Jamie Oliver

forum: Food & Drink

Subscribe to forums RSS

#1 Sat 19 Jan 08 8:30am

sherrinvale

Member
Member since Sat 19 Jan 08

Is it safe to cook chicken frozen

"Ok when I was growing up I was taught to NEVER cook chicken frozen as it gave off some sort of poisonous gas (from memory) now many years later I was told yesterday to cook my chicken from frozen . . . old habits die hard as they say and even my daughter will not cook chicken frozen . . . is this some sort of 'old mum tale ?'"

I am referring to frozen uncooked chicken either whole or pieces.

Thankyou
help

    Likes (0)

#2 Sat 19 Jan 08 9:32am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Is it safe to cook chicken frozen

Poisonous gas!??????????? that makes no sense

it's possible that the caution exists because you have to be more careful with cooking chicken that is frozen or semi-frozen to make sure it's cooked all the way through - as uncooked chicken is a food poisoning risk

We do it regularly. Generally we defrost slightly in the microwave if need be. I find semi-frozen chicken breast is easier to cut into strips for a stirfry.

In short, as long as you make sure it is cooked all the way through it is safe.

    Likes (0)

#3 Sat 19 Jan 08 9:36am

sherrinvale

Member
Member since Sat 19 Jan 08

Re: Is it safe to cook chicken frozen

Thanks White Rabbit, as I said this was a very long time ago . . . . . just know it was a very BIG NO NO....  it now appears that as ,long as normal common sense is adhered too there should be no problems . . . just wish I could remember the full reason/explanation given to me as a child.   smile

    Likes (0)

#4 Sat 19 Jan 08 10:53am

GeoffP

Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Is it safe to cook chicken frozen

Poison gas! - of course not - an "Old wife's - or old mother's tale".

The only problem that exists with chicken is the possibility of infection with salmonella or campyllobacter, both of which are killed by heat.

It is often recommended that chicken be cooked to an internal temperature of 85C (185F) - though others accept that 77C (170F) is adequate.

If you cook chicken from frozen, it takes longer to reach the required temperature. Thin escalopes, breast fillets and legs/thighs should be OK. Whole birds, especially if stuffed, are particularly dangerous, as it is quite likely that the outside will be cooked before the centre is defrosted. The same applies to prepared dishes, which should never be frozen uncooked, and must be thoroughly reheated.

You will often see, in cooking directions for food to be cooked from frozen, the instruction - make sure the food is piping hot (the derivation of this little phrase is the sizzling, whistling sound made by steam escaping from very hot food, which is similar to the sound of high-pitched musical pipes). Safest way is to use a food thermometer thrust into the thickest part of the meat.

Last edited by GeoffP (Sat 19 Jan 08 10:58am)

    Likes (0)

#5 Sat 19 Jan 08 11:26am

sherrinvale

Member
Member since Sat 19 Jan 08

Re: Is it safe to cook chicken frozen

So my Mum lied to me all those years ago . . . . .  sad

Thanks for the info . . . . . .

    Likes (0)

#6 Sat 19 Jan 08 11:38am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Is it safe to cook chicken frozen

She'd probably had it told to her. These stories come up around things that are food safety risks and get elaborated on until they seem quite ridiculous. Someone may have realised that improperly cooked frozen chicken meat made people sick and then others may have taken it on as avoiding cooking chicken from frozen to eliminate the risk. Then suddenly cooking chicken from frozen becomes bad/unsafe.

    Likes (0)

#7 Sat 19 Jan 08 11:54am

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Is it safe to cook chicken frozen

I would NEVER cook a chicken unless it is fully defrosted.

This is the reason...because otherwise the required cooking temberature will not be reached throughout all of the bird to allow the bacteria that it holds to be killed off.
If you are not carefull all you end up doing is warming the bacteria up to its optimum growing temperature.
You can get various bacteria growing in the chicken but the most common known to cause illness is Salmonella , on rare occasions it has known to be fatal.

Personally I would never cook any part of poultry unless it is fully defrosted. (If fact I make sure that all meat , if frozen is fully defrosted before being cooked.)
It simply is not worth the risk.

    Likes (0)

#8 Sat 19 Jan 08 10:46pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Is it safe to cook chicken frozen

Why not? as long as the internal temperature hits the right value then it's fine. In effect by cooking it you defrost it. You are warming the meat up and then quickly taking it past the danger zone into the temperatures that are safe. You aren't going to warm it to 50C and leave it there. It's a lot safer than leaving chicken to defrost on a bench and no different to defrosting in the microwave.

Of course this is much more difficult to achieve with an entire chicken as opposed to thin slices or small pieces in a stew. There are certain recipes that lend themselves to use of semi-frozen and frozen chicken - like stirfry and stews. A whole chicken will be overdone on the outside if cooked to the right temperature inside if cooked from frozen.

Chicken food safety fact sheet
http://www.chicken.org.au/files/_system … lowres.pdf

As for other meats, red meats that are whole (i.e. not minced) can be cooked rare (unlike chicken that needs cooking all the way through) - I've cooked steaks that weren't thawed all the way through and it was fine. Again you are heating the important parts of the meat through the danger zone and quickly to a safe temperature.

here's another food safety booklet
http://www.foodsafety.asn.au/_srcfiles/ … ochure.pdf

Last edited by The White Rabbit (Sat 19 Jan 08 10:47pm)

    Likes (0)

#9 Sun 20 Jan 08 12:22pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Is it safe to cook chicken frozen

http://www.foodsafety.asn.au/_srcfiles/ … ochure.pdf


Page 2 ,this does suggest that you should 'Defrost poultry , minced rolled and stuffed meats thoroughly before cooking'.

I do not think that it is worth the food poisining risk of not defrosting mest fully before cooking.
As you know their are various organisms that are potentially dangerous  unless killed by cooking.
Personaly ,I feel that not defrosting meat fully is a dangerous practice.

If a restaurant did not thaw meat fully and this resulted in food poisining then (in the UK) they would be prossecuted . 

(Sorry Rabbit I could not open your first link so I have not had a look at that .)

Last edited by mummza (Sun 20 Jan 08 12:25pm)

    Likes (0)

#10 Sun 20 Jan 08 7:01pm

SusanneH

Forum champ
From Germany
Member since Mon 13 Mar 06

Re: Is it safe to cook chicken frozen

Whole birds and very thick parts should be defrosted in full (as Geoff pointed out the outside will be charred while the inside is still ice cold if not).

For schnitzel etc. I usually let them defrost in full also to have full control over doneness vs. perfectly crisp outside. (Just transfer to the fridge the night before.)

If chopping up or finely slicing I only defrost to the point when still rather stiff, but I can get the knife through.


Salmonella (etc) are particularly dangerous for children, the elderly or anyone with a week immune system. My OH had campyllobacter (sp?) a few years ago (it's symptoms are almost the same as salmonella but not quite as severe and dangerous) and he could hardly sit up. It was suspected that he got it from food at uni. The doctor said to make sure not to use a fork or spatula to remove cooked chicken from pan when it was used to handle raw or half cooked chicken before - to avoid new contamination. It's common sense really, but the one thing many of us tend to forget wink

    Likes (0)

Powered by PunBB.