Grilling Frozen Chicken – How to Grill Frozen Chicken

Grilling Frozen Chicken – How to Grill Frozen Chicken

You plan a BBQ night that involves grilling frozen chicken on your grill?

Grilling frozen chicken is safe if done correctly, but results probably won’t be desirable. To achieve the best outcome for bbq chicken, follow these steps.

Some commonly used methods of defrosting frozen chicken meat can spoil the taste and promote the development of bacteria in it. Find out which are the best and which are the worst ways to defrost the chicken.

grilling frozen chicken

Along with the inevitable pork, beef, or burgers, chicken is one of all generations’ favorite barbecue choices. Some even go so far as to declare chicken the queen of barbecue and preparing it a real challenge because the wrong temperature or roasting time can ruin a good piece of meat, and you will serve tanned skin or raw meat to your guests.

The most common question is can you grill frozen chicken?

The answer is NO. However, if you want to grill frozen chicken, you need to do it right. You can throw your frozen chicken right on the grill, but the first thing is to place the chicken on low, indirect heat to let it start thawing. When the chicken is melted, you can move it to direct heat and grill it the rest of the way.

Again, this is not a good practice. Thaw first.

It is much better if you thaw your chicken in advance and only thaw it on the grill as the final solution.

frozen chicken bbq

Are you grilling Frozen Chicken? Do not, here is three best way to defrost the frozen chicken.

1. In the refrigerator

The best way to defrost chicken is in the refrigerator because it is the simplest and safer than other defrosting techniques. After all, the meat is not exposed to the heat that otherwise promotes bacteria’s development. If you defrost chickens in the refrigerator, you will also preserve the meat’s taste, which can be weakened with some other defrosting methods. The only ‘drawback’ to this method of defrosting is that you have to plan.

It will take about 5 hours to thaw in the fridge for a pound of chicken, and it will be useful to eat for two, three days. In the morning, before going to work, move the chicken from the freezer to the refrigerator, and when you get home, it will be ready for grilling.

Defrosting frozen chicken in the microwave is not safe because the meat is exposed to high temperatures that favor bacteria development.

2. In cold water

If you forgot to move the chicken from the freezer to the refrigerator, use this method. To keep the meat safe for consumption, you must tie it in a tight plastic bag and change the water every 30 minutes (defrosting takes 2 to 3 hours). This way, the water will always be cold, and the frozen chicken will not be exposed to dangerous warmer temperatures.

Health experts warn that chickens should never be thawed in hot water as this can

cause food-borne diseases since such an environment are ideal for the development of bacteria in meat.

3. Cook it frozen

The third best method is not to defrost the chicken at all, but if you prepare it frozen, it will take 50 percent longer than when it is thawed. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, especially if you’re making a dish that takes longer to prepare anyway (for example, with stews and soups).

This method is only not recommended for frying because the excess moisture on the meat will not create a crispy crust.

frozen chicken stew - soup

Two worst way to defrost frozen chicken

1. In the microwave

Thawing chicken in the microwave is not safe because the meat is exposed to high temperatures that favor bacteria development, as we have already pointed out. It also destroys the taste and texture of the chicken because the meat does not thaw evenly. While the thicker and larger pieces are still melting, the thinner and smaller ones are already cooking and becoming rubbery.

2. On the kitchen counter

This method of defrosting chicken is used in many households but should be avoided. When meat stays at room temperature for too long, it is very likely to enter a ‘dangerous temperature zone’ in which the formation of bacteria is inevitable.

So, grilling frozen chicken is a big no-no, what’s the trick then to make the chicken turn out perfect every time?

Chicken needs to be grilled longer than minced meat and requires lower temperatures, so it is not difficult to overcook and dry a good meat piece. You will grill chicken piece for an hour, and often longer.

You can grill chicken breasts on a higher heat, but you will cook your wings and legs better at a lower temperature. When planning a barbecue, it is important to know how many meat you need to buy per person.

A large chicken will suffice for 4 to 6 adults, but you can also prepare chicken pieces, depending on guests’ preferences.

frozen chicken bbq

Of course, you also have the eternal dilemma of gas and classic grill for grilling frozen chicken.

Whichever you use, it is essential that the grill is heated and the temperature stable before you put the meat to roast. It is easier to control the temperature with gas grills, but if you use charcoal, wait for the flame to go out and the grill to glow nicely, which will take 30-45 minutes.

The key is in moderate temperature, and you can achieve this in several ways. For example, if you notice that the fire is too intense, feel free to remove the charcoal a little to the side or along the edges to create a space where the charcoal is not directly under the chicken. If it is an electric or gas grill, reduce the intensity of the fire or electricity. Slow barbecuing over moderate heat will give the best results. (This method can be used for grilling frozen chicken to thaw it slowly)

Before grilling:

  1. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator for half an hour at room temperature.
  2. Marinate the chicken and add spices as desired, which will add new flavors and preserve the meat’s juiciness.
  3. Marinate the meat for a few hours before roasting, and it is desirable to let it stand overnight.
  4. If you are not using marinade but only dry rub, rub well into the meat the night before to soak in as well as possible and blend with the flavors of the chicken.

To check if the meat is cooked, cut along the bone, and check what juices are flowing; if you see blood, you need to bake more, but the chicken is done if they are just clear juices. You can also use a meat thermometer. A quick check in the center of the meat temperature should be at least 70 degrees Celsius.

Give it a rest!

The secret is in the marinade.

We all know that the meat should be “soaked-marinated” before grilling, make a marinade and mix it with the chicken and let it stand for at least a couple of hours or overnight.

But why are we doing this?

The first reason is to give the chicken extra flavor, and the second is to soften the meat to make it tastier after grilling. There is no best recipe for a marinade, nor a rule of how long meat should be marinated, but each marinade should have a good ratio of acid, oil, and spices.

There are many great marinade recipes that you can enrich your barbecue with, and we bring you two for chicken that your guests and loved ones will talk about for a long time to come.

marinated chicken

Greek marinade.

Ingredients (for 1.5 kg of chicken breast sequin):

  • 150 g  Greek yogurt
  • 50 ml of olive oil
  • Two cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • Two lemons (juice and grated rind)
  • One tablespoon oregano
  • 30 g salt
  • a little freshly ground coloured pepper

Put the chicken in a larger bowl. Drizzle with yogurt and olive oil. Grate the zest of a lemon, then squeeze the juice. Add rest of the ingredients and mix everything by hand for a few minutes to make the meat soak in the marinade as well as possible. Place the foil over the pan and leave in the cold for at least three hours before baking.

Let it soak!

Sweet and sour marinade.

Ingredients (for 1.5 kg of chicken breast fillet):

  • 100 ml of olive oil (not bitter)
  • 50 ml of soy sauce
  • 50 ml apple nectar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • Two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 40 g of brown sugar
  • One teaspoon of fresh chopped parsley
  • One teaspoon freshly chopped thyme
  • one tablespoon fine mustard or half a tablespoon plain mustard
  • 15 g salt
  • ¼ teaspoons garlic powder pepper and chilli powder – amount to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside a third of the marinade that you will use to coat during baking. Add chicken to marinade bowl and stir for a few minutes with hands to soak the meat in the marinade as much as possible. Let it marinate for at least three hours before baking, but never longer than six hours because the acid from lemon and vinegar makes the meat firmer by standing longer.


You can start grilling frozen chicken right on the grill if you do it right. You’re going to need to do to place the chicken on low, indirect heat to let it start thawing. Once the chicken is melted through, you can move it to direct heat and cook it the rest of the way.

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