Can You Boil Frozen Chicken?

This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

You’re bustling around in the evening, hurriedly getting dinner ready after an exhausting day from work.

You open the fridge to get the chicken but realize that all the poultry meat in your refrigerator is frozen.

Conflicted, you wonder if it’s safe to toss the frozen chicken directly into your pot of boiling water or let it thaw first. 

So, can you boil frozen chicken?

You can boil frozen chicken; however, ensure the middle part reaches 165F; otherwise, it won’t have cooked through.

Undercooked chicken is risky as it contains bacteria like salmonella that cause food poisoning.

For this reason, always use a thermometer to confirm if your chicken is done. 

This article gives a detailed description of boiling frozen chicken.

It also describes the possible dangers of boiling this frozen poultry and the safe ways of thawing it. 

Risks of frozen chicken  

Raw chicken contains bacteria like clostridium perfringens, salmonella, and campylobacter.

If you ingest these bacteria, you might show signs of food poisoning such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, nausea, and abdominal pain. 

These bacteria still survive while the chicken is frozen.

Therefore your chilled chicken still has as many pathogens as when raw.

That said, heat is the only element that kills these bacteria. 

The least amount of temperature suitable for extinguishing these bacteria is 165F.

Thus your whole chicken, including the middle part, should always reach this temperature to avoid ingesting pathogens.  

How to safely thaw frozen chicken  

Thawing frozen chicken is risky as the fluids could easily transfer bacteria from one surface to another.

In this regard, below are some safe thawing methods to prevent cross-contamination. 

In cold water 

This method of defrosting is quick but requires you to be attentive.

Place the chicken in a plastic bag, then immerse it into a bowl of cold tap water.

You should change the water every thirty minutes as it gets cold with time, reducing the thawing process. 

The duration of thawing depends on the size of your chicken.

A pound of chicken could take an hour to defrost, while three pounds may take three hours. 

The fridge 

This is the safest way of defrosting chicken, but it needs lots of preparation.

Defrosting using this method takes approximately twenty-four hours.

Therefore, you should place frozen chicken in the fridge to thaw the day before cooking. 

After defrosting, it’s safe for the chicken to stay in the refrigerator for one or two days before boiling or roasting it. 


Using a microwave is the fastest way to defrost your chicken.

All you have to do is use the defrost microwave setting for a minute, severally, until the chicken thaws fully. 

However, the microwave’s highest temperature to heat the chicken is 140F, where bacteria thrive.

Therefore, cook the chicken immediately after defrosting it in the microwave to kill the pathogens. 

Boiling frozen chicken 

Below are the guidelines on boiling frozen chicken. 

  • Fill a pot or saucepan with water, then place it on high heat 
  • Let the water boil. This step will take around twenty minutes. However, don’t let it boil for long and evaporate.    
  • Submerge the frozen chicken into the boiling water. You could choose to remove the bones as this reduces the time required for the chicken to cook through.  
  • Reduce the heat and let the chicken simmer. This is to avoid the water from evaporating and reducing in size as the chicken needs to be completely submerged the whole time. Simmering also allows the heat to spread evenly through the chicken. 
  • Use a meat thermometer to check if the chicken is done cooking. The chicken is ready if its middle part reaches 165F. This process takes approximately fifty percent more time than the regular chicken. 
  • Always skim the whitish stuff that floats on the water as the chicken boils to prevent having a cloudy soup. That said, the white or gray matter is protein and water hence not harmful. 

If you prefer a spicy and flavorful chicken broth, sear the chicken on both sides and season it with salt and pepper before placing it in boiling water. 

How to tell if your frozen chicken is cooked through  

Aside from using a meat thermometer to check if the chicken is fully cooked, you could use the following tips. 

Feel the chicken 

You can use the finger test to check your chicken’s doneness.

Pinch the flesh below your thumb while relaxed to know raw chicken’s texture.

On the other hand, well-done chicken meat feels like touching your thumb and pinkie together.

This technique could take a while to master; use a thermometer if you aren’t perfect yet. 

Poke the chicken 

A properly cooked chicken releases clear juices when poked.

However, chicken that isn’t done yet produces pinkish juices.

This explains why undercooked chicken may appear pinkish while its thoroughly cooked counterparts are white. 

Check the size 

Your chicken meat could appear white on the outside while still pink, solid and frozen inside.

However, if your piece of chicken starts to appear smaller, it might be closer to being done.

This size difference is subtle; hence your chicken might have overcooked if it’s too small. 

What not to do when boiling frozen chicken 

Don’t boil frozen chicken in a slow cooker 

Slow cookers are efficient and easy to use.

However, you should never cook frozen chicken in them because of the low cooker temperatures.

Frozen chicken should get off the bacteria danger zone below 140F as fast as possible.

However, this isn’t possible in a slow cooker making it unsafe. 

Never use the microwave for cooking frozen chicken 

It’s easy to heat frozen chicken in a microwave as you do with other foods.

However, this isn’t safe as the temperatures in a microwave are irregular, meaning that the chicken won’t be able to cook through. 

Can you roast frozen chicken? 

Besides boiling, roasting is another safe way to cook frozen chicken.

However, it would take around three hours, an hour more than its regular alternative, to roast at 350F.

Below is a detailed procedure on how to properly roast frozen chicken. 

  • Heat up oven to 350F. 
  • Place the chicken on the roasting pan with its breast side up 
  • Brush some olive oil or any other preferable cooking oil 
  • Let the chicken roast for ninety minutes. Remember to remove the herbs and aromatics from the chicken and roasting pan when it’s sixty minutes cooked 
  • Close the oven after removing the herbs
  • Increase the temperatures to 450F 
  • Continue roasting until the chicken is cooked or after reaching ninety minutes. 

Can I grill frozen chicken? 

You can grill frozen chicken; however, identifying when the meat has cooked through is challenging.

This is because the chicken’s outside parts could burn and have appealing grill marks while the inside is still raw and frozen.

Here are tips on how to ensure your chicken cooks evenly and thoroughly. 

  • Preheat the grill for ten minutes to allow the chicken to sear evenly 
  • Star with low heat to prevent the chicken skin from sticking when adding them to the grill. Use indirect heat to fasten the thawing process and get the middle part of the chicken at the right or safe temperatures before cooking. 
  • Transfer the chicken to direct heat after it’s thawed 
  • Let the chicken cook. It should take fifty percent more time than its regular counterparts. 
  • The chicken should cook skin side down for fifteen minutes before flipping it and closing the lid. 
  • Check the progress after every five minutes to avoid burning.  

Chicken nutritional benefits 

Although chicken requires lots of precaution when preparing it, this poultry meat is filled with various nutrients that have several nutritional benefits.

They include: 

  • Vitamin B2 – This supplement helps maintain the body’s energy levels by breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. 
  • Vitamin B3 – Vitamin B3 is also known as niacin and it maintains blood fat levels, enhances brain function, and promotes skin health. 
  • Vitamin B6 – This nutrient promotes mental health and may treat anemia and nausea in pregnant women. 
  • Folate – This compound promotes primary cell functions and prevents congenital neural disabilities. 
  • Proteins – These nutrients build healthy muscle mass and help grow and repair body tissues. It also increases the fullness feeling. 
  • Creatine – Apart from enhancing cognitive or mental health, creatine promotes physical strength, performance, stamina, and recovery. 
  • Selenium – This mineral enhances blood oxidation which is vital. It also helps reduce stress and inflammation in the body. 

Frequently asked questions(FAQs) 

Is cooking better than thawing frozen chicken? 

Cooking frozen chicken is better than letting it thaw first.

Defrosting or thawing makes it easier for chicken meat to cause cross-contamination.

This is because the juices might fall on surfaces transferring bacteria. 

Is it safe to defrost chicken in hot water? 

It’s unsafe to let chicken thaw in hot water.

This is because it will make the otherwise dormant bacteria in this meat multiply spreading through the entire chicken. 

Can you boil frozen chicken without defrosting? 

You can boil frozen chicken without defrosting it.

However, it will take fifty percent more time than regular raw chicken.  

Can you boil a frozen chicken breast?

Boiling a frozen chicken breast is possible.

However, let its middle part reach 165F to avoid food poisoning. 


Although you can boil frozen chicken, you should let it cook till the middle part reaches 165F to avoid food poisoning.

Following the right thawing processes is also vital to avoid cross-contamination. 

Can You Boil Frozen Chicken

Boiled Chicken Recipe

Can you boil frozen chicken? You can boil frozen chicken; however, ensure the middle part reaches 165F; otherwise, it won’t have cooked through.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 5


  • 1 oven


  • frozen chicken


  • Heat up oven to 350F.
  • Place the chicken on the roasting pan with its breast side up
  • Brush some olive oil or any other preferable cooking oil
  • Let the chicken roast for ninety minutes. Remember to remove the herbs and aromatics from the chicken and roasting pan when it’s sixty minutes cooked
  • Close the oven after removing the herbs
  • Increase the temperatures to 450F
  • Continue roasting until the chicken is cooked or after reaching ninety minutes.


Keyword Can You Boil Frozen Chicken? For How Long (The Risks)
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Latest posts by Grace Lambert (see all)

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating


Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Recipes

How To Cook A Porkchop: The Ultimate Porkchop Cooking Guide