How to thaw a rabbit


It is very likely that you have purchased a frozen whole rabbit.  It is important to know that a frozen whole Coniglio rabbit has undergone a certified process and was frozen correctly to preserve food safety standards and ensure the ultimate freshness when thawed out.  In fact, it is almost certain that a properly thawed out Coniglio rabbit will be fresher than the one you have purchased fresh from a retail outlet.

The fat content in rabbit meat is extremely low and concentrated.  Furthermore, the fat is not interlaced in the meat and thus makes rabbit the perfect meat to preserve through freezing.  A whole frozen rabbit will carry an exceptional 24-month frozen shelf-life and will be safe for human consumption indefinably although the quality will deteriorate.


If you have a frozen rabbit product, thaw the whole rabbit or frozen product correctly.  There are 3 methods, and the slow thaw in the refrigerator is best for a longer fresh shelf life afterwards.  One can decide what method is best suited for your requirements.


It’s best to plan for slow, safe thawing in the refrigerator. Bone-in parts or whole rabbits may take a day or longer to thaw. Once thawed, it can take up to two days; the rabbit may be stored in the refrigerator for 2 additional days before cooking. During this time, if you decide not to use the rabbit, you can safely refreeze it without cooking it.


To defrost rabbit in cold water, do not remove the packaging. Be sure the package is airtight or put it into a leak-proof bag. Submerge the rabbit in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes so that it continues to thaw.

Small packages or portions may defrost in an hour or less; larger packages may take 2 to 3 hours. Plan to cook the rabbit immediately after thawing by the cold water method.


When defrosting rabbit in the microwave oven, plan to cook it immediately after thawing because some of the areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook. This method is the last option and only used when really necessary.


Never thaw rabbit by leaving it outside the refrigerator.  When the meat is thawed in the refrigerator, it has the opportunity to warm up consistently on the inside while staying within the safe temperature range while the inside temperature is catching up to the outside temperature.  At this point, the protein would be fully thawed and can be safely kept in the refrigerator until you ready to cook tonight’s or tomorrow night’s meal.

It is recommended that the slow thaw method in the refrigerator is used.