How long does cooked chicken last in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long does cooked chicken last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of a cooked chicken. Moreover, we are going to discuss the different ways to spot spoiled cooked chicken.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long does cooked chicken last in the fridge?

Cooked chicken lasts in the fridge for 3-4 days if kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be kept in plastic zipper bags on one of the refrigerator’s shelves.

It’s worth noting that the values given above are for cooked chicken’s expected shelf life.

What is the best temperature to keep cooked chicken at?

Cooked chicken should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower at all times. Bacterial development is more rapid between the temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it’s best to keep your cooked chicken at a lower temperature to keep it fresh for longer.

How long does cooked chicken last at room temperature?

When kept at room temperature, cooked chicken lasts for around 2 hours.

Because bacterial growth occurs at a quicker rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, cooked chicken left out for more than 2 hours should be discarded.

Furthermore, if the surrounding temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the rotting process is accelerated, and cooked chicken left out in the open for more than an hour at such temperature should be discarded.

How long does cooked chicken last in the freezer?

Cooked chicken lasts for 4 months in the freezer if stored in an airtight plastic freezer bag, although it is best consumed within 1-2 months for the best quality and taste.

As a result, freezing the cooked chicken extends its shelf life significantly due to the freezer’s low temperature, which inhibits bacterial growth on the cooked chicken.

How to defrost frozen cooked chicken?

You can quickly defrost frozen cooked chicken by placing it in the refrigerator overnight, and thawed cooked chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before reheating and consuming it.

If you’re defrosting frozen cooked chicken in a bowl of cold water, in the microwave, or on the counter, you should utilize it right away after reheating it till its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to vacuum seal cooked chicken? 

You may even vacuum seal your cooked chicken at home to extend its shelf life. It involves placing the cooked chicken in a plastic zipper bag, eliminating the air, then nearly sealing the bag with a small amount of space remaining while lowering it into water.

After that, start pressing out the bubbles starting from the bag’s bottom and work your way up to the sealed end, closing the bag’s seal. 

A vacuum sealer pump can also be used to easily vacuum seal cooked chicken at home.

Is it possible to refrigerate the reheated cooked chicken?

Once the previously cooked refrigerated/frozen chicken has been reheated, it should never be refrigerated again. Because the temperature of the cooked chicken goes above 40 degrees Fahrenheit when reheated and we know that bacteria develops rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

As a result, bacteria will make their way into your chicken and reheated chicken should never be refrigerated, rather it is better to consume it completely or otherwise discard the reheated leftovers properly.

What are different ways to spot spoiled cooked chicken?

There are a few clear indicators that indicate if your cooked chicken has gone bad. To determine if cooked chicken has gone bad, look at its appearance, texture, and smell.

Appearance

If you see mold or other organic growth on your cooked chicken, it’s time to throw it out.

It’s worth noting that you should avoid smelling moldy cooked chicken since molds can produce mycotoxins, which can disturb your gut microflora and damage your immune system if they enter your body by inhalation.

Texture

If you touch the cooked chicken and it feels sticky, slimy, or gooey, it’s time to throw it out.

Smell

If you smell something sour or ammonia-like while sniffing your cooked chicken, it’s time to throw it out.

Lastly, I do not recommend tasting cooked chicken with a foul odor, but if you are brave (and silly) enough, you will notice a significant change in the texture and mouthfeel of the spoiled cooked chicken. It will have an off-flavor.

Thus, if the microbes have somehow gotten into your cooked chicken and spoiled it, the best thing you can do is throw it out.

You can read how to make a chicken lollipop here.

How to properly store cooked chicken?

  1. Because microscopic organisms grow quickly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, it is best to refrigerate the cooked chicken within 2 hours it is cooked in airtight containers to extend its shelf life while keeping its quality.
  1. If you wish to extend the shelf life of prepared chicken, keep it in an airtight container in the freezer. Cooked chicken that has been frozen at 0°C is safe to use for extremely long periods.
  1. Cooked chicken should be stored in shallow compact containers to allow it to cool quickly.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long does cooked chicken last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of a cooked chicken. Moreover, we discussed the different ways to spot spoiled cooked chicken.

Citations

https://www.simplyrecipes.com/how-long-does-cooked-chicken-last-in-the-fridge-5119384
https://www.southernliving.com/food/meat/chicken/how-long-does-cooked-chicken-last-in-fridge
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-long-does-chicken-last-in-the-fridge

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