How To Defrost Chicken In Air Fryer [Quickest Ever Method]

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No more waiting for hours for thawing chicken at room temperature.

Today, I will share a quick and effective method: Defrosting chicken in an air fryer.

Let’s be more efficient and say goodbye to cold spots.

Defrosting Chicken In An Air Fryer

Defrosting chicken in an air fryer has various advantages, such as speed, convenience, and even thawing.

Let’s explore those benefits and learn how to defreeze chicken in an air fryer.

Step 1: Preparation

Remove all the plastic packaging before defrosting chicken wings, thighs, or any other cut.

If you cannot separate the plastic wrapping clinging to the frozen chicken, put the chicken packet in a bowl of water for 10 to 20 minutes.

This will remove the packaging effortlessly.

Now, place the frozen chicken in a bowl or plate while you prepare your air fryer for thawing.

Step 2: Preheat Air Fryer

Preheat the air fryer to 350 F or your air fryer’s default temperature for about five minutes.

Place the chicken pieces on the air fryer basket without overlapping, spacing them out evenly for adequate air circulation.

Never overcrowd the air fryer basket, as this can lead to longer defrosting time and uneven defrosting.

If you have a large quantity of chicken to unfreeze, do it in batches.

Step 3: Configure Defrost Settings

Set the defrost temperature at 350F. Defrost the frozen chicken thighs or wings on each side for about two to three minutes.

If your air fryer has a preset defrost function, choose that function and follow the defrost guidelines mentioned in the user manual.

Note: Defrost time can vary depending on the cut of the chicken and quantity — Chicken breast may take more time than chicken legs or wings.

Step 4: Check For Evenness

Once you have defrosted the chicken, it should not have any icy patches or cold spots.

If you find some cold patches, defrost the chicken for a couple of more minutes until it is soft.

Below are the results of defrosting chicken wings in the air fryer:

Those with a specific brand of air fryer may note that the overall process remains the same whether you have a Ninja air fryer or any other unit.

Precautions For Using Defrosted Chicken

  • Cook the chicken immediately after defrosting.
  • If you plan to do otherwise, store the chicken in the refrigerator.
  • Ensure not to keep the defrosted chicken in the fridge for no more than twenty-four hours, lest it catch food-borne illnesses.
  • If you wish to use the chicken immediately after defrosting, pat dry it with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Defrosting Chicken In Microwave Vs. Air Fryer

When defrosting chicken, the main difference between an air fryer and a microwave lies in their time and temperature settings.

Generally, microwaves feature a defrost setting for various foods, including a separate option for chicken. While efficient, this method takes longer to defrost.

You can add the settings manually while keeping the microwave at its regular power.

While this method reduces the thawing time, it results in uneven thawing or partially cooked chicken.

You may observe the skin turning white and the edges becoming dry, sometimes accompanied by an unpleasant odor.

As for the air fryer, though using this cooking appliance for defrosting is a newer method, it offers better results by defrosting chicken more evenly.

In addition, air fryer defrosting is also speedier, reducing the risk of the chicken staying in the danger area of 40° F – 140° F for an extended period.

| ALSO READ: Air Fryer Vs Oven – Which Is Healthier, Faster & Better

Is It Better To Defrost Chicken In Water Or Air Fryer?

Thawing chicken in cold water is safer than using an air fryer. If you are in a crunch, using an air fryer is recommended. Thawing chicken in cold water can take 30 minutes to one hour or longer, depending on the quantity of the meat. In addition, you also need to change water every 30 minutes to ensure it remains cold. Whereas, you can do the same in less than ten minutes in an air fryer.

Final Thoughts

Defrosting chicken in an air fryer is quicker than thawing in a bowl of cold water or a microwave. It takes no more than five to six minutes to finish thawing, meaning chicken gets ready for use in delicious recipes in a snap. Go through the steps, precautions, and tips mentioned above for the best results.

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