Can You Safely Grill Frozen Chicken?

Top-down view of two cooked chicken breasts on a grill
Top-down view of two cooked chicken breasts on a grill - Grandriver/Getty Images

You might think that it's necessary to wait for the chicken in the back of your freezer to defrost before you can toss it on the grill, but that's actually not the case. Maybe you need some protein for a quick weeknight dinner or unexpected guests are on the way over for an impromptu cookout. No matter your reason, there are some hurdles to grilling frozen poultry, but it's just as safe to do as it is with fresh or completely defrosted chicken.

If time is a factor, be aware that grilling frozen chicken can take twice the amount of time to fully cook. Sure, that might not be quite as long as it takes to thaw frozen chicken in the fridge, but it's still something to consider if you're short on time. The most important factor involved in safely grilling, and later eating, the chicken is that its thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit -- one reason why it will take much longer to cook when it's starting off frozen.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

How To Grill And Season Frozen Chicken

Close-up of a frozen chicken breast and knife on a cutting board
Close-up of a frozen chicken breast and knife on a cutting board - Ahanov Michael/Shutterstock

There are a few more factors to consider when you want to grill frozen chicken. For starters, even fresh bone-in chicken parts take longer to fully cook, so consider using frozen boneless chicken breasts or other parts to save some time. Also, while the frozen chicken cooks, it will lose some of its moisture during the longer heating process, so consider coating the frozen chicken with a fat, such as mayonnaise, to lock in moisture first. Just be sure to pat the chicken dry to remove any excess moisture so the mayo clings onto the frozen chicken as much as possible. It will also be tricky to season the icy, frozen meat.

Frozen chicken will need to spend some time on the grill before you can effectively season it, perhaps with the blend included in our Mediterranean grilled chicken recipe that uses garlic, fresh parsley, paprika, and a few other ingredients. According to some recipes, frozen chicken should be placed on the grill for up to 15 minutes to defrost over indirect heat before you add your preferred seasoning blend. Eventually, you'll want to move the chicken over direct flames and continue to cook it on the grill. After it's cooked, it should last in the fridge for up to four days, per the USDA. If you need to store it longer, it might be time to freeze it again.

Read the original article on Tasting Table