Let me show you how to Thaw chicken to be cooked the right way. Chicken is a delicious addition to any meal and is amongst the healthiest forms of protein available. Cooking chicken can be easy and fun, and takes less time than cooking other meats. Chicken, with its signature white meat, has very little fat, making it a healthy alternative to beef and pork. Whenever cooking raw meat, though, it is necessary to be extremely careful and go through all precautions when handling raw chicken. Failure to do so may result in food poisoning, salmonella or other sicknesses.
- Store the chicken. If you do not plan on eating your raw chicken immediately, place it in your freezer the day you buy it. If you are going to cook your chicken the day you buy, you don't need to worry about defrosting it; however, you should not let your chicken sit raw for more than a day, so make sure it is packaged and sealed before placing it in a freezer.
- Remove your chicken from your freezer and place it in the refrigerator. This is the most highly-touted method of thawing chicken and most other meats, too. The standard rule says that 1 pound (0.453 Kg) of chicken takes 5 hours to defrost in a refrigerator. While this, of course, takes longer than other methods, it is by far the safest. The slower the chicken defrosts, the smaller chance that malevolent organisms will develop in the process.
- Place the chicken on a plate, cover it and set it on your kitchen counter only if you have time to watch the chicken thaw. This method will thaw your chicken more quickly than by solely leaving it in your refrigerator. However, use this method to only speed the initial thawing process. Leave your frozen chicken on your kitchen counter for 2 to 3 hours, and then return the chicken to your refrigerator for the remainder of the thawing process. The goal is to thaw part of your chicken quickly without allowing the temperature of the meat to drop too rapidly.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water in your sink and place the chicken inside. Using this method, a pound of chicken will be able to defrost in approximately 1 to 2 hours. By changing the water every 30 minutes and not using the sink for anything else during this process, you can maintain a sanitary cooking environment for your chicken. Do not use warm water because it will allow bacteria to fester in the chicken while it defrosts.
- Use a microwave--but only if you have to. While microwaving chicken to thaw it is by far the fastest method, it is also the least healthy and most dangerous. Check your microwave's user manual for defrosting instructions and only heat the chicken in small doses to make sure that you do not accidentally begin cooking the chicken, as this increases the possibility of allowing bacteria to grow on your otherwise healthy chicken before you cook it.
- Do not partially defrost your chicken and then refreeze it, as this encourages bacteria to fester.
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