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How to Defrost Chicken Leg in Microwave

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Storing chicken legs in the freezer provide convenient way to extend the lifespan of the meat. It is recommended to defrost chicken leg in the microwave is the fastest thawing method to use right before cooking. 

How to defrost chicken leg in the microwave? Make a deep slit on each side of the chicken leg and place them on a microwave-safe plate. Press defrost setting or lower the power to 30% and nuke for 1 minute. 

Check to ensure there is no ice or cold by touching through the slit. Flip the leg over and defrost for another minute if necessary.

The defrosted chicken leg should be cooked right away as there is a high chance of bacteria thriving in the temperature danger zone of 40 degree F and 140 degree F on the slightly heated poultry. Defrosted chicken leg should be cooked at an appropriate temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that thrive on the perishable food.

Thawing chicken legs in the microwave requires technique. This article answers the frequently asked questions and shares a few basic microwave tips to defrost evenly

Can you defrost chicken leg in the microwave? 

Yes, defrosting chicken leg in a microwave is the quickest way to thaw it. Defrosting helps to ensure even cooking, which otherwise can result in the a frozen center with overcooked exterior. 

Inappropriate cooking could comprise harmful bacteria that will initiate food borne illness.

A well-known course of action to thaw chicken quickly is by using a microwave. Just place the chicken legs on a plate that is microwave-safe and nuke on the defrost setting for a minute or two. 

Keep a little space apart between the legs for all-around warming. Place the plate in the microwave and set it to defrost for a minute and then flip the legs and repeat for another minute.

Is it safe to thaw chicken legs in the microwave?

Yes, it is safe to thaw chicken legs in the microwave. To thaw chicken from its frozen rock-hard state, take three to four pieces at a time and microwave in batches if need be. 

Ensure it is not microwaved over the necessary amount of time as that can start cooking the chicken leg.

To safely thaw chicken leg, make a small slit in the chicken leg’s thickest portion. Microwave on the defrost setting for a minute and always check if the chicken leg is fully defrosted before beginning any cooking methods. 

If you put in your finger in the cut slits, you should be able to feel soft flesh without any ice crystals. With any ice crystals or solid flesh within, the defrosting is incomplete and you will need to defrost for another minute.

Do I need to defrost chicken legs before cooking?

The answer is yes and no. 

Yes, because defrosting speeds your cooking time and ensures even cooking. 

No, because you can cook chicken leg in its frozen form too. It is safe to cook frozen chicken legs, however you will need to cook 50% longer than usual as compared to fully thawed chicken legs.

To know whether your chicken leg is cooked properly, use a meat thermometer at the thickest section of the leg. The internal temperature should register 74 degrees Celsius or 165 degrees Fahrenheit throughout. 

If this temperature mark is reached, then you can cook the chicken leg in both defrosted and frozen form. 

If you are baking chicken legs, the same theory works and then can be baked from frozen or thawed. When baking, ensure the temperature is set to 375 deg F and roast for 50 mins to 60 mins.

If the meat is frozen at the start of cooking, chances are that a portion of it may become overcooked and slightly dried out. That is why it is always recommended to defrost chicken before cooking.

If I defrost chicken leg can I refreeze it?

If the chicken leg is handled appropriately, the defrosted chicken leg can be refrozen once and it is safe to do so. Chicken legs should be refrozen within 2 days post-thawing. 

If the chicken legs are cooked, then the refreezing can be done within 4 days. Only chicken legs thawed in the fridge are recommended to refreeze, not after being thawed in a microwave.

You may get into a situation where you have thawed the chicken leg and are in a hurry, or not in the mood to cook it anymore and want to refreeze it. It is safe to place the thawed chicken legs back into the freezer if they were thawed overnight in the fridge. 

However, remember that a chicken leg defrosted lower than 5 degree C or 40 degree F can be refrozen. This is because there is no contamination involved in such a state. 

Both safety and quality are not compromised once the meat has been defrosted. So, keep it refrigerated until it is refrozen.

How do you defrost chicken leg quickly?

There are two quick ways to defrost chicken leg quickly either by placing it in a microwave. Microwaves come with defrost setting and with a touch of a button, the chicken legs are thawed in a minute or two.

If your microwave does not have a programmed defrost setting for chicken, then set it on a low power level and nuke for one minute each each side. Be sure to adjust the power setting to low or 30% power level to avoid cooking the chicken leg. 

Check periodically for proper thawing. Flip and reposition the legs timely for overall defrosting, particularly when there’s no rotating tray in the appliance. If you have the programmed defrost setting, that should be sufficient to do the job after you input the correct weight. 

It is essential to understand that thinner sections are defrosted quicker than thicker ones, hence periodic flipping has to be done. The legs should be separated and placed on the plate with sufficient spacing in between.

What is the time needed for the chicken leg to defrost in a microwave?

It takes about 2 minutes to defrost a pound of chicken legs in a microwave. Remove the chicken legs from their packaging and place them in a microwavable dish without overcrowding. 

Make use of the defrost setting in a microwave and nuke on low heat for 2 minutes with periodic checking every 30 seconds.

Newer microwaves have a programmed chicken leg defrost setting while other models may not. Understanding the microwave setting and capacity is important, follow the manufacturer’s directions with the correct timing in correlations with the weight of chicken legs. 

The general defrost setting time is 2 minutes. However, it is better to flip in between and check every 30 seconds for even defrosting. 

Do not go overtime as it can cook the chicken leg instead of defrosting. After the chicken leg is defrosted, cook it right away for best results.

Tips to defrost chicken leg in microwave

  • Cut a slit in the meat of the thickest part of the frozen chicken leg.
  • Set the microwave on defrost setting for a minute each time.
  • Keep checking every 30 seconds to see if the chicken leg is defrosted.
  • Cook it right away after defrosting.
  • Defrost by following the manufacturer’s microwave instructions.
  • Place on a microwave-safe dish with the chicken legs sufficiently spaced apart for even thawing.
  • Repeat if the defrosting is not even throughout the leg, which can be checked by cutting a slit on the thickest portion and checking for softness without any ice crystals.
  • Do not leave the chicken leg in the microwave for long as extended time in the temperature danger zone can make the thawed chicken leg unsafe to consume.

Best way to defrost chicken leg in microwave

The best way to defrost chicken legs in a microwave is to separate each leg and space them apart for even defrosting. Microwave on the defrost setting for one minute, flip and rotate, then defrost for another minute or until the center is fully thawed.

Unwrap the chicken leg pieces and place them in a microwave-safe plate. Use the defrost setting or lowest power level to nuke for a minute or two. 

Do not leave the thawed chicken legs in the warm microwave for too long as they may begin to cook. Proceed with your preferred cooking method immediately after the frozen chicken legs have fully thawed.

How to defrost chicken leg in microwave

Defrosting Chicken Legs in Microwave: Conclusion

It is recommended to thaw chicken legs in the microwave before cooking for a quick and easy meal. Without defrosting the meat prior to cooking, unevenly cooked meat may result in harmful bacteria and exposure to food borne bacteria. 

Whether you are defrosting small or medium sized chicken legs, use a sharp knife to cut one or two slits in the thickest part of chicken leg to help absorb the heat towards the inside on the meat closest to the bone.

If you are defrosting more than one chicken leg, space them apart to thaw more evenly in the microwave. Put them on a microwave safe plate instead of using the original styrofoam container or plastic packaging.

Adjust the power to 30% or lower when thawing chicken leg in the microwave, or use the built-in defrost setting that calculates time based on the weight of the legs. 

Start with 1 minute increments and check often to see if any ice remains around the chicken leg or touch the center of the meat near the bone to evaluate if it is completely thawed. Ensure to wash the hand after touching raw chicken.

Flip and add 45 seconds to 1 minute until the chicken leg is defrosted. In general, it take about 2 minutes to defrost a pound of frozen chicken legs.

Cook the chicken legs immediately after thawing to prevent harmful bacteria from starting to grow. Avoid refreezing the defrosted chicken leg after being microwaved as it may lose the texture, taste, and also create more harmful bacteria. 

It’s important to defrost chicken legs before cooking on the stove or in the oven. Properly thawing chicken legs in the microwave not only saves cooking time, but also helps to avoid any unwanted bacteria from causing a problem. 

Use these techniques and microwave tips to defrost the chicken leg quickly to enjoy a fresh cooked meal in less time.

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