How to Freeze and Thaw Chicken

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Save money by purchasing boneless chicken breasts, other parts or even whole chickens during sales. Boneless chicken breasts freeze especially well, so you can keep a stockpile of chicken in your freezer. Take a few minutes to properly prepare the chicken for the freezer so the quality will be preserved. Equally important is the proper thawing method so your chicken will be safe to eat and taste great.

  • Remove the chicken from its packaging. Cut away any fat that remains on the boneless chicken breasts.

  • Cut the chicken into smaller pieces if desired. It's best to freeze the chicken in the form in which it will be used. Slice or dice the chicken, as needed.

  • Divide the chicken into meal-sized portions. Freezing the chicken in smaller packages means you only have to thaw the portion you need. The chicken also thaws faster if it is in smaller packages.

  • Use a food vacuum sealer to package the chicken. You can also place the chicken in freezer zip-close bags, but vacuum sealing makes the chicken last longer and prevents freezer burn. If you leave the breasts whole, separate the pieces with freezer paper or foil to keep them from sticking together.

  • Place the chicken in the freezer until you need it.

  • Remove a package of chicken from the freezer when needed.

  • Place the sealed package of chicken in a large bowl in the sink. Run cold water into the bowl and let the chicken sit in the cold water.

  • Change the water every 30 minutes until the chicken is thawed. This ensures the water stays cold, preventing the growth of bacteria. Alternatively, move the chicken to the refrigerator a day or two before you plan to cook it.

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