Food Guide

Which is Healthier For You? Find Out the Answer in This Frozen vs. Fresh Chicken Showdown!

When it comes to chicken, whether you buy frozen or fresh is up to your preference.

It’s a common misconception that frozen chicken is less healthy than fresh.

Is it really true?

If you want to figure out the truth behind these two forms of chicken, this article is for you.

We will learn about each of them and how to differentiate between fresh chicken and the frozen counterpart right now.

What is fresh chicken?

Mary's Chicken, Chicken Whole Fryer Bagged Air Chilled Heirloom...

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A lot of people have a misconception about what “fresh” chicken really means.

When we use the word “fresh,” it’s not referring to the meat itself, but rather that the meat was never frozen before being cooked or served.

So fresh chicken is simply raw chicken that has never been frozen below 26 ° F.

So next time you’re at your local grocery store, you can always tell if they’re truly fresh by looking for an expiration date on any package with a “sell by” date and recommended time to use it before it is unable to be consumed.

What is frozen chicken?

Tyson, Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, 2.5 lb. (Frozen)

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Frozen chicken is raw chicken that is held at 0 ° F or below, and it is usually sold in the package with a frozen marked label in the supermarket’s poultry section.

Frozen chicken is usually priced between $5-$10 per pound and can be found at any major grocery store.

The most common type of frozen chicken you’ll find at your local grocer is skinless and boneless breast meat, which ranges from about 6 ounces to 12 ounces per package.

What are the differences between fresh vs frozen chicken?

To figure out which dish fits your taste buds, it is essential to know how these dishes differentiate from each other.

Here are some typical distinctions between Mongolian chicken and General Tso:

 Fresh chickenFrozen chicken
Storage timeShorter Fresh chicken should only be kept in the refrigerator for two to three daysLonger If you don’t use frozen chicken right after bringing it home, keep storing it in the freezer so it can last for months
TextureJiggle, more tender, cool temperatureTender when cooked    Hard and solid, cold when touching due to the low temperatureChewier and tougher if improperly thaw before being cooked  
PreparationCan be used to cook directlyNeed to thaw properly (in the cool compartment of the fridge) before cooking
PriceMore expensive because keeping chicken fresh during transportation and storage is expensive, and it has a shorter lifetimeCheaper Frozen chicken can be kept for a long time, therefore, people sometimes hesitate to buy it. The price is then reduced to boost the demand

What are the similarities between fresh vs frozen chicken?

You might wonder if it is healthy to consume frozen chicken because it tends to lose nutrients because of the freezing process.

Surprisingly, they have the same nutrient fact:

1. Fresh chicken and frozen chicken have the same taste and nutrients

So now you don’t have to feel guilty when serving your family chicken dishes that are made from frozen chicken because the nutritional background of frozen and fresh chicken is the same.

However, this only happens if you properly store and thaw the frozen one.

The improper thawing process can make it easier to be affected by the surrounding bacteria and lose some essential nutrients.

2. They can be used interchangeably

Basically, frozen chicken and fresh chicken are raw chicken, so they are actually identical.

Therefore, you can substitute one with the other in any recipe.

Keep in mind that frozen chicken needs to be appropriately defrosted before cooking to ensure the delicious taste and essential nutrients.

Which one is better?

Product ComparisonMary's Chicken, Chicken Whole Fryer Bagged Air Chilled Heirloom...Tyson, Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, 2.5 lb. (Frozen)
Product ImageMary's Chicken, Chicken Whole Fryer Bagged Air Chilled Heirloom...Tyson, Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, 2.5 lb. (Frozen)
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In general, the two types of chicken are equally healthy and tasty.

Therefore, determining which one is better only depends on your purpose of use.

It is important to note that fresh chicken has a shorter shelf life than frozen because bacteria can grow more quickly in meat without preservatives and other ingredients like salt or sugar.

This means that if you want your food to last longer before going bad, then choosing frozen over fresh might be best for you.

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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