Identifying rotten or spoiled frozen chicken is pretty easy. But the thing is, chicken doesn’t usually go bad in the freezer. It usually goes bad before freezing or after thawing. So to better understand the situation, I urge you to go through the entire article.
How To Freeze Chicken Properly?
Here’s how you freeze chicken properly:
- First of all, you need to butcher your chicken.
- Next, you need to wash it thoroughly.
- Clean as much excess blood as you can and remove any excess water.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
- Next portion your chicken.
- Now wrap the chicken in cling film.
- Next, put the wrapped chicken in zip lock bags or airtight containers.
- Now place it in the freezer to freeze.
Chicken frozen this way will remain good indefinitely. But it is recommended that you consume it within 6-12 months of freezing it.
But before you start freezing your chicken, you should check whether it is still good or not. Here’s how you do it:
How To Tell If Raw Chicken Is Bad?
- Visually: Any discoloration means your chicken has gone bad.
- Mold: If there is any mold or fungus growth in your chicken, it has gone bad.
- Smell: If there is any off smell, discard the chicken.
- Texture: If the chicken is too mushy, it has gone bad.
- By touch: If the chicken feels slimy, it has gone bad.
If you notice any of these signs, discard the chicken and wash any container or utensil that was in contact with the chicken as they are contaminated.
How Does Chicken Go Bad?
Chicken can go bad in many ways. But mainly, chicken goes bad due to contamination and bacterial growth. Here are a few ways by which chicken goes bad:
- The chicken had excess moisture.
- The chicken was unclean and not properly washed.
- There was excess blood or even fecal matter mixed within the chicken.
- The chicken was put in containers or utensils that were contaminated.
- The chicken was left out uncovered for too long.
- The chicken was kept in a warm and comfortable environment, perfect for bacterial growth.
- It is past its expiration date.
- It was thawed carelessly.
- It was kept in the refrigerator for too long.
What Happens When You Eat Spoiled Chicken?
Consuming spoiled chicken can make a person very sick. If you ever consume spoiled chicken, you may experience the following:
- Food poisoning
- High fever
- Blood in stool
In rare cases, it can even cause hospitalization ending in death. So it is crucial that neither you nor your loved ones ever consume spoiled chicken.
How To Thaw Frozen Chicken?
There are many ways to thaw frozen chicken. Here are some of those ways:
Thawing Frozen Chicken in the Fridge
It is the easiest way to thaw frozen chicken. But remember that this is also the process that takes the longest time. To thaw the frozen chicken in the refrigerator, remove it from the freezer and put it into the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Putting it in a container first is recommended as water can drip from the frozen meat and cause confusion.
Remember that the bigger the package, the more time it will take to thaw out properly and thoroughly. Always consider that.
Thawing Frozen Chicken in the Microwave
This method is the most effective and efficient way to thaw and defrost the chicken. To defrost and thaw in this way, use the defrost function of your oven. Now, based on the weight of the chicken. Adjust and set the settings correctly and defrost it. Make sure to flip the chicken halfway through.
Thawing Frozen Chicken in Water
It is a less common method. Just fill the sink with water and insert the stopper. Next, put the frozen meat in water. Then let it thaw slowly. To speed up the process, you need to change the water regularly. Don’t forget to leave the package and wrapping on, as meat can absorb excess moisture, affecting its taste, quality, and texture.
Thawing Frozen Chicken on the Counter
It is probably the most common way to thaw frozen meat. To do this, place the meat on the kitchen counter or sink and thaw it overnight. However, if you do not thaw it in a sink, it is advisable to keep the meat in a container as it can cause condensation and dripping, which can cause a mess.
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What Happens When You Freeze Chicken?
Stops Bacterial Growth
There is this urban myth that frozen meat destroys and kills all microbes present in the meat. But in reality, this is entirely wrong. Freezing meat does not kill these microorganisms. Freezing the meat below 0 ° F will just put the microbes into stasis and prevent them from growing and spreading while frozen.
However, when the meat is thawed, these microbes can come back to life and multiply rapidly. So it is a good practice to not leave out thawed meat for too long, especially outside the fridge.
Another popular misconception is that frozen meat destroys all its nutritional value. It couldn’t be any more wrong! Freezing any food never destroys its nutritional value. But the same can’t be said about the quality and texture of the food, which may be altered to a great extent.
Freezing foods prevents the food from spoiling quickly, even in the refrigerator. It, in turn, means a longer shelf life for the frozen product. When you freeze food, it gets colder and colder—this chilling and freezing slow down all activity in the meat. And after a certain point, when the product freezes completely, all the chemicals and enzymes in the product slowly react and stop functioning.
Causes Freezer Burns
When meat is left inside the freezer without any covering or protection, it causes the meat to discolor and dry out. When meat is exposed to the cold, dry air of the freezer, the cold air freezes and absorbs all the moisture from those exposed parts, it causes the meat to blister up or swell up but always makes the flesh dry and discolored.
What Are Freezer Burns? Is It Safe To Eat Chicken With Freezer Burns?
Freezer burns occur on meat exposed to cold freezer air for a long duration. The cold, freezing air freezes the exposed meats and dries them up by absorbing their moisture.
While you won’t get sick from eating freezer-burnt meats, you shouldn’t eat them. They lose their quality and texture and won’t taste the same after you cook them.
Instead of discarding all the meat, cut off the parts with the freezer burns and eat the rest.
Answering Some FAQ
Do you need to thaw frozen chicken?
Yes, you should always thaw frozen chicken.
Can you cook frozen chicken directly?
Yes, you can, but you shouldn’t. Frozen chicken, when cooked directly, will cook unevenly. It may even result in a dish with partially cooked chicken and overcooked chicken simultaneously. Consuming this can even make you sick, so always thaw frozen meats.
Why do you need to freeze chicken?
People freeze chicken and other food products to extend their shelf life and preserve them.
Which is better-frozen chicken or fresh raw chicken?
Fresh raw chicken is the better option. All fresh products are usually better than their frozen counterparts.
How long is frozen chicken good for?
Any frozen product will remain good indefinitely as long as they have been stored and frozen correctly.
Can you refreeze frozen chicken?
Yes, as long as they are still good and haven’t been left out for too long.
Does freezing meat cause discoloration?
Yes definitely! The meat will either become more white or darker colored.
I hope this article has given you all you need about frozen chicken and more. Now that you know everything about frozen chicken, I believe you will never face a moment where you will ever doubt yourself regarding anything related to frozen chicken in the kitchen. Thanks and have a great day!