Boiling Frozen Chicken

Chicken Pot Pie

I know boiled meat isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but every now and then my dog has a bout of pancreatitis and boiled chicken breast is the easiest food for his little body to digest while he gets back to normal. Toward the end of this last episode, the only chicken I had was frozen and I didn’t want to wait to defrost it in the fridge. I could have defrosted it in the microwave, but I was curious–can you boil frozen chicken?

After a quick Google search, it seems the overarching belief is that if chicken is boiled from its frozen state, whomever shall partake of it, will surely die a slow, painful death. I don’t know about you, but whenever I am within earshot of such panicked certainty, I immediately doubt whatever has been said. That’s when I gave up on finding the answer from the masses and turned to the experts at the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Is it safe to boil frozen chicken?

Turns out, we can all rest a little easier now. Chicken can be cooked from its frozen state, but there are some important rules to follow.

First and foremost, get out that handy-dandy thermometer and check the chicken as it cooks for an internal temperature of 165°F. The FSIS says it will take about twice as long to cook a frozen chicken than a raw one and I found this to be true when I boiled a single chicken breast for my dog. Instead of taking five minutes to boil, it took just a little longer than ten minutes.

Second, only cook chicken on the stovetop (as in boiling) or in the oven (as in roasting). Do not try to cook frozen chicken in the microwave or in a slow cooker. In those instances, always defrost it first.

Let’s all take a deep, calming breath now, knowing that there is one less thing in life to be worried about. As long as you abide by those two rules, no one is going to die a slow, painful death because you boiled frozen chicken.

For more information about safely handling chicken in the kitchen, go to the Food Safety and Inspection Service website.



  1. Kati

    Thank you! I was scared I would die if I tried to boil frozen chicken for my enchiladas today.

    1. You’re welcome Kati! I’m glad the article was helpful and that you did not die! Enjoy those enchiladas!

  2. Thanks for this! I occasionally cook a chicken stew for my two Labs – it’s on the menu tonight but forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer last night, so am glad to hear that I can just stick it in the pot in its frozen state… But can conclude that I should be boiling it twice as long.. Normally I’ll boil a whole raw chicken for an hour – looks like it’s going to have to be 2 haha….

    1. You’re welcome! Your Labs are lucky pooches. How did the chicken turn out?

  3. […] tough and I blamed that on the fact that I’d cooked it frozen. Do you have experience with eating this frozen-cooked chicken yourself? Or, do you only serve it to you dog? […]

  4. […] reading my article about whether it is safe to eat chicken boiled from a frozen state, a reader named Keke sent me this […]

  5. What a relief! I want to make some chicken soup today, and all I have is frozen boneless chicken thighs. Thanks!

    1. Great! I’m glad the article helped! Enjoy your soup!

  6. Jen

    I have always used frozen chicken in my crockpot recipes and have never had any issues. I use the low setting for 8 hours usually…sometimes more. Shreds like a dream!

    1. Fantastic way to use frozen chicken, Jen! Thanks for the info!

  7. Liz

    Thank you! I can now confidently make some healing chicken soup for my flu-ridden three year old, without the worry that I was going to poison us. You eased my anxiety level down a notch, thank you very much!

    1. Oh, Liz, I’m so glad the article helped ease your anxiety. Healing hugs to your 3-year-old. What a great mom you must be to worry so much. Here’s hoping he or she feels better soon.

  8. erik lawetzki

    Thank you!! I am cooking chicken noodle soup for my sick girlfriend and son wanted to know if I could boil frozen chicken and it be safe to eat thanks so much

    1. It sounds like your girlfriend and son are in good hands. Here’s hoping everybody feels better soon. Take care!

  9. Steph

    Thanks for this info. I did put my frozen chicken in the fridge to thaw yesterday, but it is still very frozen and I planned on starting a gumbo this morning! I was afraid I would have to buy more chicken.

    1. I’m glad it was helpful, Steph! And maybe even saved you some moo-lah. 🙂

  10. Jen

    Thanks for this post. I have a sick pup and the doc says she needs boiled chicken. I only have a frozen chicken breast, so I am off to boil it.

    1. I hope your pup feels better, Jen!

  11. Rick

    Thank you for the helpful information. I had planned on making chicken fajitas tonight but had forgotten to take the chicken out of freezer b/4 work. Now I wont have to make a run to the market for more chicken like my Grandmother would have told me to do Thanks again.

    1. I’m glad to hear that, Rick! Enjoy those fajitas!

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