I bought chicken drumsticks on January 11th and froze them on the 11th. They had a best before date of January 13th. I put them in the fridge yesterday to defrost and am cooking them now but they were slimy. They didn't smell though. Does frozen chicken go slimy when defrosted? Safe to eat? Thanks!

1 Answer 1


Chicken naturally contains a lot of water, it also absorbs some more from the cleaning process (up to 8% reportedly). Some manufacturers also "tumble" the raw chicken with brine to increase flavour and, of course, weight and thus profit.

The freezing process will damage cells in the meat as the water expands, so when the chicken is defrosted some of this water/protein mixture will escape from these ruptured cells. When cooking you may see this as a white gunge forming in the pan.

It can feel quite slimy once defrosted, but this is just the raw "juices" coming out. I buy chicken in bulk and vacuum seal/freeze it into portion sizes. Good quality meat and drying the chicken before freezing can help. Flash freezing is preferred, but this is not practical at home.

I believe food safety is OT here, but it should not be an issue as long as you follow all the recommended guidelines for storage temperature and times.

  • 1
    Food safety is definitely on topic here, questions about health and medical issues are not.
    – GdD
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 16:30
  • So if recommended guidelines were followed and the chicken doesn't smell bad one can differentiate the slimy texture from food safety warnings not to eat slimy chicken? In other words it can be slimy from freezing/defrosting as opposed to slimy from spoilage?
    – padma
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 3:04
  • I've seen "slime" from plenty of defrosted chicken, never from spoiled chicken. Although in the last case the smell is enough to bin it without looking at it. Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 12:54

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