Can You Grill Frozen Chicken? Let’s Find Out

In this article, we will tell you how to grill frozen chicken and whether it is worth it, recommend you some finger-licking seasonings, and answer frequently asked questions.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
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Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 09, 2023
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Can you grill frozen chicken? Let’s find out. It can be frustrating when you have been busy all day only to realize it’s dinner time and have nothing prepared. All your meat is in the freezer and isn’t going to be defrosted anytime soon. You might have plenty of vegetables in the fridge that is fresh and ready to add to a meal, but unfortunately, veggies are boring without any meat. Meat certainly adds the finishing touch to a meal, and it makes the recipe more filling and satisfying. Chicken is popular meat that goes with many dishes and sauces. If you have plenty of frozen chicken sitting in your freezer that you could use, you might have a question such as can you grill frozen chicken?

Can You Grill Frozen Chicken?

Yes, it is possible to grill the frozen chicken without needing to defrost the meat first.  There might be some health risks involved, so you need to consider them to avoid getting sick. The meat will take double the time to cook from frozen, which time-wise is sometimes not efficient, so it might have more sense to defrost it beforehand instead. The other issue is as the chicken defrosts rapidly, it has excess moisture, which can cause the chicken to turn rubbery.

You must ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked before consuming. Eating chicken that has even a tiny raw area can get you sick with salmonella. There are over 135 million salmonella cases each year in the US. Over 400 of those people do not survive the infection.

All chicken such as legs, wings, giblets, stuffing, thighs, and breasts need to be cooked until they have an internal temperature Trusted Source Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Chart | Follow these guidelines from for minimum cooking temperatures and rest times for meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods. of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Under this temperature, the chicken is not safe to eat.

Methods For Defrosting Chicken

Can You Grill Frozen Chicken? Let's Find Out

It is recommended not to grill chicken frozen chicken, but if you want to enjoy grilled chicken, there are plenty of ways you can safely defrost the chicken without any issues with food poisoning.

Using The Refrigerator

You can defrost the chicken in the fridge if you have enough time on your hands. You will need 24hrs to thaw the chicken in the fridge fully. This might take a while, but it avoids the dangerous bacteria and gives you a tender, juicy piece of chicken. This method is best for those not pressed for time and happy to wait for the thawing process.

Thawing on the Counter

If you have chicken that is not fully frozen at lunchtime and you wish to eat it for dinner, you can thaw it on your counter. If you have a warm kitchen, this is not advisable. Tightly wrap the chicken and put some paper towels underneath it to catch the drips. Ensure you clean the bench down with antibacterial wash and wipes afterward. You must ensure that the chicken does not reach room temperature as this is when the bacteria growth starts. Do not leave the chicken out for more than two hours.

Using a Water Bath to Defrost Chicken

Can You Grill Frozen Chicken? Let's Find Out

To defrost chicken using this method, you need to place the chicken into a waterproof zip bag and secure it. Fill a large bowl with cold water, or you can use your sink and place the chicken in. Replace the water every hour to ensure the temperature is kept stable. Most chicken will defrost within 1-2 hours except for whole chickens. You might think that warm water will fasten the process but do not add warm or hot water. Adding warm water just creates bacteria growth.

Use a Defrosting Tray

A defrosting try is a metal tray that is ridged and works to remove the cold from the meat within a natural process. Defrosting trays do not require batteries or any electricity to function. Ensure you get a big enough tray so the juices can be collected in the tray below. Getting a big enough tray means you can thaw as much meat at once instead of doing pieces separately.

Using Your Microwave

Your microwave is a fast way to thaw out your meat but be careful as sometimes the chicken can cook through in some areas. Get everything ready that you need to grill the chicken so you leave less time that the chicken has to be sitting out at room temperature, where germs can start to produce rapidly.

Can You Grill Frozen Chicken? Let's Find Out

Your chicken needs to be placed in a microwave-proof bowl, and only use the defrost setting on your microwave. Rotate the chicken to ensure it is not cooking through in places. Use the defrost setting and change the chicken around every 2 minutes. Once done, remove the chicken from the microwave and season with beautiful citrus and black pepper chicken seasoning rub or the well-loved Chupacabra original fine meat rub, then you are ready to grill.

What Is the Best Wood to Use for Grillin Chicken?

Kiln-dried cooking wood is excellent to use for grilling chicken. It is important you use USDA-certified wood that is cut into mini logs. Cooking wood is great for both outdoor and indoor grills. This type of wood is of US origin and is processed and kiln dried in-house. Most kiln-dried wood is treated to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which runs higher than the minimum requirement. By doing this, the wood will burn cleaner and hotter.


Why is it dangerous to cook chicken from frozen?

The colder parts within the chicken can end up staying in the danger zone longer than they should. This is the range between 40 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temps for bacteria to start growing.

How to grill the chicken without drying it out

You can soak the chicken in a brine solution for about 30 minutes. This will allow the chicken to soak in the moisture, which helps handle the grill without getting too dry.

How to ensure that I get tender chicken on the grill?

You can use dairy products to make the chicken tender before grilling. Dairy contains enzymes and lactic acids, and if you soak the chicken in this for 24hrs, you will get tender chicken on the grill.


So can you grill frozen chicken? If you follow the guidelines, you can safely grill frozen chicken, but you can risk food poisoning by not doing one thing right. Ensure the inside of the chicken has reached 165degress Fahrenheit. Meat needs to spend as little as possible in the danger zone. Following these tips will ensure you are grilling chicken in the safest way possible. Food poisoning leads to severe symptoms and can sometimes be fatal.

You might be tempted to put the frozen chicken into the slow cooker. However, this is not a good idea. Slow cooking does not allow the chicken to get to a decent temperature fast enough, so the chicken is exposed to a low temperature for a shorter amount of time. If the chicken doesn’t get to the right temp quickly, bacteria will start to form, making the meat unsafe to eat. Follow guidelines for cooking chicken to ensure you don’t spend a night at the hospital. Happy Cooking.


Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Chart |
Follow these guidelines from for minimum cooking temperatures and rest times for meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods.

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