The Science of Whether Frozen Chicken Really Tastes Different from Chilled Chicken


Well, you know the drill with chicken now.

With Malaysia’s ban on exporting some 3.6 million chickens a month to Singapore until their domestic prices stabilise, Singaporeans have been scarmbling to pick up what’s left of fresh chicken in Singapore.

Of course, another alternative type of chicken has come up in many conversations lately: frozen chicken, which Singapore has an abudance of as well.

But if you know Singaporeans’ picky tastebuds, you’ll know that someone out there is going to say, “But fresh and frozen different what!”

I mean, even if it is, frozen chicken’s still better than no chicken… right?

Anyway, if you’re part of the group that’s been wondering what exactly is the difference between fresh and frozen chicken (apart from the fact that one can probably belt “Let it Go” better), we’ve got you covered.

And if you can’t get enough of our trademark blue cat in our YouTube videos, he’s got you covered too.

But basically, the whole TL;DR explanation is that frozen chicken might taste different, but only by a little bit lah.

So unless you’re the type of person who tells me that the purple and yellow taro Q balls in your dessert taste 100% different from each other, then it probably won’t affect you.

And the only difference between fresh and frozen chicken is their texture.

Yup, there’s no difference in their nutritional value.

Difference in Texture Between Fresh and Frozen Chicken

According to Seasoned Advice, the cell plasma in chicken freezes when we freeze meat, turning it into ice crystals.

And since more than 90% of cell plasma is water, the plasma will expand in the freezer and “cut” the cell walls.

This will result in slightly drier meat when you cook it since the cell plasma is no longer contained within the chicken.

Of course, while this process occurs no matter how long you freeze your chicken for, the meat will get drier if you freeze it longer, so if you freeze your chicken for around one year… then the meat won’t just be “slightly” drier lah.


Thankfully, this problem can be mitigated if you’re willing to try out different cooking methods or temperatures to bring out the best in your frozen chicken.

However, apart from that, for frozen chicken that ends up getting stored in the freezer for a prolonged period of time, there are two other things that could happen.

Firstly, since the cell plasma in frozen meat has a high mineral concentration, it will end up oxidising the fat in the meat over time, making it taste bad.

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Secondly, meat that is not wrapped or handled properly before freezing may cause freezer burn, which will affect its taste as well.

But of course, that might only happen if you really freeze your chicken for a really long period of time lah.


And given Singaporeans’ appetite for chicken, I’m pretty sure that the majority us will end up restocking on chicken at least once every two weeks, so it probably won’t affect most of us in the first place.

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