Do you put frozen meat into your slow cooker? Here’s what they say you should be doing

There is a lot of conflicting information out there.
March 19, 2018 12:12 pm Last Updated: March 19, 2018 12:49 pm

Despite a scene in NBC’s “This Is Us” which involved a faulty slow cooker and eventually led to the death of a major character, Crock-Pots, and Instant Pots are all the rage now.

For those who are still skeptical, Newell Brands Inc., the owner of Crock-Pot, assures customers that “the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible.”

Slow cookers make preparing meals so much easier.

When it comes to using a slow cooker, cooking becomes a lot less stressful. Making a meal is as simple as placing the ingredients in a pot and forgetting about them for a few hours.

And while you don’t have to pay much attention to the cooking process that doesn’t mean you should pay any less attention to the preparation.

It usually takes several hours to cook a meal using a slow cooker.

In the slow cookers community, one thing that is often debated is whether or not it’s safe to put frozen meat into a slow cooker.

There is plenty of conflicting information out there on this topic.

A representative for Crock-Pot told TODAY Food that frozen chicken may be cooked in any of their products, however, the cook time should be adjusted. TODAY Food also points out that the instruction manual for Crock-Pot’s 1-3.5 quart slow cooker model also suggests adding one cup of warm liquid to “act as a cushion to prevent sudden temperature changes.”

Is it safe to put frozen chicken directly in a slow cooker?


Dinner! #whole30 #crockpotchicken

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While Instant Pot’s website doesn’t specifically give a cooking time for frozen chicken, a representative told TODAY Food that the company recommends their customers add an extra five minutes of cooking time.

However, there are others who disagree with Crock-Pot and Instant Pot.

It’s an ongoing debate whether or not meat or poultry should be thawed before being placed in a slow cooker.

#mealprep #crockpotchicken . . The simplest thing I have ever found to do now a days is get a damn crockpot and use the frikkin thing! In 8 hrs your chicken is done, infused with deliciousness and juicy. I really great thing to do is set it before you leave for work or for me, early morning and use basic ingredients. I use salt, a good rustic seasoning (because thanksgiving 🦃 is my favorite flavor 😂) and I add in something to make it pop. I’ve recently been using the @fronterafoods Mexican mixes, my favorites are green Chile and then fajita style. One pack has roughly 4p/12c/6f and I use it with one pack of chicken that is normally about ~3lbs. So it doesn’t add any kind of major detriment to your macros if you decide not to track it. . . What are some of your favorite crockpot meals?? . . #healthyfood #recipes #healthyrecipes #chicken #simpleyeteffective #getyoshitdone #eatwell #nowastedtime #rusticchicken #preplikeaboss #preplikeaboss

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The USDA advises users to “always thaw meat or poultry before putting it into a slow cooker.”

Whether the poultry will cook or not is not up for debate, it’s whether the chicken will spend too much time in what is considered the “danger zone,” thus providing ample opportunity for bacteria to grow.

The danger zone is the temperature range between 40 degrees and 140 degrees. According to the USDA, bacteria can double in about 20 minutes when food is between 40 and 140 degrees.

Do you take the risk?

In the end, consumers are left to make the decision for themselves: toss the frozen chicken in the slow cooker or let the poultry thaw before putting it into the pot.

Whatever you choose, keep in mind that the minimum internal temperature should be 165 degrees for chicken and that while the bacteria that can grow while the chicken is in the danger zone, the toxins it produces are heat-resistant and it’s those toxins that produce foodborne illnesses.

As always, it’s best to follow the USDA’s guidelines when it comes to food safety.