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Can You Grill Chicken From Frozen? Best Way To Cook Frozen Chicken

Brian Lejeune
Can You Grill Chicken From Frozen? Best Way To Cook Frozen Chicken

You know you must cook dinner every night. Yet, there are still days when you forget to take the meat out of the freezer. The result ends up being either you looking at a frozen pack of meat and figuring out what to do or you ordering take out. Well, today, we are going to talk about frozen chicken.

We have discovered that many people want to know whether they can grill chicken from frozen. And if they can barbecue frozen chicken. We will answer those questions, so you are prepared the next time you are facing frozen chicken. 

Can You Grill Chicken from Frozen? 

Thankfully, the answer is yes, you can grill chicken from frozen. It just takes 50% longer.

You also need to know how to do it properly, so the chicken is safe to eat. If you don’t follow the right steps, you may end up with raw chicken. That could lead to food poisoning, which you want to avoid at all costs. 

Another common way that food poisoning happens in the kitchen is through cross-contamination on a cutting board. Before you start preparing your chicken and side dishes, you need to ensure you have the right type of cutting board for the job!

If you have a wooden cutting board, you also need to make sure you season your cutting board correctly to avoid harmful bacteria buildup.

How to Grill Frozen Chicken

grilled chicken breasts from frozen on fire grill

There are a few steps to grilling frozen chicken. If you follow these steps carefully, you will have delicious grilled chicken to eat in no time at all. 

Step 1: Pat the Chicken Dry with a Paper Towel

Getting your chicken as dry as possible is necessary to grill it from frozen. Any leftover moisture will cause a flare-up on the grill. You will need to take your chicken out of any grocery store packaging to accomplish this. For best results, place chicken on a seasoned wooden cutting board (on Amazon) while you pat it dry. 

Step 2: Preheat Your Grill

It is still necessary to preheat your grill when cooking your frozen chicken. We recommend preheating your grill for 10 minutes. 

Step 3: Place the Chicken Over Direct Heat and Cook

You will want the temperature of your grill approximately 20% less. So, if you normally cook your chicken at 350 degrees, aim for a 280 degree temperature. Cook the chicken over direct heat. 

The cooking time will need to be increased by about 50% for frozen chicken. Therefore, if you normally cook your chicken for 10 minutes, you will need to cook it for 15 minutes when it is frozen. 

Step 4: Check the Internal Temperature

It is important to check the internal temperature of the chicken to make sure it is at 165 degrees. If it has not reached that temperature yet, you must continue cooking the chicken. 

If you need to portion your chicken, transfer to a wooden cutting board and slice into desired portions. See more in our guide to the best cutting board for smoked or grilled meats.

Can You Barbecue Frozen Chicken? 

bbq sauce brushing on chicken

If you follow the instructions above, you will be able to add barbecue sauce to frozen chicken as you are grilling it. We recommend letting the frozen chicken cook a little bit before adding the barbecue sauce. 

Once the chicken is almost cooked through, add barbecue sauce to one side. Let it set and then flip the chicken over and add sauce to the other side. 

You may want to check the internal temperature of the chicken before adding the barbecue sauce. If the chicken is not almost at temperature and needs to cook longer, the sauce could burn if you add it too soon. 

Barbecue chicken is hands-down one of the best ways to show your neighbors some love. If you or your neighbor are thinking of throwing your own backyard bash, be sure to note these gift ideas for neighbors.

Can You Pressure Cook Frozen Chicken? 

If you don’t have the time, or patience, to grill chicken from frozen, you can always pressure cook the chicken. It doesn’t take long for a pressure cooker to cook chicken, even if it starts as frozen chicken. 

Place the Frozen Chicken in the Pressure Cooker

raw chicken breasts on a plate

You can choose to place the chicken right on the bottom of the pressure cooker or you can use a trivet. The trivet works best when you want steamed chicken. Placing the chicken directly on the bottom is better when you want to cook it in liquid. 

Either way, you will need to place one cup of liquid in the pressure cooker with the chicken. 

Keep in mind chicken breasts and thighs are fine when cooking from frozen - try not to cook a whole roast or a whole chicken, even with the pressure cooking method. 

Determine the Cooking Time

How long it will take your frozen chicken to cook in the pressure cooker is dependent on the weight or thickness of the chicken. 

If going by thickness, 5 to 6 minutes per inch is best. As for weight, the time is 1 minute per ounce. 

Consider Your Release Method

stovetop pressure release method for cooking chicken from frozen

You can choose to naturally let the pressure release when cooking frozen chicken or to do it quickly. You may even choose a combination of the two. Simply remember that you may need to cook your chicken longer if you are doing a quick release. The reason for this is the chicken won’t have extra cooking time, as the pressure releases naturally. 

Check the Internal Temperature

It is still important to check the internal temperature of the chicken when cooking it in a pressure cooker. If the internal temperature hasn’t reached 165 degrees, you will need to turn the pressure cooker back on high for a few more minutes. 

Final Words

Now, you don’t ever need to panic when you realize you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer for dinner. You can easily grill chicken from frozen or prepare it in the pressure cooker. This is do-able once in a while, but definitely not advisable. 

Even if you did everything right, you'll still end up with chicken that's most likely overcooked on the outside (and dry). Thawing in the refrigerator overnight first will always give better taste. 

Keep in mind, also, that you really should not be doing this for roasts or a whole chicken - stick to boneless chicken breasts or thighs and you should be fine!

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