How to Defrost Chicken Thigh in Microwave (Best Method)

Defrosting is an option that is highly recommended, especially if you intend to cook the frozen chicken thighs immediately. It is also the fastest and the most efficient method of thawing.

However, it is only possible when you own a modern microwave with a defrosting option installed on it. How then do you defrost chicken thighs before cooking?

How to Defrost Chicken Thigh in Microwave

Place a few pieces of frozen chicken thighs on a microwave-safe plate, use a lid to cover the meat, and place the plate in the microwave. Adjust the microwave settings by selecting the defrosting option, providing the weight of the meat if need be, and lowering the microwave power to 30%.

Set a 1-minute defrosting time and nuke the microwave. Flip the chicken thighs and continue defrosting with the same settings at an increment of 30 seconds.

This article gives a clear guideline on how to defrost chicken thigh in microwave. The article begins with helpful tips and a simple step-by-step procedure on how to defrost chicken thighs using a microwave. Frequently asked questions have also been discussed at the end of the article.

You can also check on how to defrost a chicken in the microwave.

Helpful Tips to Guide you Through Defrosting Chicken Thighs

As much as defrosting in the microwave is the fastest method of thawing frozen chicken thighs, the method should be done correctly to achieve the best results. Below are tips that will guide you and give you an idea of what is required.

  • Defrost the Chicken Thighs on a Microwave Safe Plate

Ensure the plate holding the chicken thighs in the microwave is designed to be microwaved. Other plates made from plastic or Styrofoam should never be used while microwaving any meal.

  • Adjust the Microwave Setting

You should never forget this tip, or else you might end up cooking the frozen chicken thighs at high power instead of defrosting. First, select the defrosting option.

Some advanced microwaves will have additional options for selecting the type of food you want to defrost and how much it weighs.

The second adjustment goes to the microwave’s power. Let the highest microwaving power be at 30%. More than that will not allow the chicken thighs to defrost evenly.

  • Keep Flipping the Chicken Thighs

Once you defrost the thighs for the first minute, remove them from the microwave and flip over. Return the thighs to the microwave and defrost at an interval of 30 seconds.

When you flip the thighs, you increase the spread of heat evenly. When you defrost the thighs at a 30 seconds interval, it allows you to keep checking on the doneness thighs so as not to overcook them.

  • Use a Lid or Paper Towels

Since chicken thighs maybe a bit fatty, they tend to form splatters that create a mess in the microwave when microwaved. The lid or the paper towel will contain the splatters from spreading all over the microwave’s walls.

  • Defrosting Time Varies

It is okay if your frozen chicken thighs take a bit longer than you expected to thaw. The time varies depending on a number of things.

For instance, the longer the chicken thighs stay in the freezer, the more time it will take to thaw. The other reason could be how thick the thighs are.

Thicker frozen chicken thighs will take longer to thaw. Also, the microwave wattage power plays a vital role in how long it takes to defrost chicken thighs.

  • Do not Defrost if you don’t Plan on Cooking Immediately

Only use defrosting method when you intend to cook the chicken thighs immediately after defrosting. Defrosting will thaw your meat to a temperature of 40 and 140ºF (4.4 and 60ºC). Usually, this is the right temperature to support the growth of bacteria.

Immediately, the meat is placed on the kitchen counter after defrosting, and the bacteria begin to grow and multiply. Therefore, it is advisable to put the meat under too much heat by cooking to kill the bacteria.

  • Do not Refreeze Defrosted Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs should never be frozen again once defrosted and left at room temperature for longer than they should. This is because the moment they were placed on the counter, they were at the right temperature to allow the growth of bacteria.

The bacteria has probably grown to the extent that it is no longer suitable for human consumption. You can only refreeze chicken thighs that were defrosted and cooked.

Step to Step Procedure for Defrosting Chicken Thighs

Defrosting takes place in a modern microwave installed with a defrosting feature. Below is a simple procedure you can use while defrosting chicken things in the microwave.


  • Frozen chicken thighs
  • A safe microwave plate
  • Lid or a paper towel


Step one: Arrange the Frozen Chicken Thighs on a Microwave Safe Plate

After removing the frozen chicken thighs from the freezer, arrange them on a microwave-safe plate. Leave enough space between the pieces for heat to reach each piece evenly.

It is for the same reason that you shouldn’t overcrowd them.

Step two: Cover the Chicken Thighs

Once the meat is correctly arranged on the plate, take a lid or a paper towel and cover it. The lid will protect the meat from spreading fat splatters in the microwave.

Place the plate in the microwave.

Step three: Adjust the Microwave Settings

Before you begin to heat the frozen meat, ensure to select the defrosting option. More advanced microwaves will have other options to select from to help the microwave defrost the chicken thighs appropriately.

Some of the options will require you to provide the food’s weight and specify the type of food you want to defrost.

The other adjustment is the microwave’s power. Reduce the microwaving power to the lowest or not more than 30%. Extreme heat will not allow the chicken thighs to thaw gradually as heat distributes evenly.

Step four: Hit the START Button

After appropriate adjustments to the microwave. Set a 1-minute timer and, hit the START button, remove the plate from the microwave to flip the chicken thighs.

Return the chicken thighs in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds.

If the chicken thighs are not thawed enough, consider flipping them and heating them in the microwave at an interval of 30 seconds.

Step five: Cook the Chicken Thighs Immediately

Once the chicken thighs have been defrosted in the microwave, their temperature changes. The temperature of defrosted chicken thighs is 40 and 140ºF (4.4 and 60ºC).

A temperature that is friendly to the growth and distribution of bacteria. When you delay cooking the meat, the bacteria continue to grow each minute.

Extreme heat kills these bacteria, so you should put the meat under extreme heat by cooking immediately after defrosting.

Faqs on How to Defrost Chicken Thigh in Microwave

1. How do you defrost chicken thighs quickly?

The quickest way to defrost chicken thighs is by using a microwave. Place the frozen thighs on a microwave-safe plate and use a lid to cover. Place the chicken thighs in the microwave and select the defrosting option.

Adjust the heating power to 30% and heat the meat for one minute. Flip the thighs and reheat again at an interval of 30 seconds until they have completely thawed.

For those who do not own a microwave, the quickest way to defrost frozen chicken thighs is to enfold them in an airtight plastic bag and immerse them in a cool water bowl.

Ensure to keep pouring the water on the bowl and replacing it every 15 minutes until they have completely thawed.

2. Is it safe to defrost chicken in the microwave?

How to Defrost Chicken Thigh in MicrowaveYes, it is very much safe to defrost chicken in the microwave. The method is the fastest and most efficient if appropriate guidelines are followed. For instance, remember to select the defrosting option on your microwave and adjust the heating power.

The other most important thing is to cook the chicken immediately after defrosting. Defrosting leaves the chicken at a temperature that allows the growth of bacteria. If it is not cooked immediately, it becomes infected with bacteria to the extent that it is no longer suitable for human health.

3. How do you defrost boneless chicken thighs in the microwave?

You first arrange the pieces on a flat microwaveable plate, cover the plate with a microwave-proof lid, and place it in the microwave.

Select the defrosting option and reduce the heating power to 30%. Heat the boneless chicken in the microwave for one minute, flip, then reheat for 30 more seconds.

4. How long do chicken thighs take to defrost?

Chicken thighs take 2 to 4 minutes to defrost. The time varies depending on your microwave make, how thick the thighs are, and how long the thighs were frozen. Different types of microwaves may take different durations to defrost chicken thighs.

Also, the thicker the chicken thighs, the longer it takes to defrost. Finally, when the chicken thighs are stored in the freezer for a very long time, defrosting might take a while.

5. Can chicken thighs be cooked from frozen?

Yes, chicken thighs can be cooked immediately from the freezer. One may use an oven or a stove to do it.

There is always a risk of having chicken cooked on the outside while still very icy on the inside.

To avoid this kind of embarrassment, you may consider doubling the cooking time, reducing the oven cooking temperature, spreading the frozen chicken pieces evenly with enough space on the baking sheet, and using a kitchen thermometer to keep checking on the doneness of the chicken.

6. How can I defrost chicken quickly and safely?

The fastest way to defrost chicken is by the use of a microwave. To be safe while doing so, you must use a microwave-safe plate, avoid plastics or Styrofoam that might melt, and mix their unhealthy melted content with your chicken.

Another safety measure to take while defrosting chicken is to ensure to cook it immediately after defrosting. This will stop the growth of bacteria immediately after the chicken is thawed.

7. Can you cook chicken that is partially frozen?

Yes, you can cook partially frozen chicken. You may use an oven or a stove. However, to avoid getting a partially cooked chicken cooked on the outside while still very much icy on the inside.

You may consider cooking the chicken at low heating power for longer than the usual time. If you are using an oven, reduce the cooking temperature and cook twice as long as you are used to.

8. Can you defrost chicken in warm water?

How to Defrost Chicken Thigh in MicrowaveNo, warm water cannot thaw chicken. Instead, it will start cooking the chicken outside while the inside is yet to thaw. Warm water also enables an excellent environment for the breeding of bacteria.


In conclusion, to achieve evenly defrosted chicken thighs, there are certainly important factors to put in mind. They include: using a microwave-safe plate and a lid.

The second factor is to adjust the microwave settings by selecting the defrosting option and reducing the heating power to 30%. The rest is up to you to ensure you do not overcook the chicken thighs.

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