied, these alternative techniques should enable you to defrost chicken while keeping it out of the “danger zone,” or the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, where germs can flourish.

What are the Different Methods of Defrosting Chicken?

In the Refrigerator

The most dependable, secure, and hands-off defrost approach is thawing in the refrigerator. It is important to prepare ahead of time, especially if you are defrosting a whole chicken or a sizable quantity of bone-in pieces in one package.

A day or two before you prepare it, transfer a pound of ground chicken or a typical package of chicken breasts from the freezer to the refrigerator. You can refrigerate the thawed chicken for an additional day before cooking. It will take longer to thaw larger packages of chicken and thicker slices; a five-pound whole bird will take around two days.

Water Bath Method

In either vacuum-sealed bags or strong, leak-proof, zipper-top storage bags, frozen chicken can be defrosted in a bowl of cold water on the counter. Warm water will start to “cook” the outside of the meat before the inside is thawed, which may also encourage bacteria to grow. Use cold water only.

Add ice cubes to your cold tap water to lower the temperature so that it feels comfortably cool if it is generally warm, as is typical in some locations during the summer. Use the thawed chicken immediately and replace the cold water every 30 minutes to ensure the water stays cold.

A small package of boneless chicken may defrost in one to two hours, while larger quantities and heavier chunks may take several hours. Ground meat can thaw in as little as an hour. It is not advised to use this technique for complete birds or particularly large slices.

Use this technique to quicken the thawing of many pieces in a bag: Open the bag and pull the pieces apart once they have sufficiently thawed to allow separation. Re-seal the bag, after which drop it back into the water. Up till the meat has thawed, keep monitoring.

How to Freeze Chicken?

Unwrap the chicken from its store packaging first. While this is acceptable in the fridge, the supermarket packaging is made to allow air in to keep the color of the meat bright, and this results in freezer burn in the freezer (this is when the surface of the food loses moisture, becoming dry, discolored, and its texture and flavor change).

Separate portions should be wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap before being placed in an airtight container. Layering parts between freezer paper sheets will also make it simple to separate single portions. Alternately, put chunks of chicken in freezer bags and squeeze out as much air as possible before securing the bag. Label and date your packaging carefully.

Can you Freeze Cooked Chicken?

Undoubtedly, you can freeze cooked chicken (check out all these yummy freezer-friendly chicken dinners). It’s better to take the meat from the bones and shred it if it was cooked on the bone (think drumsticks or a whole chicken). Place the item in a freezer bag, press the air, and label it.

If desired, you can leave the fillets intact. You can put saucy chicken dishes in an airtight container, but remember to leave some space at the top for expansion. For up to three months, store-cooked chicken in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator or the microwave according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

How to Store Raw Chicken?

In India, there is almost little likelihood of finding a whole chicken for domestic usage unless you cook a tandoori or Murgh Musallam.

Depending on how you intend to store them, a whole chicken can be stored for up to a year.

You should take the following actions if you intend to use the whole chicken in less than 48 hours:

Clean the chicken thoroughly, then pat it dry.

Take a box to accommodate the chicken, then place the bird inside. Refrigerate

If you prefer another option, use a sizable Ziploc bag and thoroughly seal it.

You can alternatively place a whole chicken in a sufficiently large basin, cover it, and refrigerate.

You can brine the chicken and store it in the refrigerator using any methods described above if you intend to use it within the next 24 hours.

However, if you intend to purchase and keep a whole chicken for more than 48 hours, follow these instructions:

  • Make sure your freezer has enough room.
  • Allow the chicken to dry after a thorough wash
  • Place that into a Ziploc freezer bag.
  • Place this in the freezer area.
  • A whole chicken’s shelf life can be extended by up to a year by freezing it.

How to Identify Whether Chicken is Cooked Properly?

Cooking meat thoroughly enough to eradicate all dangerous bacteria is the greatest way to prevent contracting a foodborne illness.

The color and consistency of chicken meat change while cooking, going from pink to white. Pink chicken flesh should not be consumed since it may be undercooked and likely contains pathogens.

One can also use a clean meat thermometer to verify the meat’s interior temperature. It’s crucial to cook raw chicken until it reaches a temperature of 165°F inside.

When cooking a whole chicken, one can check the internal temperature by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest section of the leg, which is located between the drumstick and the thigh.

We ensure they do not allow the meat thermometer to touch the bone, fat, or gristle.

Additionally, they can make sure the meat is white. A properly cooked chicken will have clear, not cloudy, juices.

A meat thermometer is available for purchase online.

How to Identify Chicken has Gone Bad?

Here are four things to look for if you’re unsure whether the raw chicken you bought has gone bad. White advises that cooking chicken to the recommended internal temperature of 165 degrees. F is essential because some indicators of bacterial growth are imperceptible.

Check the sell-by date on package labels; if it has passed, throw it rather than taking a chance consuming it and becoming sick. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends keeping raw chicken in the refrigerator for no more than one to two days, despite the sell-by date being only a general timeframe.

While substandard chicken will have a sour, spicy, or odd smell, the rotten chicken won’t have a classic odor. According to experts, some people have said it smells like rotten eggs or sulfur.

Chicken still fresh and raw is pink and meaty; chicken that has gone rotten is discolored and has a dull, grey hue. According to White, “food deterioration signs are pretty much everywhere.” Any offensive odor, discoloration, or foreign materials on your chicken should be thrown out.

The chicken is probably terrible if it feels slimy, sticky, or has a filmy covering on top. The texture of the raw, fresh chicken is glossy and silky.

What are the Impacts of Consuming Spoiled Chicken?

May Lead to Cancer

According to a study, eating broiler chicken cooked at a high temperature may increase your chances of developing cancer. Prostate cancer is more likely to occur in men than in women. Please be mindful of that and avoid cooking any meat at high temperatures. These days, everyone loves grilled chicken. Cooking chicken on a grill at a high temperature is quite unhealthy.


Purchasing fresh and clean meat is crucial. Deadly bacteria (Spoilage bacteria of fresh broiler chicken carcasses) are present in most poultry farms and broiler chickens. This is because the bacteria found in broiler chicken can lead to various health issues.

Unwholesome Fats

Unhealthy fats included in the chicken are bad for a healthy individual. Regular chicken consumption might result in issues like obesity, high blood pressure, cardiac issues, etc. So quit eating hens and go to lean country chicken instead.

Containing Harmful Chemicals

To increase meat production and weight, hazardous chemicals, antibiotics, and growth hormones are given to chickens. Consuming them will have a hazardous impact on one’s health. Obesity, issues with male fertility, early puberty in females, and other issues may result from this.


If you’re using a microwave to defrost your chicken, there are several things to remember. First, don’t use hot water to defrost your meat. Hot water can cause bacteria to grow, which could lead to foodborne illness. Secondly, don’t let thawed food sit at room temperature for long. This can create pockets of warm water which is perfect for the growth of bacteria.

A better solution is to thaw your meat in the refrigerator or cold tap water. This will ensure you don’t risk bacteria growth on your chicken, which can cause foodborne illness. It’s also important to cook your frozen chicken immediately after thawing it. Doing so will prevent bacteria growth and prevent the chicken from becoming dry and tough.