I've read that it is O.K. to defrost chicken via the microwave or in a sink of cold water, but only if you're planning to cook the chicken right away. (How to quickly and safely defrost chicken?)

I'm putting my chicken in a crock pot to cook it, would these methods still be safe, or is there another method to which I would go about this?

Thanks in advance for all suggestions! :)

2 Answers 2


Either microwave or the running water method should be perfectly acceptable, since you are going to begin cooking right away. Modern slow cookers should come up to temperature within no more than an hour or so, so you aren't leaving the food at ambient temperature for very long.

Note that for the water method, the water should be running--it doesn't have to be fast, just a thin stream--but this makes sure there is enough circulation in the water to substantially reduce the defrosting time.

Your best, safest bet, if you have the time is always to defrost in the refrigerator. The other methods are for when you don't have time to do that.

  • Thanks you! I wasn't sure if cooking it in a crock pot was still considered cooking it "right away" or "immediately" since it would be cooked over a 4-5 hour period. I guess what is meant by that is to not thaw it then leave it in the fridge for an extended amount of time?
    – Nicole Rae
    Feb 21, 2014 at 17:44
  • The idea is not to thaw and leave in the so-called danger zone for an extended period. And since these methods are less controlled than refrigerator thawing, returning to the refrigerator is maybe not the best practice; instead, cooking right away is a better idea. Remember, the guidelines are very, very, very conservative.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Feb 21, 2014 at 17:49
  • depending on what "cooking in the crock pot" means exactly, defrosting might not even be required. If I am making pulled chicken, for example, I will put frozen chicken directly in the crock pot with no adverse effects. If the chicken is mixed with something else, it might not turn out right due to varying cooking times.
    – user21524
    Feb 22, 2014 at 8:03
  • @JohnGaughan We have found conflicting indications on cooking from frozen in slow cookers although for other methods of cooking thawing as part of the cooking process is acceptable
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Feb 22, 2014 at 15:28

If I am going to cook chicken in the crock pot, I usually put the chicken in frozen and cook on high for the first hours or two. Then I turn back to low to finish cooking.

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