I DON'T want to poison my family!

Turkey - This is the turkey that I cooked all by myself at Thanksgiving two years ago. It was my first one that I cooked myself! It tasted really good. :)
@koalatbs (2231)
United States
February 24, 2009 12:12pm CST
I want to make some chicken for dinner tonight but it's still in the freezer and frozen solid as a rock! How long can you safely leave poultry out on the counter before cooking it? Does anyone know? I do want to make it tonight but I don't want to give everyone in my family food poisoning! Thanks in advance. Jill
13 people like this
33 responses
@zandi458 (27954)
• Malaysia
24 Feb 09
I think every refrigerator has a defrost compartment where you can put in the frozen chicken few hours or overnight and put it inside that compartment. The chicken will not be too solid when you are ready to chop it up.
2 people like this
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
24 Feb 09
I have never heard of a defrost compartment in the refrigerator! Maybe I just have always had the cheaper frig versions! LoL
2 people like this
@zandi458 (27954)
• Malaysia
24 Feb 09
It is right below freezing compartment.
1 person likes this
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
24 Feb 09
Where?... the top shelf of the refrigerator? I'm confused... am I the only one who doesn't know where you are talking about?
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84157)
• Shingle Springs, California
24 Feb 09
Normally you wouldn't want to leave it out more than 2 hours. Or any meat or dairy product...
2 people like this
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
24 Feb 09
Thanks Dawn - I took it out of the freezer and put it into the refrigerator a little bit ago. I guess I can take the chicken out and put it on the counter for awhile. I hope my cat doesn't get to it! LoL
3 people like this
@bamakelly (5194)
• United States
24 Feb 09
I do agree with you there on this subject dawnald. I wouldn't want to leave anything out for too long. Especially when it comes to any kind of frozen meat especially chicken. I would think to let it out for a couple of hours and let it soften and then place it in the refrigerator.
1 person likes this
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
24 Feb 09
Oh yeah, lol she did say it was chicken. Normally my mom took meat out the morning she was going to cook it to thaw, but didn't open it til we were going to cook. That worked well, but she did different for chicken I think. I usually just get rotissery chicken or whatever so it's pre-cooked. That may be what koala should do if she is unsure of how to prepare it.
1 person likes this
@loved1 (5338)
• United States
24 Feb 09
Is it a whole chicken? Chicken portions? I cook chicken from the frozen state all the time. Frozen chicken pieces can be placed in the crock pot and they turn out delicious. You could certainly boil the chicken and use the cooked meat for chicken salad, casseroles, chicken & noodles, etc. I think if I absolutely had to defrost it I would do it in the microwave or throw it in the refrigerator for tomorrow night.
2 people like this
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
24 Feb 09
It is a very small whole chicken loved1. I put it out on the counter about an hour or so ago. Do you think that if I leave it for about one more hour it will be ok to cook even if it still is a little frozen?
1 person likes this
@loved1 (5338)
• United States
24 Feb 09
Sure, I think that will work just fine. Let us know how dinner turns out!
1 person likes this
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
24 Feb 09
You could put it in warm water for a while or if you have a microwave you could defrost it a little. I have defrosted chicken and turkey in their store packages for a few hours in water or on the counter. Just keep checking to see that it is still cold but getting softer.
2 people like this
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
24 Feb 09
I guess I will put it out on the counter for awhile and then if an hour or so before I cook dinner it doesn't seem thawed out enough I'll put it in the sink in some warm water. Thanks for the help jillmalitz! Jill
2 people like this
• United States
24 Feb 09
I have always taken my frozen meats out of the freezer and set them in the fridge for about 2-3 hrs and if they have not defrosted by then, I put then in the sink and fill it with luke warm water. This usually helps to get it nice and thawed by the time I want to cook it :)
• United States
24 Feb 09
That is a very dangerous way to thaw meat or poultry. If you cannot thaw it in a microwave then it is much safer to thaw it out in cold water just keep changing the water.
1 person likes this
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
24 Feb 09
Thank you whiteheather39. I do have it out on the countertop right now but I've only had it out for about an hour. I do not want to put it into the microwave because it will probably make it tough and chewy. YUCK! You said "cold" water to thaw it... is there any particular reason why it should be cold?
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Feb 09
Hot or warm water may partially cook the meat, rendering it flavorless and ripe for bacterial growth, and room temperature thawing can cause contamination. I always thaw my meats in the micorwave and they are never yuky. If you do not have a defrost setting then you can defrost at 1 minute per lb of meat using 25 or 30% power. This way it does not cook the meat. Check halfway.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Mar 09
I am sorry I am a month late . what my mom does is take the chicken out of the freezer athe night before and she woulf put it in the fridge.It would defrost overnight. BB By the time she was ready to cook , the chicken was defrosted. The chicken would have been in the fridge for at least 18 -24 hours.
1 person likes this
@littleowl (7157)
24 Feb 09
Hi koala' I normally put things like that in the microwave and thaw it out then run it under cold water to make sure the ice or water is off whatever it maybe I am cooking...it does the trick for me nd I haven't had food poisoning....littleowl
1 person likes this
@bamakelly (5194)
• United States
24 Feb 09
I am thinking that you could safely leave it on the counter until it is a little softer but of course you don't want it exposed to the air for too long because of course you don't want any poisoning involved. How about this idea. Why not just have something else for dinner? Say something that is not frozen or maybe order something in tonight.
1 person likes this
@carmelanirel (21108)
• United States
25 Feb 09
I am probably too late for this, but what I do is fill the sink up with cold water and soak the chicken, changing the water every hour or so..It slowly defrosts the meat, but usually it is ready to go by dinnertime..
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
25 Feb 09
Thanks carmelanirel - I appreciate the info. My question is... why "cold" water? Wouldn't it be better & faster to use warm or hot water? Why does everyone say to use cold? That confuses me. It did turn out good. It was still fairly frozen but I cooked it in one of those bags that you add the seasoning to and it was ready when dinnertime came. I ended up cooking it at 350 for about an hour & a half or so. I didn't eat it... my son & husband did. I went back to being a vegetarian about 2 months ago. I wish I didn't have to mess with it at all. I'd much rather not handle raw meat... it gives me the willys! Jill
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 09
Because cold water is still warmer than the refrigerator and you don't want to defrost it too fast, that is what causes problems with bacteria growth..
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
4 Mar 09
Ahhhh... thx! I knew there had to be a good reason. :)
• Regina, Saskatchewan
4 Mar 09
I wouldn't leave it on the counter at all. When I want to use frozen chicken for dinner, I put it in a pot of water and bring it to a boil and then turn it down to medium. When it is 'soft' I take it out and finish cooking it in the oven, roaster or frying pan, whatever I want. And it always comes out more tender and juicy......
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
4 Mar 09
Thanks sparks - I'll try that next time I cook chicken for din din! :)
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
4 Mar 09
Okey dokey..........
@Fishmomma (11540)
• United States
25 Feb 09
I don't leave poultry on the counter at all. Its easy to thaw it in the microwave. Good luck and hope you get lots of help.
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
4 Mar 09
Wouldn't the microwave make the chicken chewy? And, this chicken was a small whole chicken on the bone. Can you put that in the microwave?
@Fishmomma (11540)
• United States
5 Mar 09
Actually, it doesn't by using very low settings and I did it today. The chicken was great.
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
25 Feb 09
i don't believe u are going to do that. i always put my chicken in cold salty water before i cook it. that helps thaw it but i have left it out all morning to get it to thaw.
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
4 Mar 09
Thanks ANTIQUELADY! Many people here are also saying to thaw it in cold water but you are the first to mention in "salty" cold water. Why is that? Thanks again... I really appreciate the help. I will have to try that next time.
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
4 Mar 09
because my grandmother & mother always did that. lol it takes all the blood out of chicken. it makes it pretty & white.
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
25 Feb 09
Having worked the food industry I know that the best way to thaw out any meat in the fridge. If as you have forgotten it should be defrosted in COLD water NEVER EVER WARM water. There are three safe ways to defrost food. Place the chicken in a water proof plastic bag and submerge in very cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes or so. A 3- to 4-pound package may take 2 to 3 hours. I personally don't like the microwave method. Go down to water thawing meats http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Big_Thaw/index.asp
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
4 Mar 09
Why in COLD water deebomb?
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
5 Mar 09
That is what we learned food service and what we are told to do to thaw out turkeys at thanksgiving. It also keeps the chicken cold enough to prevent salmonella bacteria grow growing.
@snowcat46 (2323)
• United States
24 Feb 09
I've never been fond of leaving meat on the counter, for just that reason. I love the microwave, but it doesn't work on chicken. What does work on chicken is water. Trust me, I've done this before!! Cut open the top of the bag, or just put all the pieces in a container that will hold them all. Use the sink and fill it with hot water to cover the chicken. It even works with cold water, it's just faster with hot. Then leave it in for 15 minutes. Drain the water off. Check chicken for stiffness. If still stiff, refill with water and let sit again. It will be soft and thawed by then. 1/2 an hour isn't too long to leave meat out. It's amazing what you find out when you're as big a procrastinator as me!
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
24 Feb 09
Hi procrastinator... I'm a BIG huge procrastinator too! LoL! Just to prove it... it is now 2:18 pm. I made a small 3 item "to-do" list for myself this morning. No. 1 - vacuum, No. 2 - Get something ready for dinner tonight, & No. 3 - send catalogs to customers. Now, have I done ANY of these things yet? NO!! Thx again for the chicken de-thawing advice snowcat46! I really appreicate it. It is on the counter now. I put it out about an hour ago. I'll take your advice about putting it in water after I check it again. Talk to ya later! Jill P.S. - I love your doggie! Sooo adorable. What kind is it?
@snowcat46 (2323)
• United States
24 Feb 09
he's a mutt. Now that he's older, he looks a lot like an arctic fox. Except he's getting more brown on him lately. I think he might be part fox terrier. His long nose sort of resembles a poodles though. So it's anybody's guess!
@dlr297 (5358)
• United States
25 Feb 09
You can put your chicken in a bowl of cool water to defrost it, or you can leave it on the counter for a few hours. I usually take mine out and put it in the refrigerator the night before i plan on cooking it, When chicken goes bad it will have a terrible smell to it. Just make sure that you wash it real good to before you cook it.
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
4 Mar 09
Great, thanks dlr297! I do usually take it out of the freezer the day before for pretty much every meat I cook, including chicken but I forgot! I didn't know about thawing it in water... I'll do that next time. Thx! :)
25 Feb 09
Hi Koalatbs, Cover it and leave in the fridge overnight, that should be ok or you can cover it and leave on the counter overnight too and then cook it the very next day. Tamara
@koalatbs (2231)
• United States
4 Mar 09
I usually do that but I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer the day before & I still wanted to cook it for dinner as I had nothing else thawed out either. :(
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
24 Feb 09
Actually, you are supposed to pull it out to thaw the night before. Technically you can do it several hours in advance, but it may not fully thaw then. It is best to leave it out overnight or at least in the morning. If you don't know how to cook it properly, then you shouldn't be preparing it. I would recommend taking some sort of course to learn these things as this won't be the first time you will need it.
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
24 Feb 09
These ideas about water sound good to me too. I am sure there is several ways of doing it. Taking it out early is just how my mom did it all my life and there was no big deal with it. She doesn't open it until it is time to cook. I'd for now listen to whatever your most common recommendation is if you are comfortable with that and then get into some cooking classes. I know I could use them.
@Hatley (162104)
• Garden Grove, California
11 Aug 09
hi hatley here I usually put my frozen chicken in some hot water for about an hour or more, never leave it out more than two hours, usually doesnt take that long to thaw, once thawed if its too long before I need to start cooking it I put it back in the fridge. I am always very careful with chicken as they are usually full of germs anyway. I always thoroughly wash my chicken under hot water before I start cooking it,no matter what method of cooking I use. happy cooking and mylotting.
@nishdan01 (3055)
• Singapore
5 Mar 09
If I were you, I would have used defrosting option of microwave. Then you could try to keep in the lower compartment of the fridge for 2 hours and leave in the open water(Remove the packing)for one hour. To make it very quickly, I would drop everything into warm water and wash again and again. I have done that and it works.