How long does cooked chili last in the fridge?

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

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

How long does cooked chili last in the fridge?

Cooked chili 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 chili’s expected shelf life.

What is the best temperature to keep cooked chili at?

Cooked chili 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 chili at a lower temperature to keep it fresh for longer.

How long does cooked chili last at room temperature?

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

Because bacterial growth occurs at a quicker rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, cooked chili 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 chili left out in the open for more than an hour at such temperature should be discarded.

How long does cooked chili last in the freezer?

Cooked chili lasts for 4-6 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 chili extends its shelf life significantly due to the freezer’s low temperature, which inhibits bacterial growth on the cooked chili.

How to defrost frozen cooked chili?

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

If you’re defrosting frozen cooked chili 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 chili? 

You may even vacuum seal your cooked chili at home to extend its shelf life. It involves placing the cooked chili 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 chili at home.

Is it possible to refrigerate the reheated cooked chili?

Once the previously cooked refrigerated/frozen chili has been reheated, it should never be refrigerated again. Because the temperature of the cooked chili 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 chili and reheated chili 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 chili?

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


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

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


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


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

Lastly, I do not recommend tasting cooked chili 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 chili. It will have an off-flavor.

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

You can read how to make cooked chili here.

How to properly store cooked chili?

  1. Because microscopic organisms grow quickly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, it is best to refrigerate the cooked chili 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 cooked chili, keep it in an airtight container in the freezer. Cooked chili that has been frozen at 0°C is safe to use for extremely long periods.
  1. Cooked chili should be stored in shallow compact containers to allow it to cool quickly.


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


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