For lovers of chicken, especially chicken drumsticks, there’s probably a bag filled with frozen chicken drumsticks in your freezer that you’re planning on using to prepare a scrumptious meal.
It might be for the evening, or for the day. But you’re seriously worried about how long your chicken drumsticks will take to thaw, and if it would not delay your cooking or affect it.
Well, stress no more. I have taken the time to question the experts and even the chicken themselves, and their consensus on how long to defrost drumsticks takes.
You’d be surprised to find out that it takes less than 24 hours! You can thaw drumsticks in the refrigerator for 24 hours, but should you want to lessen your waiting period, you can place them in cold water and they’ll thaw in two to three hours.
But, what if I told you that you could thaw your drumsticks in less than three minutes? Oh yes, in just two minutes you can thaw a pound of drumsticks by microwaving it.
I’m sure that by now you’re wondering about the best defrosting method to use, the importance of knowing which one to use and when to use it. Wonder no more. That’s what I’m here for.
In addition to answering the above, I’ll also explain to you how to safely thaw your drumsticks and how to cook them frozen so as to have even more unfrozen and tender drumsticks to chow.
Defrosting Chicken Drumsticks
To prepare your favorite chicken drumsticks recipe, you need to make plans and put things in place. Your planning and preparation count for null if you don’t know how long it will take your meat to defrost. No, seriously, how do you intend to cook chicken drumsticks soup if you don’t know when the chicken legs themselves will defrost.
The time your chicken legs will defrost is based on the size of the meat and the thawing method used.
Usually, frozen chicken legs are thawed by placing them in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours. This allows it to defrost safely and even if you don’t cook it in the next two days, it will still be in good condition.
This method is not for those in a hurry.
And, we mostly are. So, what other options do we have if we can’t wait for twenty hours?
There is the cold water method. This involves leaving the drumsticks in cold water for two to three hours, although this requires you to change the water every 2 minutes. Ultimately, your chicken legs will be completely thawed by the last hour.
The microwave option is another way of thawing your meat. A pound of frozen drumsticks will take just about two minutes to thaw. With these, you can now plan accordingly depending on the size of your meat and the time you have.
Methods of Defrosting Drumsticks
We have seen the various methods of getting your frozen chicken drumsticks to defrost. But these have to be done safely to mitigate issues of food poisoning and avoid the proliferation of bacteria. To achieve this, only the best defrosting methods, which are putting it in the refrigerator, using cold water, and microwaving it, should be practiced.
The refrigerator method
- Put your drumsticks in an airtight bag
- Place the chicken drumsticks in a container to collect the drippings
- Set the container at the base of the refrigerator so as to avoid the drippings affecting other items
- Allow it to completely defrost. This should take 24 hours.
Cold water method
- Ensure that your chicken legs are in a sealed bag
- Block the sink drain and fill it with cold water. Alternatively, you can fill a bowl with cold water
- Soak the chicken drumsticks in the sink’s cold water
- Unplug the sink or throw away the water in the bowl every 30 minutes. This means that if your drumsticks are submerged for 3 hours, you’ll have to change the water 6 times.
- Continue changing the water every 30 minutes so that the chicken drumsticks can thaw quickly and safely.
This method should take 2 or 3 hours to completely thaw your meat.
This is one of the fastest and easiest methods of defrosting any frozen food. So you have nothing to be concerned about. This is also the riskiest method of thawing your chicken drumsticks because it lacks one key advantage refrigerating accords, you can’t keep it uncooked afterward.
Once you have defrosted your chicken legs with the use of the microwave, you have to cook them right away so as to avoid the infestation and growth of bacteria which will make your meat unsafe.
To defrost your chicken legs in the microwave, you have to:
- Discard the packaging of the chicken drumsticks
- Place the frozen block on a microwave-safe plate
- Cut small incisions in the meaty parts so as to allow the heat to penetrate inside and make the thawing process faster
- Set the microwave on defrost mode, but in the situation where your microwave doesn’t have the defrost button, use the lowest heat, that is, 20% to 30% of the power to make do
- Put the plate in the center of the microwave and leave it to thaw
To get an even thaw, examine the meat every 30 seconds. Do note that a pound of frozen drumsticks will take around two minutes to thaw very well, so the weight of your chicken legs determines the time that you’re going to set them.
Go ahead and cook your favorite chicken drumsticks recipe.
Cooking Frozen Drumsticks
One of the advantages of having chicken drumsticks in your freezer is the ease of cooking. From your freezer, you can transfer the frosted chicken legs to your stove, grill or oven. Oh yes! You can cook your scrumptious drumsticks without thawing at all.
I know you will be thinking that this is the easiest way of cooking your drumsticks. Well, it does have its advantages. You can just freeze your drumsticks and cook them any time you want to.
Although, it is important to note that your frosted chicken legs will take a while to get done. In fact, you need to add 50% to your cooking time. So, if cooking your chicken drumsticks normally takes 30 minutes, you can be sure that for these frozen chicken legs you have to boil them for 45 minutes.
This is important so as to attain a basic food safety temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Long Should My Frozen Chicken Drumsticks Be Cooked?
Now, you know that you can boil your chicken drumsticks directly from the freezer but that it will take more time to cook than non-frozen chicken legs.
To put it in perspective, it takes seasoned cooks an hour and fifteen minutes to bake frozen chicken drumsticks. So, for you, the amount of time you should cook your delicious chicken drumsticks boils down to the size of your chicken legs and the method you are using to cook them.
However, you should keep in mind that you should cook your chicken drumsticks for such a time that they can achieve an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a basic food safety requirement that is designed for your safety.
What About Baking My Frosted Chicken Drumsticks?
It’s almost a consensus that chicken drumsticks are meant to be cooked, but, if it’s baking that you want, then you are covered.
Baked chicken legs are one of the easiest things to prepare but you have to be patient because it will take a longer time to bake.
There’s no need to stress if you don’t want to cook your frosted chicken legs, you can place them in the oven to cook.
Baking frozen drumsticks take around an hour and 25 minutes. However, to get a tender and crispy chicken drumstick you should turn it halfway while baking. It goes without saying that any dish you pair this with will be a treat.
Grilling Frozen Chicken Drumsticks
To get an overpowering flavor from your chicken drumsticks, grilling them will be your best bet.
If you’re considering grilling your chicken drumsticks, these are steps to take:
- Get rid of the packaging the frozen chicken legs are in
- Ensure your grill attains a medium heat temperature of 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit by preheating it. Any temperature higher than that will have your drumsticks cooked on the outside and uncooked on the inside
- Grill your chicken drumsticks with the lid closed to avoid heat escaping. Only open the lid when it’s necessary
- To achieve evenly cooked drumsticks, you have to turn the drumsticks over every 10 minutes
- If you notice flare-ups, shift the drumsticks to another side as you reduce the heat
- Allow the chicken thighs to cook for a minimum of 12 minutes. To guarantee food safety, the internal temperature of the meat should be between 165 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. To ascertain this, the use of a meat thermometer is advised.
Your scrumptious chicken drumsticks are now ready to be served.