How to Thaw Whole Chicken?

If you have been wondering how to thaw whole chicken, you can try several tips and methods. For instance, you could use a microwave, a drink cooler, or even cold water.

Whole chickens are incredibly adaptable and can help you cut costs at the grocery store. Learn how to thaw a whole chicken with our top suggestions safely.

How to Thaw Whole Chicken

How to Thaw Whole Chicken?

If only because chickens are smaller and take up less room in your refrigerator, defrosting a chicken is simpler than defrosting a turkey.

Frozen chicken can defrost more quickly in cold tap water after being sealed in a leak-proof container or bag. You can also defrost frozen chicken gradually in your refrigerator. For 25 to 30 minutes, bake a 4-oz. chicken breast at 350°F (177°C). Check the interior temperature is 165°F (74°C) with a meat thermometer.

In the Refrigerator

For every five pounds, you should allow at least 24 hours. Therefore, it will take a 6-pound chicken a little longer than 24 hours to defrost, while a 9-pound chicken will take two whole days. Even so, a full chicken will take some time to thaw.

A whole chicken should be defrosted in your refrigerator. The chicken should be placed in a pan with a lip to prevent spills. Always place raw meat on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator when defrosting it. This will lessen the chance of contaminating other fresh goods in the refrigerator and help keep any leaks contained.

Turkeys require a huge 5-gallon drink cooler to defrost, whereas chickens require less space. You may continue to utilize the beverage cooler, a portable, smaller cooler, or a Styrofoam cooler. You can also use a cooler if your refrigerator isn’t big enough.

We prefer thawing out big portions of meat in Styrofoam containers (like chicken, ham, and roasts). The temperature must be below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for thawing meat (4.4 degrees Celsius). I poke the probe end of my probe thermometer through the side of a Styrofoam cooler. The cooler is positioned on top of the display. When the temperature reaches 39 degrees Fahrenheit (3.9 degrees Celsius), I set the alarm to sound, at which point I am aware that I must add ice packs to keep the thawing chicken cool enough.


It is possible to defrost frozen chicken in the microwave. This method is safe as long as you follow the instructions. You will need to check and rotate your chicken every few minutes to ensure it cooks evenly.

Depending on the size and thickness of your chicken, it can take several minutes to defrost. Smaller cuts can thaw in as little as one hour. Larger cuts may require a few hours.

You must set the correct power level to defrost your chicken in the microwave. Usually, the lowest setting will allow for the best defrosting.

A food thermometer is a great tool for checking the internal temperature of your chicken. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Chicken that is overcooked will become tough and chewy.

While the process can be done quickly, you will need to be sure to check your chicken frequently. Raw chicken is susceptible to rapid bacteria growth. So, make sure to wash your hands well after handling. Some people recommend using gloves.

Another safe way to defrost your chicken is in a bowl of cold water. This is a better option for larger cuts but will take longer than smaller ones.

Another option is to cook your frozen chicken in the oven. This is a safer option since the chicken is exposed to heat, which destroys any bacteria.

Cold Water

The best way to thaw a whole chicken is to use cold water. Cold water keeps the meat from getting too hot or too cold and helps to prevent bacteria from growing.

Bacteria can grow in warm temperatures and can be very harmful. It is important to thaw your chicken in the fridge or cold water.

Cold water is the safest and simplest method for thawing a whole chicken. It also allows you to thaw your chicken from both sides. It may take a while to thaw a large piece of meat.

You can speed up the defrosting process by breaking the pieces apart. Also, make sure to change the water every 30 minutes. A large amount of frozen chicken will not thaw in the allotted time.

The most effective method for thawing a whole bird is to place it in a deep bowl of cool water. Add ice cubes to the water to keep it cooler.

You can also thaw a whole chicken in the microwave. It takes a little longer, but you will get an evenly defrosted piece of chicken.

If you’re in a hurry and need to thaw a whole chicken, you can try an emergency thawing technique. This is simple and can be done in a short amount of time.

In a Drink Cooler

Depending on the size and weight of the bird, the process can take as little as a few hours. The best way to thaw a whole chicken is in a fridge. If that’s not an option, you can still use a cooler. Regardless of your chosen method, you should always use caution if the freezer door is open, as you’ll be exposing your food to cold air.

One way to speed up the process is to remove the breasts and legs and refrigerate them before putting the coop in the cooler. In theory, this should prevent the birds from soaking up too much of the water in the first place. Once the bird is cool enough to handle, remove it from the cooler and begin thawing. You may also consider freezing the breasts in separate containers before putting them in the cooler. This will ensure that you don’t have to worry about the sexy chicken getting muddled up in your freezer.

While at it, consider a few other options, such as a microwave thawing or a bowl of ice and water. These will require more attention and care than the fridge method, but you can usually save the chicken and your sanity if you’re not into the hassle of defrosting a bird; you might consider throwing in some frozen vegetables as a frugality incentive.

How Long does it Take to Defrost a Large Whole Chicken?

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. It will take longer to thaw larger packages of chicken and thicker slices; a five-pound whole bird will take around two days.

How to Defrost a Whole Chicken Fast in Cold Water?

It is safe and efficient to thaw the whole chicken in cold water. A 5 lb. chicken could be defrosted using this approach in 2.5 hours, which is also fairly quick.

A whole chicken’s defrosting instructions in cold water

  1. Put your chicken in a waterproof Ziploc bag.
  2. From the faucet, pour some cold water into a bowl or bucket.
  3. Thirty minutes should be spent submerging the chicken in cold water.
  4. Thirty minutes later, switch the water.
  5. To properly thaw the chicken, keep doing this.

Advice on how to properly thaw a whole chicken in cold water

  • Never use warm or boiling water, as this will start the cooking process for the chicken.
  • Put the bowl in the sink and drip some water from the tap if you won’t be around to change the water every 30 minutes. The water is regularly replenished in this manner.
  • Add 30 minutes to the defrosting time calculation for each pound of chicken. In cold water, a five lb. chicken should defrost in 2.5 hours.

How do you Store Leftover Baked Whole Chicken in the Fridge?

Your leftover roasted whole chicken should be brought to room temperature before being sealed in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator. If properly stored, your cooked whole chicken leftovers should last for up to 3–4 days in the refrigerator.

How Long to Bake a Whole Chicken at 450?

Your whole chicken should be roasted for around 50 to 65 minutes in an oven to 450 degrees. It should take 75 to 90 minutes to bake a whole chicken frozen in an oven to 450 degrees.

How Long to Bake a Whole Chicken at 400 in Air Fryer?

An entire chicken should bake for 55 to 65 minutes in an air fryer preheated to 400 degrees. The chicken should be baked for 10 to 20 minutes after being cooked for 45 to 55 minutes.

A frozen chicken can be cooked in an air fryer set to 400 degrees for 80 to 85 minutes.

How Long to Bake a Whole Chicken at 350 in Air Fryer?

Your whole chicken should bake in an air fryer preheated to 350 degrees for 65 to 75 minutes. After the initial 55–65 minutes of baking, turn the chicken over and bake it for an additional 10–20 minutes.

Your whole chicken should cook in an air fryer preheated to 350 degrees for 1 hour and 35 to 1 hour and 40 minutes if it was baked from frozen.


To conclude, thawing a whole chicken is a simple process that can be accomplished in various ways. The best way to thaw a whole chicken depends on your personal preferences and the amount of time you have available. Thawing the chicken in the refrigerator, cold water, or microwave are all options. To prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, it is important to follow proper food safety guidelines and avoid thawing the chicken at room temperature. Take the necessary precautions to ensure that the chicken is thawed safely and evenly so that you can enjoy a delicious and safe meal.