Defrost Chicken Breast In Microwave. How To Avoid Poisoning?


It is valuable to carefully follow the directions during defrost chicken breast in microwave to avoid undercooking or reheating it. Many potential risks can occur before, during, or after this process. And what you need are methods and tips to overcome all.

Keep reading to find out how to thaw chicken in the microwave, and jot down the useful information!

May You Defrost Chicken Breast In Microwave?

can defrost chicken in the microwave
You can defrost chicken in the microwave using the particular mode for 1-2 minutes

Absolutely, yes. You can use the microwave to defrost chicken breasts. However, you should adjust the time and temperature to a minimum to avoid bringing food into the contaminated area.

This method is safe, with a suitable temperature zone of around 165 degrees F. It would be best to cook it right away to prevent bacteria from growing. Typically, a temperature range of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit is favorable for bacteria to grow rapidly.

How To Defrost Chicken Breast In Microwave?

The time and temperature will vary depending on the device’s capacity and the food’s size. Normally, it will take about 2 -3 minutes to defrost per pound of chicken. Therefore, for small sizes, about 1 – 2 pounds, it takes 4-6 minutes to defrost; meanwhile, the larger size, about 4 – 5 pounds, takes 8 – 12 minutes.

The following guidance may show you how to defrost chicken breast microwave:

  • Place food in a ziplock bag, cling film or place it on a microwave-safe plate. If you’re using a scale, add another cup of water and close the lid.
  • Adjust the defrost mode of the oven and set the time from 2-3 minutes.
  • Every time the time is up, you should check if it has defrosted completely; if not, turn it over and continue for another 1-2 minutes. You will check by making a small incision in the thickest part of the breast. The process is complete if the incision is light and there are no ice crystals inside.

After defrosting, you should cook the meat immediately to prevent bacteria from entering. Especially with the microwave method, you should cook everything that has been defrosted, do not put it back in the refrigerator or refreeze.

What Will Happen If You Defrost Chicken In The Microwave?

What Will Happen If You Defrost Chicken In The Microwave?
The microwave works by reflecting energy waves back and forth to cook chicken from the inside

The mechanism of the microwave oven is to make food from the inside by using reflected energy waves back and forth. So, as a rule, the inside temperature will always be higher than the outside and ripen faster.

However, for defrosted foods, the coldest part will be in the center, increasing the temperature from the inside out. Therefore, if you adjust the time too long, the outside will cook before the inside can thaw. This process occurs because the water molecules in the meat begin to heat up, cook in place, and spread gradually. It leads to potential bacterial invasion, unevenly cooked food, and lack of taste.

Moreover, the internal molecular structure may have been broken and no longer fresh, so freezing or cooling will change the substance. Therefore, after defrosting it in the microwave, you should cook it immediately and run out of it.

Tips To Defrost Chicken In The Microwave

Freezing chicken in the microwave is simple and does not take too much time, in case you need to cook it right away. Here are some tips to make the process run more smoothly and flawlessly:

  • Set time and low temperature to avoid water molecules vibrating, generating heat, cooking food, and contamination
  • Check and flip food every 2-3 minutes, can measure temperature
  • Cook or store in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours immediately after defrosting to avoid food loss
Tips To Defrost Chicken In The Microwave
To avoid contamination, you should cook the chicken immediately or keep it in the refrigerator for 24 hours

Some Other Methods For Defrosting Chicken


It is the best method of defrosting food when it prevents bacteria from entering while preserving its structure, juiciness, and flavor. The disadvantage is that it requires quite a while, and you need to plan.

To do this, place the breast in a covered dish or zip-lock bag and move it from the freezer to the fridge. The time to defrost all breasts can be from 9 hours to 2 days (if there is no bone, it is faster, about 1 day), depending on the quantity, and a whole chicken takes up to 5 days.

The flesh will then be bright pink and succulent. You should use a clean, damp paper towel before cooking and cook it for two days after defrosting to preserve its freshness.


An oven can overcook chicken like a microwave oven unless you set the temperature correctly. However, it will take 30 to 60 minutes to defrost completely. The first step is putting the food on the plate, covering it, and selecting the defrost mode.

After the above time, you should cook it immediately. This white meat is fully cooked when it reaches 165 degrees F. You can use a thermometer to measure it, but ensure it is cooked evenly.

Air Fryer

Usually, when using an air fryer to fry meat, you do not need to defrost them. Instead, increase the cooking time by 50% and turn the sides so that the food cooks evenly.

First, you need to preheat the pot to 400 degrees F. Then place the chicken breasts in the basket, and adjust the time to about 20 minutes. You can check the meat every 10 minutes.

To ensure even cooking, you can use a knife to make small slits in the thickest part of the brisket after the outside has been defrosted. This way, the heat will easily get inside and cook it, and the seasoning will penetrate more evenly.

Cold Water

Defrosting chicken with cold water usually takes 1 hour and 30 minutes, and you need to change the water every 30 minutes
Defrosting chicken with cold water usually takes 1 hour and 30 minutes, and you need to change the water every 30 minutes

Defrosting with cold water is just as safe as the other methods. Its advantages are fast, security, and limited infection. The downside is that it takes about an hour and a half.

First, you should put the food in a zip bag, cover it, and put it in cold water (about 4.4 degrees) to soak. If the meat floats to the top, you can use a heavy object or a large fork to submerge it in the water. Next, change the water every 30 minutes to create a temperature difference, making the defrosting process faster. For small pieces of meat, it will take 1-2 hours to defrost, while large amounts take up to 6 hours.

After the meat is completely defrosted, you should cook it immediately to avoid food-borne illnesses. Particularly with this method, you should not refreeze.

Hot Water

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never officially recommended this method because there is not enough evidence of its safety for users. But it is still confirmed to help defrost meat quickly.

To make this method, you must put the meat in a ziplock bag and dip it in hot water at about 60 degrees. Celsius – the temperature that ensures the meat defrosts quickly, retains its freshness and is not hot enough to cook itself. After defrosting, you must cook immediately, instead of letting the crossbow cool down before doing so, to prevent bacteria from entering.

Could I Cook Chicken While It’s Still Frozen?

Could I Cook Chicken While It's Still Frozen?
Chicken should not be cooked before defrosting to avoid bacterial growth

The truth is, if frozen food is not defrosted properly, it can lead to food poisoning. Do uncook the chicken while it is still firm because this action will kill the bacteria and create conditions for them to multiply.

Between 40 and 140 degrees F is the temperature range where they thrive, and you need to raise this number above 165 degrees F for all meat to help reduce the risk of poisoning even more.

Except for using an air fryer, which is not officially approved, you can increase the temperature initially. That is, cook it before defrosting, right in the air fryer, if you intend to fry it later. You are setting the temperature to 165 degrees F for 20 – 40 minutes and flipping the test every 10 minutes.

As for the remaining processing methods, you need to defrost them first because it is difficult to measure defrosting and ripening temperatures accurately.

In addition, you should also be aware of the symptoms of poisoning that you may experience, including abdominal cramps, discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea. If these symptoms appear after eating, you should seek medical attention immediately.

How Long Is Chicken Good For Cooking After Thawing?

After defrosting, you should cook the chicken within the next 24 hours to prevent bacteria from intruding. The meat that has been defrosted in the refrigerator can be refrozen safely, as the environment in the fridge is sealed and mostly sterile.

However, the meat thawed in the microwave or cold water should not be refrozen. The reason is that some enzymes may have been destroyed when using a microwave oven, or the outside environment is unsafe.

How Long Is Chicken Good For Cooking After Thawing?
How Long Is Chicken Good For Cooking After Thawing?


What Temperature Is Defrost In A Microwave?

Usually, microwaves will have a food deforestation mode on their own, and you need to put the food in and indicate how long it takes to defrost chicken breast in microwave.

The internal temperature will be maintained at no more than 40 degrees F (5 degrees C) because from there to 140 degrees F is a suitable environment for bacteria to grow.

What Should You Not Do When Defrosting?

There are two actions you need to remember when defrosting:

  • Do not use hot water with perishable foods such as vegetables, etc
  • Do not let food at room temperature for more than 2 hours

What Happens If You Defrost Too Quickly?

Fast defrosting can make food more likely to be contaminated. Rapidly rising temperatures may oscillate the water molecules, cooking the meat from the inside and breaking down the texture of the essence. Moreover, it easily reaches the 40 – 140 degrees F threshold, supporting bacteria to multiply faster.

Therefore, during this process, you must adjust the temperature and control it below 40 degrees F to ensure food safety and hygiene.

What Happens If You Defrost Too Quickly
Increasing temperatures can cause water molecules to oscillate, causing the meat to cook and break down

Final Thought

It is safe to defrost chicken breast in microwave if you don’t leave it for a long time and use it immediately. Chicken breasts contain a lot of water and fat, so they can be overheated simply by being gone too long.

Some tips above may support this process better, and you also have more optional methods worth trying.