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Is thawed chicken safe?

I never thought I'd ask this, as I'm of the school of thought that when in doubt, throw it out. But this seems on the cusp to me. I had a rock-hard chicken breast from the freezer. It did not thaw overnight in the fridge. I know you're not supposed to do this, but I decided to give it a head start on the counter and then put it back in the fridge. By the time I got to it the chicken was thawed but cold. Is it safe to cook or should I pitch it? I lean toward the latter.

asked by ATL about 3 years ago
5 answers 1035 views
A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 3 years ago


This is, as you probably already know, a time + temperature problem. Can you accurately define "cold" as used above? (Did you take a reading with your digital thermometer after thawing?) < 40F = no problem. More than 2 hrs. > 40F multiplies the danger from bacteria, including and especially from cross-contamination.

That said, cooking *should* eliminate the danger in any case. Be certain to bring it up to temp per your thermometer if you decide to proceed.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 3 years ago


Jeannette's suggestion for next time won't sound weird if you know the transfer of thermal energy in water is many times more efficient than through air. (Compare sticking your hand in boiling water at 212F vs. a 350F oven.)

Place the bowl in the sink and dribble a tiny amount of water into it to speed up the process even further.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
ATL
added about 3 years ago

As usual, the Food 52-ers come through. I'll pitch it. I know the cold water method and have used it. This time I couldn't extricate the chicken from the wrapping paper on it. Oh we'll, better safe than sorry!

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 3 years ago


Bearing in mind the cross-contamination issue (you have to assume all chicken is contaminated), a minute or two under running water (or a few seconds in the microwave) would have freed the meat from the paper.