How To Thaw Chicken?
Knowing how to thaw chicken is probably as important as knowing how to eat or cook chicken – or perhaps, even more important than that. How neatly and how well you thaw chicken decide how well your chicken is eventually cooked.
There are different ways of thawing chicken. However, the three most popularly used methods are – Using the Refrigerator, Using Cold Water and Using the Microwave.
Using the refrigerator is the best method of thawing chicken. Though this is considerably a slower method of thawing chicken, this is the safest and the most recommended. For thawing chicken in the refrigerator, maintain a temperature of about 35 – 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This optimal temperature prevents harmful bacteria from growing on the meat. Also, while thawing, ensure that the chicken is wrapped in a plastic cover and is placed on a tray on which the drippings can be collected. The total thawing time for about 450 grams of chicken is about five hours. A long and time consuming process though it may seem to be, the results that it gives are definitely worth the wait.
Thawing chicken in cold water is the second best recommended method. The total thawing time for about 450 grams of chicken is about an hour using this process. A much faster process than the refrigerator method, this is therefore, quite widely used.
However, there are a few important points that you need to keep in mind while thawing chicken using cold water.
• Ensure that the sink is filled with enough cold water, so that the chicken is completely immersed in it.
• Place the wrapped chicken in the water - do not remove the plastic wrap.
• Keep changing the cold water every half an hour.
• Do not use warm water for thawing chicken. Warm water though may speed up the thawing process, it also encourages bacterial growth on the meat surface.
• Once the chicken is thawed and it feels soft when touched, remove it from the sink and pat it dry with some paper towels before using it.
The microwave method of thawing chicken is the quickest, but the least recommended method. Nevertheless, you can use this method if you can master the correct technique.
• To thaw chicken in a microwave, loosely wrap the chicken.
• Set the defrost temperature to medium-low and let the chicken defrost for about two minutes. Then, let the chicken stand for a couple of minutes.
• Now, turn sides and repeat the steps.
To thaw chicken in microwave, you need to judge the perfect defrosting time, which is very difficult. Different microwaves need different defrosting time. The time also varies depending on the kind and cut of chicken. For example, the defrosting time for whole chicken may be completely different from that needed for chicken pieces. Again, while thawing chicken in a microwave, you need to keep a constant watch on it to ensure that the chicken gets thawed correctly, but at the same time, does not start getting cooked.
Ensure that the chicken is never thawed on a kitchen counter. Also, if you are thawing a whole chicken, ensure that the whole bird is thawed thoroughly. With thawing chicken, the principle that works best is to be patient. The more time you can give in thawing chicken, the better will the quality and taste be. Thaw chicken in the correct process and enjoy the difference in taste that it brings.
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