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Old 09-11-2007, 06:46 PM   #11
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This may sounds silly... but has anyone defrost a chicken in the microwave before?
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:06 PM   #12
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Defrosting chicken in the microwave will actually end up cooking the edges, at least in my experience.

Andy, I am not sure I agree that
Quote:
the more often you change the water, the faster it will defrost
I think the opposite would actually be true, although not safe. As the water sits it will get warmer. The warmer the water is the faster the chicken will thaw. This is most certainly not safe though. the water needs to remain in cold water to defrost in a safe manner.

I use Tattrats method of putting the chicken in a pot and filling with cold water and then letting a trickle of water continue to run into the pot. It is still important to check the water to make sure it says cold enough.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
...Andy, I am not sure I agree that

I think the opposite would actually be true, although not safe. As the water sits it will get warmer. The warmer the water is the faster the chicken will thaw. This is most certainly not safe though. the water needs to remain in cold water to defrost in a safe manner. ...

GB:

The frozen chicken acts as an ice cube in a glass of water. You put a zero degree chicken into 40 F tap water and the chicken will chill the water. As a result, the water is colder than the original 40F. Then, the water and the chicken are closer in temperature and the defrosting slows down. If you dump the colder water and replace it with fresh 40 F tap water, it will warm the chicken further.

In essence, constantly running water into a pot with the chicken in it is the same as changing the water more frequently.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
GB:

The frozen chicken acts as an ice cube in a glass of water. You put a zero degree chicken into 40 F tap water and the chicken will chill the water. As a result, the water is colder than the original 40F. Then, the water and the chicken are closer in temperature and the defrosting slows down. If you dump the colder water and replace it with fresh 40 F tap water, it will warm the chicken further.

In essence, constantly running water into a pot with the chicken in it is the same as changing the water more frequently.
I do not disagree with the above Andy. everything you said there is correct as far as I am concerned.

The part I do not agree with is that
Quote:
the more you change the water the faster it will defrost
.

If you have a frozen chicken and you put it in a container of water and change that water every 30 minutes then your chicken will defrost. If you do the same thing, but don't change the water then the water will warm up over time. A chicken sitting in warm (or warmer) water will defrost faster than a chicken sitting in colder water.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:45 PM   #15
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...If you have a frozen chicken and you put it in a container of water and change that water every 30 minutes then your chicken will defrost. If you do the same thing, but don't change the water then the water will warm up over time. A chicken sitting in warm (or warmer) water will defrost faster than a chicken sitting in colder water.

I think you would agree that if you put a frozen chicken into very hot water (I know, not safe), it would defrost faster than if it was in an equal amount of cold water. The greater the temperature differential between the chicken and the water, the faster the chicken will defrost.

If you put a frozen chicken into tap water, the chicken will chill the tap water, making it closer in temperature to the chicken. (Heat from the warmer water transfers into the chicken). If you leave the chicken in the colder water it will eventually warm up if the room temperature is warmer than the water but that takes a very long time.

If you dump the water that has been chilled by the frozen chicken and replace it with warmer (relatively) tap water, you speed up the heat transfer again. The still frozen chicken will chill the new batch of water also and the warming process will slow again. Thus changing the water speeds up the process.

If you rely on ambient air temperature to warm the water in the bowl, you might as well leave the chicken on the counter without any water at all.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:52 PM   #16
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OK I see what you are trying to say now, although I can not still completely agree. There are variables that come into play that could make your statement true or not true. Some of those factors are the ambient room temp, the size of the bird, the amount of water it is in. for instance, if you put a frozen chicken in a pot just large enough to hold the chicken then there will not be a whole lot of water you will be using. The chicken will chill the water and keep it cooler longer than if you filled a large sink with water and put the same size bird in. In the kitchen sink, the amount of water may not be cooled that much by the frozen bird to bring it below the temp of the fresh water you are adding.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:00 PM   #17
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First, the amount of water vs the size of the frozen chicken will not change the science just the times.

The other factor to keep in mind is circulation. The water closest to the frozen chicken is chilled. If there is circulation, the chilled water is redistributed throughout and warmer water is closer to the chicken. Thus, circulation also speeds thawing until all the water is close to the temperature of the bird.

Remember the Good Eats episode with the blue ice ducklings? The ice in the running water defrosted first.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:09 PM   #18
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We are not talking about running water though. We are talking about a pot of water changed every half hour vs. a pot of water that is not changed at all.

So if I understand you correctly then we should be able to test this fairly easily. We could take two cups with two equally sized ice cubes. In one cup we could fill it with water and place the ice cube in it until it melts. In the second cup we could place the ice cube and change the water every X minutes (lets say 10). According to you the second ice cube should melt first correct?
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:10 PM   #19
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When defrosting chicken in water, you have to think of the water as a battery with reference to energy transfer. The water, whether it be 50 degrees or 79 degrees, is warmer than the 32 degree (frozen) chicken and holds energy to transfer to the chicken. To defrost the chicken, you must transfer heat to it. No matter the temp of the water, 50, 60 or 70 degrees, it is still warmer than the 32 degree frozen chicken.

The water gets cold because the chicken is absorbing (or pulling) all of the heat energy from the water. When the water is warm, the chicken absorbs heat more quickly (because there is more to offer) and begins to slow as the water cools and the energy level is depleted. If you change the water often, you are renewing the energy supply.

Think of thawing like riding a bike down a hill. The steeper the incline (the bigger the difference in temp) the faster you travel. As the temp of the water cools (incline decreases) and less heat is available for transfer, the thawing process slows down. So yes, changing the water frequently will be faster because you are renewing the energy supply. The water you add will always be warmer (holds more heat energy) than the used water (depleted heat energy).

Heat pumps work on the same principle. If you are not at absolute zero (-460 degrees Kelvin), there IS heat energy in the air or water. Only at absolute zero are you devoid of heat. So, in the winter, a heat pump can pull heat energy from 30 degree air, although they do start to struggle at around 22 degrees F (thus you have the heat strips).
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
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The water you add will always be warmer (holds more heat energy) than the used water
This is where I am not sure I agree.
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