How To Grill Frozen Chicken At Home

We all have found ourselves in situations when we are short on time and need to make chicken for dinner. Grilled chicken is the best and quickest recipe to make as it goes with a lot of dishes and is a meal in itself when served with a few side dishes.

But what if you don’t have time to defrost the chicken? Can you grill frozen chicken directly without thawing it first? The short answer is that yes, you can grill frozen chicken, but only if you know the right steps because it is not recommended.

If done correctly, you end up with a yummy grilled chicken ready for serving without any risks. In this article, I will be explaining easy steps to grill chicken that is frozen, ways to quickly defrost the chicken, and what to serve with it. 

Can You Grill Frozen Chicken?

Technically speaking, you can grill frozen chicken without thawing it beforehand. However, there are a few drawbacks that you should familiarize yourself with first.

If you have time, it’s best not to cook frozen chicken because the meat will take a longer time to cook. So, if you were planning to save time, it’s going to do the opposite for you.

Moreover, cooking frozen chicken will cause rapid thawing resulting in excess moisture which will turn your chicken rubbery. Worse still, you might end up undercooking the chicken, leading to food poisoning.

In short, you need to consider everything before grilling frozen chicken.


How To Grill Frozen Chicken At Home 

If you still decide to go ahead and grill the chicken while it’s frozen, here’s how to make it at home and get your dish ready in a timely fashion.

Take frozen meat and microwave it for 2-3 minutes, until all the pieces are separate. If you can separate chicken pieces without a microwave that’s good as well.

Grill chicken pieces over indirect heat for 15-20 minutes, before cooking them on direct heat. This will chicken time to thaw properly. Otherwise, the outside will be cooked, while the insides remain frozen.

Take a small bowl, and add butter, cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and thyme. Once the chicken is thawed completely, brush the butter and spices on the chicken, coat all sides well, and grill.

Grill for 20-30 minutes on both sides, until the chicken is golden brown.


  • When grilling frozen chicken, you need to achieve an internal temperature of 165 degrees as it means your meat is cooked through.
  • Make sure to not dry out thinner parts of your chicken. To prevent that, spread out the chicken on the grill and keep the thin pieces away from heat.
  • When thawing the chicken on the grill, make sure the vents are 100% open.

What’s The Best Way to Defrost Chicken Quickly?

There are plenty of ways to defrost chicken quickly and grill it to prepare dinner. You can use any method you prefer to thaw the chicken before grilling, which is the safest way.

1. Water Bath

A water bath will thaw your chicken within 1-2 hours maximum, and your chicken pieces will be separated to cook.

To do this, seal the chicken in a zip lock bag, or an airtight bag. Fill your kitchen sink or a large, deep bowl with room temperature water. Place the wrapped chicken in the sink and make sure to change the water every hour.

You might be thinking why not use warm water to speed up the defrosting process? Don’t use warm water! It will invite bacteria and that’s what we want to avoid by using room temperature water.

2. Microwave frozen chicken 

This is the fastest way to defrost the chicken. You can microwave chicken for 3-4 minutes to defrost. However, you need to be careful to defrost the chicken, and not cook it.

If you are planning to use the microwave to defrost grilled chicken, make sure the grill is ready to go. Take a large bowl and place frozen chicken in it. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, before turning it over, and microwave for another 1-2 minutes.

You don’t need to thaw the chicken all the way. When you can separate the chicken pieces, stop microwaving, and immediately transfer them to the grill.

Microwaving chicken for a longer time will turn the meat rubbery and hard in some places.


What To Serve With Frozen Grilled Chicken

As you are grilling chicken that is frozen, you will not get a chance to marinate it, therefore, you will need to make a sauce that you can coat your cooked chicken.

I like to create a honey BBQ sauce that works with grilled chicken breast and wings. You can also prepare a creamy and cheesy sauce to pour over your grilled chicken and serve with grilled veggies, and mashed potatoes for a full meal.

Here are some of the best side dishes to serve with frozen grilled chicken:

  • Potato wedges
  • Corn salad
  • Microwaved cauliflower
  • Sauteed okra
  • Smoked cornbread
  • Fresh tomato salad
  • Roasted veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, onions, eggplant)
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Macaroni salad
  • Grilled mushrooms

Emily is a tech and entertainment writer who loves the art of writing for research-based articles in different niches. As she translates her thoughts into words, they inspire others to do so too!