Can You Boil Frozen Chicken? Find Out Here!


Can you Boil Frozen Chicken?

Knowing how to prepare frozen chicken is key to answering the question, can you boil frozen chicken? In short, you can boil frozen chicken, but it also requires you to handle the frozen chicken carefully and prepare it in a specific way. For details check out the instructions and recipe included below.

frozen chicken blue background

Boiling Frozen Chicken

Boiling chicken is a quick and easy way to prepare dinner. But, can you boil frozen chicken? Below we are going to take a deep dive into how you can boil frozen chicken, some concerns you want to be careful of, and provide a recipe with step-by-step instructions on how you can make delicious boiled frozen chicken. 

You won’t miss a thing below, because this recipe with tips and tricks will help you to make dinner quickly when you haven’t planned ahead. It comes in very handy! 

Thawing vs. Cooking Frozen Meat

Most of the time it’s a good idea to thaw your meat ahead of time before cooking it. However, what should you do if you don’t have time, or aren’t able to plan ahead to thaw your meat first?

Can you still boil chicken while it is frozen? Actually, you can! There are a few things to keep in mind when boiling frozen chicken, and how specifically it should be kept. But the straightforward answer is yes, you can boil frozen chicken.  

Can You Boil Frozen Chicken and For How Long?

Surprisingly you can boil the frozen chicken. When boiling frozen chicken, it is important that your chicken warm quickly, and remain at an active boil until your meat is cooked throughout the entire piece. The internal temperature of your pieces of chicken should be at least 165°F to be considered done.

So how long will it take to boil your chicken from its frozen state? The USDA reminds us that there is a time difference when cooking chicken from a frozen state as opposed to boiling thawed chicken. Keep in mind that when you boil frozen chicken, it will take approximately one and a half times the amount of time it takes to cook thawed chicken.  

For example, if you are chicken usually takes one hour to fully cook at a boil, when you boil frozen chicken plan on it taking at least one and ½ hours to fully cook. 

pot of broth

Guide to Boiling Frozen Chicken

Let’s look at the specifics of how you can go about boiling frozen chicken and have it turn out delicious. Below we will cover what are the ingredients you will need, as well as suggested seasonings and equipment. 

What do you need?

Frozen chicken

Chicken broth or bouillon cube

Garlic salt

Seasoning salt



How to Boil Frozen Chicken

If you’re frustrated with having your chicken turn out dry, boiling your chicken is a great way for it to stay nice and moist. Plus it doesn’t take very long for your chicken to cook. Below are some step-by-step instructions on how you can boil chicken so that it turns out delicious. 

boiled chicken on a plate

How to Boil Chicken Breasts: Our No-Fail Technique for Juicy Chicken

Step 1: Pick a Liquid

We recommend using water mixed with chicken bouillon cubes. Typically, you want to use enough water to cover your pieces of chicken, and one to two bouillon cubes. 

If you’re making a lot of boiled chicken, then you won’t want to increase the amount of water and bouillon cubes included. However, if you would rather, you could also use water and chicken broth rather than bouillon.

Step 2: Boil the Chicken

Place your frozen chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Allow at least ½ inch of water extra. Add one to two cubes of chicken bouillon to your water. 

We also recommend adding garlic salt, seasoning salt, and a bit of pepper to your water. You can add any other seasonings you desire to the water as well. 

Allow your chicken to come to a rolling boil, and continue to simmer for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. The amount of time it takes for your frozen chicken to completely boil may vary depending on the size of your chicken.

How long to boil frozen chicken breast?

Frozen boneless skinless: approximately 20-25 minutes

Fresh boneless skinless: approximately 15-20 minutes

Fresh bone-in and skin on: at least 30 minutes + depending on how big the pieces are

pot of broth top down

Checking for doneness

To tell when the boiled chicken is done, you’ll want to check the internal temperature of your chicken with an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature of your chicken must reach at least 165°F or 74°C.

Step 3: Drain Liquid and Shred or Chop

Once your chicken has fully boiled so that the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F, you can remove the pan from your burner. Drain the liquid, and slice or shred your cooked chicken. Serve however you wish and enjoy!

Tips & Tricks

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Safely

It is important that frozen chicken does not remain in the danger zone for an extended amount of time. Because of this, it is okay to bake, air fry, or boil chicken on your stove top from a frozen state. However, it is not a good idea to cook frozen chicken in a slow cooker, as it has a tendency for your chicken to remain in the danger zone (between 40°F to 140°F) for too long. 

How to Thaw Frozen Chicken

There are several ways you can thaw frozen chicken, but the best way to thaw frozen chicken is in your refrigerator overnight. You can also thaw frozen chicken in cold water, and by using the defrost function on your microwave. For more details click HERE

Use a Stovetop to Boil Frozen Chicken

The most common way to boil frozen chicken is on your stove top in a deep pan. This allows your chicken to cook quickly and keeps it moist.

You Can Also Use Instant Pot to Boil Frozen Chicken

You can also use your instant pot as another way to boil frozen chicken. When you do this be careful and keep a close eye on it. However, the overall concept is similar to using the stovetop. 

Use the Oven to Boil and Cook Frozen Chicken

You can also use a casserole dish, place your chicken evenly spaced in your dish, and cover with your water, bouillon cubes, or chicken broth, and seasonings. Then bake at 375°F until the internal temperature of your chicken reaches at least 165°F. 

Spread Individual Chicken Pieces

The main thing to keep in mind when boiling frozen chicken is that you should be boiling individual pieces, rather than large clumps of chicken that are stuck together. When your pieces are separated, they will cook much more evenly, and cook faster. 

Add 50 Percent More Cooking Time

A general rule of thumb when dealing with frozen chicken is to add 50% more cooking time to your preparation time. Because the meat is frozen, it’s estimated that it will take 1 ½ the amount of time your recipe suggests. 

chicken leg in broth

What Not to Do When Cooking Chicken

Microwave. You will never want to cook raw chicken in the microwave no matter if it is thawed or frozen. You can reheat cooked chicken in the microwave, or even defrost your chicken using the microwave, but it should never be used to cook frozen chicken. There are some major health concerns that could be very bad for you if you were to try cooking frozen chicken in the microwave. 

Slow Cooker. Because of the danger zone for chicken which is when it sits between 40°F and 140°F for too long, it runs the risk of growing bacteria and could cause sickness. Because chicken is frozen, and crockpots or slow cookers cook chicken very slowly, frozen chicken runs the risk of being in the danger zone for too long. 

Because of this, it is not a good idea to use your crockpot or slow cooker to cook frozen chicken. Instead, try cooking your frozen chicken by baking it, air frying it, cooking in a skillet, or boiling it. These other cooking methods are much safer. 

Grill.  While grilled meats are delicious, grilling frozen chicken is not recommended. Because the outside cooks much faster than the inside of grilled meats, by grilling chicken you are likely to end up with over-cooked meat on the outside, but raw chicken on the inside. Because of this, we do not recommend grilling frozen chicken. 

How To Store and Reheat Boiled Chicken


Room Temperature. Whether your chicken is frozen, thawed, or cooked it should not remain at room temperature any more than two hours before storing it in the fridge or freezer. 

Refrigerator. Once the frozen chicken has been boiled, transfer your cooked chicken into an airtight container and place your cooked chicken in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. 

Freezer. Your leftover cooked chicken can also be frozen if you wish to keep it for a longer amount of time. In order to freeze, transfer it to irritate container, or seal it securely in a plastic freezer bag. Place it in the freezer at 0°F or below for up to four months

How do I freeze boiled chicken? 

The best way to freeze boiled chicken, is to allow it to cool slightly and then transfer it to an airtight container, a freezer bag, or wrap it securely in freezer wrap and then place it into a freezer bag. Place into the freezer at 0°F or below for up to four months.   


You can reheat your cooked chicken by using the microwave, oven, or skillet. No matter how you choose to reheat it, you can simply reheat your cooked chicken until it is warmed through. Then use as desired.

boiled chicken in broth


What’s the white stuff floating in the water?

This white stuff is a normal part of boiling chicken. It’s the protein from the chicken that is being pulled apart as the meat cooks and shrinks. Don’t worry about the floaties, you can simply scrape them away from the edge of your pan or leave them until your chicken is finished cooking.

Is it Safer to Defrost it First?

If you’re going to cook the chicken right away, then it might be a good idea to defrost your chicken first. However, when you defrost chicken, you run the risk of chicken sitting in the danger zone which is when it goes above 40°F but it’s not cooking fast enough, and that even the risk of growing bacteria.

Because of this, if you’re not going to cook your chicken right away, simply store your frozen chicken in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook. Visit “How Long Can Thawed Chicken Stay In Fridge” for details. 

What About Slow-Cookers?

It is not recommended that you use a slow cooker or crockpot to cook frozen chicken. This is because it runs the risk of sitting between 40°F and 140°F for too long. 

What to do with the leftover broth?

There are all kinds of things you can do with the leftover broth if you wish. Save it for soup, make some gravy, and much more! It all depends on what you desire to make with it. 

How to store the cooked meat?

Cooked meat can be stored in an airtight container and placed in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. After that your chicken should either be thrown away or frozen for up to four months. 

How to use the boiled chicken?

Boiled chicken can be used in many different ways. You can shred the chicken or slice it and include it in casseroles, eat it plain, make chicken salad with it, and much more. You can pretty much use boiled chicken any way you wish. 

Eating healthy should still be delicious

Boiling frozen chicken is an easy and healthy way to prepare your meat. You can make boiled chicken into whatever you desire, but this allows you to prepare your chicken so that it is nice and juicy, without adding extra fats. Boiling chicken allows you to make dinner quickly and have it turn out very tasty. 

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken Without Thawing It?

In answer to can you boil frozen chicken, the answer is yes, simply be careful when doing this. You want to be sure to boil your chicken on the stovetop, in the oven, in the air fryer, or using the Insta pot.

Avoid using a slow cooker to cook frozen chicken. Simply boil your frozen chicken quickly so that it comes to temperature and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F and does not spend much time in the danger zone.

Give our delicious boiled frozen chicken recipe a try, for an easy and delicious dinner recipe!

When you just need chicken but don’t have time, try this recipe! 

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How long should I boil frozen chicken?

The amount of time it takes to boil frozen chicken will depend on which part of the chicken you are cooking. For example, if you are cooking a whole chicken, a whole frozen chicken is going to take much longer to cook time than chicken breasts or even drumsticks. 

The total cooking time for frozen chicken to boil will likely take one and one-half times the normal rate of boiling thawed chicken. This means if it usually takes 30 minutes to boil a chicken breast, then it will take approximately 30 minutes +15 minutes, equaling approximately 45 minutes for a frozen chicken breast to boil.

The time that it takes to cook your frozen chicken will likely vary depending on what piece of meat you’re trying to cook, how large the piece of chicken is, and your specific burner temperature. For example, a gas burner is going to cook much faster than an electric burner.

The best way to tell when your frozen chicken is fully cooked is to check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer. The safe internal temperature of chicken is 165°F. This means that the meat thermometer must read a minimum safe internal temperature of 165°F for the cooked chicken to be safe to consume.

Is it safe to boil chicken from frozen?

Yes, as long as it is done following a few general guidelines, it is safe to boil frozen chicken. In order for it to be safe to boil frozen chicken, fill a large stockpot with hot water. Place a pot of water over high heat to bring it to a rolling boil. When your pot of water boils, add the frozen chicken, and reduce the heat to medium heat.

Make sure to keep the water at a consistent boil, as your chicken cooks. When the chicken is done cooking, make sure to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to be sure that has been cooked all the way through. Then you can serve your boiled chicken as desired.

One of the keys to cooking frozen chicken by boiling it is to make sure that the frozen chicken stays at a consistent boil so that you avoid the frozen chicken growing harmful bacteria which could result in food poisoning.

The frozen chicken must also reach a safe minimum internal temperature so that it is fully cooked before eating it. As long as these general guidelines are followed, then it is safe to boil chicken from frozen.

Can you boil frozen chicken thighs?

Yes, you can boil frozen chicken thighs if desired. The same general guidelines apply, as listed above. You will want to make sure to place the frozen chicken thighs into the boiling water and keep the water at a consistent boil as the chicken cooks.

Chicken thighs may take a little bit longer to cook, depending on their size, and if they contain a bone. Once you think they are done cooking, make sure to check the internal temperature of your chicken thighs before serving them.

Can you boil frozen chicken breasts?

Both skinless chicken breasts and bone-in chicken breasts can be boiled from a frozen state. The main difference between a boneless chicken breast, and a bone-in chicken breast, is that the bone-in chicken breast will likely take a little bit longer to be cooked all the way through.

How long to boil frozen chicken breasts?

The amount of time that takes to boil chicken breast will depend on the size of the chicken, and whether it contains a bone or not. On average, a boneless skinless chicken breast that is frozen takes between 30 and 45 minutes for it to boil. Please note that this time may vary depending on the size of your chicken breast, as well as the heat source you are cooking it over.

Can you boil frozen chicken legs?

Frozen chicken drumsticks can also be boiled from a frozen state if you wish. Like other types of chicken, it’s important that they stay at a rolling boil the entire time they are cooking, and that they are thoroughly cooked all the way through. This means that they must reach an internal temperature of 165°F in order for them to be safe to consume.

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    Faith is the resident baking expert of this sister duo, and first started baking at age ten when she learned to make chocolate chip cookies on her own. From there she went on to have her own night of the week to make dinner for the whole family. She is excited to share amazing recipes and a love of food, and help you become kitchen smart!

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