How to Thaw Frozen Cornish Hen

How to Thaw Cornish Hen: A Detailed Guide

Are you ready to enjoy that recipe for Cornish hen, but it has been sitting the freezer and its rock sloid?

If you landed on this page, you are more than likely trying to find out how to thaw Cornish hen quickly and properly.

In this short guide, you will learn the three different methods that can be used to defrost this game hen.

So, let us get right into it.

How to Thaw Frozen Cornish Hen: 3 Best Options

When you are ready to thaw your Cornish hen, you have 3 options available.

These are:

  • Overnight in the Refrigerator
  • Cold Water
  • Microwave

Let us take a detailed look at each one below.

1. Overnight in the Refrigerator

The safest way to defrost Cornish hen is to let it sit in the refrigerator to thaw overnight (8-12 hours).

Please Note: That the defrosting time might be longer, depending on the size of the bird.

The refrigerator is the recommended defrosting method, as the Cornish hen will be kept at safe and constant temperature as it defrosts.

Thawing in the refrigerator requires you to do advanced meal planning, as it will take at least 8-12 hours for the hen to thaw.

For this method, you will need:

  • Plastic wrap
  • Large bowl
  • Refrigerator


  1. Remove the Cornish hen from the freezer at least 8-12 hours before you plan on cooking it.
  2. Place it in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
  3. Put the bowl on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
  4. Let the Cornish hen thaw for overnight (8-12 hours). Once defrosted, remove it from the refrigerator and cook it immediately.

Related: How to Thaw Pork Chops Quickly

2. Use Cold Water to Defrost Cornish Hen

If you are in a rush, you can always thaw your Cornish hen by letting it sit in cold water.

It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour (depending on size) for the hen to defrost using this method.

For this method, you will need:

  • Zip-lock bag
  • Large bowl
  • Cold water


  1. Remove the Cornish hen from the freezer 
  2. Check the Cornish hen every ten minutes and change the water in the bowl or sink until the it is completely thawed out.
  3. It should take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of Cornish hen) for it to fully defrost.
  4. Once thawed, prepare and cook or store in the refrigerator for up to one to two days.

3. Use the Microwave to Defrost Cornish Hen

The microwave is the quickest way to thaw a frozen Cornish hen, however it is not recommended as there is a possibility that you could have uneven thawing and also the possibility of cooking the meat.

However, if you need to thaw the Cornish hen quickly, then the microwave can be used as a last option.

For this method, you will need:

  • Microwave-proof plate or container
  • Paper towels
  • Microwave


  1. Line a microwave-safe plate or container with paper towels.
  2. Take the frozen Cornish hen from the freezer and remove it’s wrapping and place in the plate or container.
  3. Use the defrost or low power setting (30%) and microwave the Cornish hen.
  4. Expect it to take 8-10 minutes per pound for the bird to defrost.
  5. Constantly check in 2 minute intervals to ensure that parts haven’t thawed and it has started to cook.
  6. Once defrosted, cook immediately.

Wrapping it up

When defrosting Cornish hen, you have three different options available to you.

The one you use, will dependent on how quickly you need it defrosted.

Now I want to hear from you!

Which method from this article will you be using? Did you use any of the 3 recommended in this post? How did it turn out?

Let me know by leaving a comment in the section below.

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