Can You Cook Frozen Chicken Without Defrosting it First?

Frozen chicken is the worst. It’s frozen, it sticks to everything, and you may be wondering how in the world anyone could cook it without defrosting first.

A lot of people ask this question because they are afraid that their food will have all those icky freezer burns if they don’t freeze before cooking or thaw out before eating them. So let’s show everyone exactly what we mean when we say “cook frozen chicken.”

Follow the steps below to cook frozen chicken without defrosting it first.

Can you cook frozen chicken without defrosting?

Yes, you can safely cook frozen chicken without defrosting first it if you follow a few guidelines. However, the process will take longer depending on how cold your food was and whether or not it’s still partially frozen in some areas.

The key thing to remember is that the cooking time depends on the size of the pieces of chicken and their thickness.

For example, if you have a whole chicken that’s about three pounds, it will take around 60 minutes in an oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your piece of chicken is about one inch thick, it would take around 10-15 minutes to cook through in an oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit as well.

If you are trying to cook chicken, it’s important that the frozen food is thawed first. However, if you don’t have time or do not want to defrost your meat before cooking it, then just increase the cooking time by 50%.

So, you have been told that frozen chicken can be cooked without defrosting it first. But how? You need to know the steps for cooking frozen chicken and then you will know exactly how long it takes to cook your pieces of meat once they’re thawed out.

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken Without Defrosting it First?

Is it safe to cook frozen chicken?

Yes, according to the USDA, you can safely cook the frozen chicken as long as you follow a few general principles. To avoid the thawing stage and transform your frozen chicken into a fully cooked, safe-to-eat supper, simply use your oven or stovetop and extend your cooking time by at least 50%.

Make sure the chicken is frozen in such a way that the individual pieces can be spread out on a baking sheet or griddle. In other words, they aren’t all stuck together in a rock-hard clump.

It is not safe to cook frozen chicken in a microwave or slow cooker. A safer option would be to thaw it out by submerging the package of chicken into cold water for about 10 minutes, then cooking on high heat with a little bit of oil until fully cooked.

How long does it take to cook frozen chicken?

Thawed out chicken will take about 50% longer to cook than usual. Bone-in chicken takes about 45 minutes and boneless chicken takes about 20 minutes

  • Frozen chicken breasts (boneless), 4 to 6 ounces: 38 to 45 minutes
  • Frozen chicken breasts (bone-in) 6 to 8 ounces: 53 to 68 minutes
  • Frozen chicken thighs, 4 to 8 ounces: 60 to 75 minutes
  • Frozen chicken wings, 2 to 3 ounces: 53 to 68 minutes
  • Frozen chicken drumsticks, 4 ounces: 60 to 75 minutes

What happens if chicken is not fully defrosted before cooking?

If your chicken is not fully defrosted before cooking, it will be fine when cooked without thawing. Defrosting times vary depending on food and can take anywhere from several minutes to hours.

If food is not fully defrosted before cooking, the cooking time will increase by 50% and frozen or partially-frozen chicken will take longer to cook. This can happen when food has been in the freezer for too long because it takes less time to thaw out than it does to completely freeze something.

How to cook frozen chicken Without Defrosting

Cooking frozen chicken in the oven is the same as cooking fresh chicken, but with lengthier cooking periods. To compensate for the longer cooking time, we recommend cooking frozen chicken at a lower temperature than fresh, at 350 to 365 degrees F.


  • Frozen Chicken
  • Seasonings


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Using foil or parchment paper, line a baking pan.
  3. Brush the chicken with your favorite oil, spices, and/or sauces.
  4. Cook uncovered. The approximate cook times for frozen chicken are listed below.
  5. Using an instant-read thermometer, check for doneness. Insert the needle into the thickest section of the flesh. It’s done when the temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F.
  6. Allow 5 to 10 minutes for the meat to rest before cutting.
Angela Jones
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