How to Defrost Chicken Thigh in Microwave?


Quick Answer: How to Defrost Chicken Thigh in Microwave?

To defrost the chicken thigh in the microwave, you need to place the thigh in a microwave-safe plate/ bowl and put it in the microwave. Adjust the defrost option on the microwave. Take out the bowl every 30 seconds to check the progress and flip the thigh over. Once it is evenly defrosted, the chicken thigh is ready to be cooked.

This article is a comprehensive guide to defrost chicken thighs using a microwave like a professional at home.

The process can be completed fairly easily by following a few simple steps detailed here.

The microwave is a common presence in modern households. Home cooks prefer microwaves to defrost chicken thighs due to their efficiency.

It is also highly recommended among food enthusiasts as well.Let’s get started on thawing chicken thighs to whip up some delicious recipes.

How to Prep the Chicken Thigh Before Microwaving

Once taken out of the freezer, the meat is ready to be thawed. If the thighs are wrapped in any packaging such as plastic, remove them.

Keep it close to the microwave for easy handling. Otherwise, no preparation is required.

How to Defrost Chicken Thigh in the Microwave

How to Defrost Chicken Thigh in the Microwave

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Place the unwrapped chicken thigh in a microwave-safe plate/ bowl and leave it in the microwave.

Set the defrost option to suit the weight of the chicken.

Pause and flip the chicken thigh every 30 seconds for even defrosting and repeat the process till the whole piece is completely thawed out.


  • Chicken thigh
  • Microwaveable bowl/ microwave-safe plate


  • Microwave gloves
  • A pair of tongs


    1. Putting chicken thigh in the microwave: Place the chicken in a microwaveable bowl or a microwave-safe plate. Put the bowl/plate and its content in the microwave.

    2. Adjusting the microwave setting: Click the defrost button and select the weight of the chicken in the bowl. The weight of the chicken determines the time required to thaw out the chicken thigh.

    3. Checking in between the process: Keep an eye on the product throughout the process. Pause at 30-second intervals to check how much has been thawed.

      Put on the microwave gloves and take the bowl out. Flip the piece over with a pair of tongs.

    4. Continue till the desired result is reached: Put the bowl/plate back in the microwave after flipping the chicken thigh over and keep thawing till it is completely softened.

    5. Ensuring a completely defrosted chicken thigh: To ensure an evenly defrosted chicken thigh, cut into the thickest portion of the meat and insert a finger.

      If no ice crystals are present and no solid meat is found, the thigh is fully thawed. If not, continue defrosting till it’s done.

Tips to Remember While Defrosting Chicken in Microwave

Here are some tips to remember:

  • It is advisable to use a microwaveable lid to cover the vessel used.
  • Make sure not to leave the chicken thigh in the microwave for too long. The extra minutes in the microwave would cook the chicken leaving it rubbery.
  • Do not leave the chicken thigh unattended in the microwave. Pause and check the progress at regular intervals.
  • After defrosting, remember to cook the thigh immediately to avoid bacterial growth on the chicken thigh.
  • Be careful not to use the wrong settings on the microwave. This could make the chicken unsafe for consumption.
  • Ensure that the thigh is evenly thawed out. Else, it could result in uneven cooking and harmful bacteria.
  • If more than one piece is to be thawed, do not stuff the bowl/ plate and adjust the weight of the meat on the microwave setting for completely defrosting the thighs.

Alternate Ways to Defrost Chicken Thigh

Alternate methods to thaw chicken thigh include defrosting by using cold water and defrosting by placing it in the refrigerator. These methods are slower and can be used if microwaving is not an option.

Following the first method, place the thigh in a leakproof plastic bag and place it in a bowl filled with cold water. Submerge the bag.

Change the water every 30 minutes. Make sure to cook immediately afterward.

In the second method, the chicken thigh sealed in a plastic bag and put in a bowl is placed on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator overnight

How to Store Defrosted Chicken Thigh?

Defrosted chicken thigh does not stay fresh for long. If thawed in the fridge it can be kept wrapped up for 24 hours before cooking but it should be cooked immediately.

Thawing by different methods means different storage requirements. If the chicken is thawed in the refrigerator it can stay in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking.

When microwaved or thawed using cold water, it should be cooked immediately. Otherwise, it will go stale.

The thawed chicken thigh can be frozen again, but only when it is defrosted overnight in the fridge. If not, cook it before freezing.

How to Defrost Chicken Thigh in the Microwave Without the Defrost Setting?

To defrost chicken thigh in a microwave without a defrost setting, use 20-30% of the microwave’s full power to slowly bring it to room temperature.

Some microwaves lack the defrost option. As an alternative set the microwave to 30% of its power and heat the chicken thigh.
Check-in between to monitor progress and flip the piece over halfway through the process to ensure that all sides are thawed out.

How to Defrost Chicken Thigh Quickly?

Defrosting using the microwave is the quickest way to thaw out chicken thighs. It only takes 2-3 minutes to defrost chicken thighs in the microwave.

It is considered to be effortless and convenient. Other methods usually take more time and are preferred when more time is available. Microwave helps save time and effort.

Is it Safe to Thaw Chicken Thigh in the Microwave?

It is completely safe to defrost chicken thigh in the microwave so long as it is immediately cooked afterward.

According to the USDA, it is safe to defrost chicken thighs in the microwave. However, it should be made sure that the thawed-out meat is cooked straightaway.

Any delay in cooking could result in harmful bacteria growing on it which could be a health hazard.

Do I Need to Defrost Chicken Thigh Before Cooking?

Yes, it is necessary to defrost the chicken thigh before it is cooked. Thawing ensures consistent cooking and helps to avoid bacterial growth.

It is necessary to thaw the chicken thigh before cooking to ensure food safety. If not thawed, the thigh may be unevenly cooked.

This leaves the crust undercooked and the outer layers overcooked.

Moreover, it stimulates the growth of harmful microbes and takes more time to cook in the oven affecting the texture and taste of the chicken.

How Long Does Chicken Thigh Take to Defrost in the Microwave?

Chicken thigh takes 2-3 minutes per pound to defrost completely. However, it is mostly determined by the weight of the chicken used and also the power of the microwave.

Defrosting using a microwave is the quickest method to thaw chicken thighs and hence it is the most convenient and efficient technique.

It only takes a few minutes to thaw, unlike other methods that are much more time-consuming.

While thawing, take care to monitor the process to confirm that it is properly and completely thawed.

If I Defrost Chicken Thigh Can I Refreeze it?

Yes, you can refreeze chicken thigh after defrosting. However, it is recommended only when the chicken thighs are defrosted in the refrigerator overnight.

Microwaved chicken thighs should be cooked before refreezing to avoid health hazards.While refreezing the chicken thigh, make sure that it was recently defrosted.

Chicken that was thawed more than 2 days ago shouldn’t be considered for refreezing as it is likely to be stale.It is ideal to avoid refreezing microwaved chicken thigh.

Exposure to 140 degrees Fahrenheit in the microwave makes the chicken suitable for microbial growth which could severely affect the consumer’s health.


Is it OK if chicken thigh cooks a little while defrosting?

It is advisable to avoid cooking the thighs while defrosting. While defrosting, there is a chance of the edges of the meat getting cooked while the rest remain cold and frozen.

Later, when the piece is cooked in the oven, this could create irregularity in cooking. Some may remain undercooked and some overcooked.

Can you thaw chicken thigh at room temp?

No, you should not defrost chicken thigh at room temperature.

As soon as the temperature crosses 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat becomes an ideal environment for harmful bacteria to grow. This makes the chicken unsuitable for consumption.

How long can frozen chicken thigh sit out at room temperature?

Frozen chicken thigh can be left at room temperature for a maximum of two hours.It is recommended to avoid chicken thigh sitting out at room temperature for too long.

As the temperature of the chicken reaches 45 degrees Fahrenheit, bacteria start to multiply. This makes the chicken unsafe to be eaten.


I hope this article helped answer questions about thawing chicken thighs in the microwave.

If you have any further queries, feel free to mention them in the comments or write to us. We are only an email away!

In the meantime, share this guide with your loved ones for whom this could be a great help.

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About Nancy Miller

Nancy is a foodie by heart and loves experimenting with food. She likes to experiment not only as part of academics but also as a cook at home, sometimes she does not get the desired outcome of these experiments though! But that doesn't stop her from trying more out-of-the-box things. When Nancy entered college, it became clear to her that food was going to be an important part of her life.

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