How To Defrost Chicken Breast In The Microwave

If you’re waiting for your frozen chicken to defrost and wish there was a quicker way to do it, then you’re in luck – you can actually defrost your chicken breasts in the microwave to speed things up!

How To Defrost Chicken Breast In The Microwave featured image

However, it’s important to make sure you’re doing it the right way in order to keep your chicken in good shape. That’s why we’ve made this handy guide to teach you how to properly microwave chicken!

So let’s get started, shall we?

Can You Microwave Chicken To Defrost It?

Defrosting a chicken in the microwave isn’t as simple as just popping in and heating it up.

If you heat it normally, then this can start to cook the chicken instead of simply defrosting it – not only does this stop the chicken from cooking properly, but it can also increase the risk of harmful bacteria in the meat.

Instead, you need to use the special defrost setting on your microwave. This changes how the microwave heats its contents, heating it slowly and at a lower temperature than normal.

Learn more about the defrost setting in our Whirlpool microwave how to defrost guide.

As a result, the chicken will be thoroughly defrosted without any of it starting to cook.

It’s also important to heat it for the right amount of time, too. Defrost it for too long and it might start to cook in the microwave; heat it too little and you’ll have frozen chicken in the center.

You want to stick to short shifts of defrosting, checking the chicken frequently to tell when it’s defrosted all the way through.

Defrosting chicken in the microwave is one of the quickest and easiest ways to prepare your chicken for cooking, but you need to do it properly to get the best results.

So now that we know it’s perfectly fine to defrost chicken in a microwave, let’s take a look at how to actually do it!

How To Defrost Chicken Breast In The Microwave

As we’ve already mentioned, defrosting chicken in the microwave doesn’t just involve popping it in and cooking it like you normally would.

While it’s a fairly easy thing to do, it’s also easy to get things wrong if you don’t know where to start.

To clear things up a bit, we’ve broken the whole process down in this handy step-by-step guide to walk you through defrosting your chicken in the microwave.

How To Defrost Chicken Breast In The Microwave

Step One: Put The Frozen Chicken On A Plate

The first thing you need to do is actually put the chicken breasts in the microwave.

Before that, though, remove the chicken from its packaging and put it on a microwave-safe plate to catch the water and juices it will release while defrosting.

Separate the frozen chicken breasts so they defrost evenly, and lay them flat on the plate.

You can always defrost them in batches if you have too many for one plate – this is far better than trying to do them all at once and ending up with unevenly-defrosted chicken!

Step Two: Change Your Microwave To The Defrost Setting

Next, you need to change your microwave to the ‘Defrost’ setting – this uses a lower heat to defrost the chicken without cooking it in the process.

On most microwaves, you can find the defrost setting on the main control panel on the front. Press the button and it will switch to its defrost mode.

If your microwave doesn’t have a specific defrost button, you may have to look through its settings to find it – for example, if your microwave has a digital screen you may have to scroll through the settings there.

Step Three: Defrost The Chicken

From here, put the chicken breasts in on the plate and set the microwave to run for two minutes. This may not be enough time to fully defrost the chicken, but leaving it in the microwave for too long can cause it to start cooking.

Halfway through, pause the microwave and flip the chicken breasts over before resuming. This will make them defrost evenly. Repeat this process if needed, until the chicken is defrosted all the way through.

What If Your Microwave Doesn’t Have A Defrost Setting?

If your microwave doesn’t have a defrost setting, don’t worry! Microwave the chicken breasts in the same way as shown above at 50% power, checking it every 30-45 seconds to make sure the outside doesn’t start to cook.

This can happen a lot more easily here, so pay close attention!

Once the chicken has defrosted, you need to start cooking it almost immediately.

The bacteria present on the chicken before it was frozen will start to multiply rapidly when it defrosts, so it’s important to start cooking ASAP to prevent the meat from spoiling.

Did you know this applies to other meats as well? Learn how to defrost bacon in the microwave to make sure you’re ready for breakfast, too!

Is Defrosting Chicken In The Microwave Safe?

You might be concerned as to whether or not microwaving frozen chicken to defrost it is actually safe. Don’t worry – defrosting chicken breast in the microwave is actually one of the easiest and safest ways to do it!

Using the defrost setting on your microwave is best for this, as it will slowly warm and defrost your chicken.

Gradually heating the chicken up to defrost it will prevent the risk of bacteria building up and will keep the chicken in good condition; heating it up too fast can create bacteria and even start to cook the outside of the chicken breasts.

As a result, you don’t need to worry about any safety issues from defrosting your chicken breasts in the microwave.

Make sure you use the defrost function on the microwave to avoid any issues, and your chicken will be ready in no time!

For help keeping safe working with other meats, check out our guide on how to defrost ground beef in a microwave as well. If you’re in the mood for seafood, then I also explain how to quickly defrost fish.

Final Thoughts

Defrosting your chicken breasts in the microwave is a quick and easy way to get it ready to cook.

Using the defrost function of your microwave will really speed up the defrosting process so you can start properly cooking the chicken in no time!

All you need to do is follow these simple steps, and you can easily defrost your frozen chicken breasts – now there’s no need for all that waiting, and you can enjoy your tasty chicken sooner.

If you’re looking for a new dish to try your freshly defrosted chicken in, we have you covered. Try this delectable chicken and mushroom stuffed acorn squash, featured in our best acorn squash microwave recipes!

Katie Vine