Can You Put Frozen Meat in a Slow-Cooker?

January 17, 2013 | By | Comments (10)

Slow Cooker

There’s nothing easier than throwing ingredients into your slow-cooker and coming home to a tasty meal. But what if you forgot to thaw the chicken?

Quickly thaw meat in a bowl of hot water or in the microwave before putting it in the slow-cooker. Harmful bacteria thrives at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and using frozen meat may cause food to remain at an unsafe temperature for too long.

Bottom line: Safely thaw meat before setting the slow-cooker—it’s not worth the risk!

More helpful slow-cooker tips and the best slow cookers on the market.


  1. Lindy

    I do it all the time!

    January 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm
  2. Lea

    Me too, Lindy. As a matter of fact, I put some in this morning.

    January 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm
  3. Tori Kohnke

    How hard is it to fact check a 100-word post?

    January 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm
  4. katiehigg

    Yikes, don’t use HOT water!! Cold water is what you use to thaw frozen meat. If you click the link, you’ll see that even Real Simple says cold water. “resist the temptation to use hot or you’ll encourage the growth of bacteria, as well as“cook” the outside of the meat”. :)

    January 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm
  5. SueS

    I do it all the time as well.

    January 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm
  6. Mir

    What happens if you put frozen stew meat for example in the am in a cooker? I would try and break up the pieces, but still? IDK?

    January 24, 2013 at 9:59 am
  7. TLM

    DON’T DO IT! Although I have had no problem in the past, i just put frozen stew meat in the crock pot, turned it on high and 40 minutes later, POW! It cracked the ceramic liner.

    December 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm
  8. sm

    If I forget to thaw the meat I usually use a trick my dad taught me. Just put the meat in a zip lock baggie and fill the sink with hot water. Put the baggies in for a while to speed up the defrost process. The meat defrosts and still cooks great!

    January 6, 2014 at 5:05 pm
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  10. Margaret T

    I’d think you could line the bottom with carrots and onion and potato and put the roast on top of that to prevent breaking the pot.

    December 4, 2014 at 11:09 am

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