Skip to Content

Can You Grill Frozen Chicken?

Can You Grill Frozen Chicken?

If you’re torn about whether you should grill frozen chicken, this guide will help you clear all your confusion!

We’ve all been in a place where we forget to get the meat out of the freezer to defrost in time. Things can go severely wrong if, an hour before your dinner, you realize that you never took out the meat in the first place.

Frozen meat, of course, has very limited options for cooking, but grills have always got your back! 

You can grill frozen chicken successfully and safely. Don’t worry about the chicken being raw or dry, because grills can get your chicken to a safe temperature in no time, regardless of whether you defrost it or not. 

Many times, people tend to abandon their meal plans altogether if they forgot to defrost the meat. However, you don’t have to be concerned about that anymore, because grilling frozen chicken will be your best option!

Let’s dive straight into learning how chicken and grills can go hand in hand

How To Grill A Frozen Chicken?

It is commonly believed that cooking frozen chicken on the grill will result in spoiled meat or potentially carry food-borne diseases.

While all of this does apply to meats like beef and pork, you’d be glad to know that chicken is safe to cook on grills. 

Since grilling is a rapid temperature shift for frozen meat, it tends to cause excessive moisture release, which can directly impact the quality of your meat.

The food may turn out to be very hard and difficult to chew. However, chicken is made up of lean mass; it does not take long enough to thaw, which gets it to a safer temperature very quickly as compared to beef or pork

The recommended temperature to safely consume poultry is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as your chicken reaches this value in a few minutes, there is no chance of food poisoning or any other disease being carried by the meat.

Make sure you use a food-grade meat thermometer to know when your chicken is cooked through so that it doesn’t get dry by staying on the grill for too long.  

how to defrost frozen chicken

How To Defrost A Chicken Properly?

You probably think the best way to defrost a chicken is to simply take it out of the refrigerator and leave it in the kitchen.

You’d be surprised to know that this method can potentially spoil your meat, because how long it takes for chicken to unthaw can be enough for it to get contaminated in humid climates. 

To prevent a defrosted piece of chicken from going bad, make sure to place it in the refrigerator instead of leaving it around the kitchen.

This will allow your chicken to thaw within 24 hours while also maintaining a steady temperature which keeps it safe.

While this method may be slow and requires a bit of pre-planning, it sure is one of the few fool-proof ways of thawing your chicken. 

Most people also prefer putting their frozen chicken in a bowl of water or letting it sit under a warm tap running. This is the worst thing you can do to your meal because it aggravates bacterial growth.

When your chicken is submerged in hot or cold water for a long time, it can become a host to many different kinds of germs in your stomach. 

Other Ways To Defrost Your Chicken

Since wrong methods of defrosting can result in several moods getting ruined on the dinner table, we’ve compiled the most effective methods of defrosting your chicken.

Whether you like to plan or need a quick fix, we have you covered with these easy options:

Leave It On The Counter

If you still have a couple of hours to spare, take out your frozen chicken and simply leave it on the counter. This will allow your chicken to thaw enough to be cooked without any hassle.

Don’t forget to keep some towels under the pack of chicken because you wouldn’t want your counter to be a drippy mess. Be careful with this method, though, as it can speed up how quickly your meat spoils.

To ensure that your kitchen doesn’t end up smelly later, ensure you wipe the counter thoroughly with any soap or detergent.

Water Bath

Keep it traditional and plop your frozen chicken in a bowl of cold water. Remember to seal the package tightly because you don’t want your chicken to get in direct contact with the water, as this can result in bacterial growth.

Don’t use warm or hot water to make the process quicker because you’d have your chicken thawed in 1-2 hours anyways; warm water is a no-go when you’re dealing with meat. 

defrost frozen chicken

Use A Defrosting Tray

If you often end up wondering how to thaw chicken within a few minutes, buying a defrosting tray will be a good idea.

They’re meant to defrost meats in a guarded way so that you don’t have to risk your food’s safety when dealing with temperatures. Make sure that you invest in defrosting trays that have a drainage container attached to lessen the mess. Defrosting trays can thaw your meat within thirty minutes. 


If you don’t have any time left and need to start cooking your chicken on the spot, microwaving it is your best bet.

The appliance can defrost your chicken in less than two minutes, but you’d have to be careful, as your chicken will be partially cooked in some areas.

Choose this method only if you don’t have any option left, and remember to only use the “defrost” setting. 

Things To Keep In Mind When Grilling Frozen Chicken

The methods listed above can save you from cooking frozen chicken, but there, of course, will be events where you don’t have another choice.

Don’t feel reluctant about putting frozen chicken directly on the grill because it does not pose any harm.

The meat’s texture might be slightly different than usual, but you’d have a meal ready in no time, as opposed to waiting hours for it to defrost. 

For the times when you have to cook your chicken on the grill, you should leave it to cook for longer than usual. For example, if your chicken usually takes about 10-15 minutes to cook under normal circumstances, leave it on the grill for at least 30 minutes. 

This will help in cooking the meat thoroughly and eliminating any potential food-borne diseases. 

You can also cut the chicken into smaller pieces and put them over indirect heat first so that they can thaw slightly. If you directly put the chicken at a very high temperature, you might end up with cooked meat that is raw on the insides. 

Remember to also spread out the pieces so that there is enough room for each to cook thoroughly. Huge chunks or clumps can result in uncooked meat.

You can also choose to make grilled chicken wings which take up less time to cook and are a safe bet with grills as well. 

Another thing – if you own a Pellet Grill, cooking frozen chicken might be out of the question for you.

This is because pellet grills cook meat at a very low temperature which can result in the chicken staying too long in dangerous temperatures.

Avoid using grills in this case and either wait for the meat to defrost or choose an alternate cooking method. 

Final Words on Grilling Frozen Chicken

Grills are a common way of cooking the most delicious kind of food, but did you know that they can also save the day when you forget to defrost your chicken?

Ditch the long waiting hours, and using the methods described above, toss your chicken on the grill to have a splendid meal within no time.

Be sure to follow all the do’s and don’ts, though, because blunders and meats often result in spoiled meals!

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.