HOW TO: Freezing and Thawing
Keep Your Chicken Fresh, Flavorful, and Safe
- Refrigerate or freeze poultry quickly after purchase, ideally within a half hour.
- In the freezer, pack foods tightly so items can keep each other cold.
- Seal packages well before freezing. After sealing, clearly identify them and mark with a date
- Keep your freezer at 0°F and the refrigerator at 36°F. Check temperatures regularly with a thermometer.
- You can thaw by immersing packaged poultry in cold water, making sure to change the water every half hour.
- Defrost in the refrigerator, not on the counter, allowing a few hours to a full day, depending on size. A safe guideline is to allow five hours per pound.
- When defrosting poultry in the refrigerator, make sure to put it on the bottom shelf in the back of the fridge.
- Always cook poultry the day it completely thaws. Never re-freeze thawed poultry. Use it or throw it out.
- You don’t need to defrost poultry before cooking. Just multiply the recommended cooking time by 1½.
How Long Will it Last in the Freezer?
Ensure doneness with a meat thermometer.
Refrigerate any leftover chicken or turkey immediately and use within 3-5 days.