So you want chicken wings for dinner, only there is one problem -- you forgot to take the wings out of the freezer last night. Use the safest quick-thaw techniques to get your wings thawed and ready to cook for your meal without sacrificing food safety. Never put the wings on the counter to thaw because it can result in unsafe chicken.
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Cold Water Defrost
If you have no microwave, thawing in cold water is definitely the method for you to get the job done quickly. Place the wings in a sealed, food-safe bag and then into a large bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water and use a plate or other item to keep the wings submerged for a quicker thaw. Flip the bag with the wings frequently and change the water out every 30 minutes to get the job done quickly.
A microwave is handy when you need to quickly thaw meat. Use your microwave's defrost setting to thaw the chicken wings in a matter of minutes. To thaw in the microwave, you will need to know the total weight of the wings to properly thaw them. Rotate the wings throughout the cycle as your microwave beeps at intervals during the defrost process. Microwave-defrosted meat must be cooked immediately after defrosting in the microwave, as some spots get warmer than others and can more quickly result in food spoilage if not cooked quickly.
Safe Thawing Tips
It is never safe to thaw raw meat on the counter, in your garage or outside. Following safe defrosting methods is the only way to prevent the growth of bacteria that can cause foodborne illness and spoil food. When you defrost meat in the microwave or using the cold water method, the defrosted meat must be cooked shortly after being defrosted to keep it safe and fresh. Refrigerator-defrosted meat will last several days in the refrigerator.
Thawing with Time
The easiest way to thaw foods is in the refrigerator. But this method does take time. Plan on one day in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds of meat to achieve a complete thaw. Though this is not always possible, planning ahead helps ensure you have safe, defrosted meat ready to cook when you need it for your meal.