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We made 11 1bs. of chicken breast into kebobs and then froze it. How long will it take to defrost in the fridge?

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Is it in one giant block? A bunch of kinda flat freezer bags? –  Jefromi Jul 2 at 18:17

2 Answers 2

To a first approximation, heat exchange occurs on the surface of an object, and then the heat must conduct through the object. So, again, continuing the approximation, the time for something to heat (or cool) completely depends on how thick it is.

Other things that matter a good deal are: the temperature difference (the colder your fridge, the longer it'll take); the amount of airflow (moving = faster); and finally how fast the air gives up heat. (You can't change how fast the air does, but you can defrost under cold running water instead, water gives up heat much better than air).

How cold your freezer is doesn't actually matter that much. This is because water's transition from solid to liquid actually takes a lot of energy; it dwarfs any difference from a -5F freezer v. a +5F freezer. (Also why ice cools so well.)

So, if you have frozen them in a thin layer, and your fridge is close to 40F (the hottest it should be, for safety reasons), it'll defrost fairly quickly. Probably within an hour or two.

If you have a 11 lb block of chicken, it'll take a long time, I'd suggest looking up turkey defrosting times for comparison. 11 lb block of chicken in a 34F fridge would take days.

Remember that since defrosting in the fridge keeps the kebobs out of the "danger zone" for the entire time, you can safely hold the defrosted kebobs in the fridge for a day or two. So if they defrost a day before you need them, it's not a problem.

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I'm going to disagree with a couple of points here, sorry, new here, don't want to cause trouble.

I've never had even the smallest bits of meat defrost in the fridge in an hour or two. You're almost always looking at 24 hours. One lb of cubed stew meat takes a day.

Also, I wouldn't take a chance with chicken, ever. I wouldn't assume that the outer layers of a huge block of chicken thawing on Tuesday are as safe as the core which eventually will thaw out on Friday or Saturday. Every bit of raw chicken goes bad fast, even in the fridge.

Whenever in doubt, I thaw out my meats in ice baths. That's a big bunch of chicken, so I would half fill my sink with ice water and set the bag or bags in. They'll float, don't worry, as the they thaw they will sink. Put something heavy on top to hold it down, like a pot or roasting pan, but a little float-age isn't a big deal. Keep adding ice every hour, drain some water if you need to. You should have it all completely thawed in 3-6 hours, depending on how densely it's packed. This is how I do my whole chickens and 15 lb turkeys.

Thus it all thaws out in a short interval of time and then yes, you can totally keep in the fridge cold for a day or two till you need it.

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