Have you ever cooked some chicken, eaten until you’re full and then put the excess in the fridge? It was days later when you realized that the chicken was still in the fridge, and wondered if it’s still good to eat. Maybe this is why you’re on this page right now. How long does cooked chicken last in the fridge is your question?
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Preheated chicken can be used for a whole bunch of great meals. Use preheated chicken for making chicken tacos, a nice sandwich, or use it to top a caesar salad or for creating a satisfying stir-fry. Using a cooked chicken breast, thigh, or even chicken wings is great for a quick meal. Yet, is the chicken any good, you’re wondering?
How long does Cooked Chicken Last In the Fridge?
According to the USDA, refrigerated cooked chicken is safe to eat for 3-4 days (this is the same for turkey or all poultry) if it’s stored correctly. If you have raw chicken in your fridge, then it can be stored for about 1-2 days.
Below is a helpful guide on when items in your fridge will go bad.
|FROZEN CHICKEN||3 MONTHS (FREEZER)|
|RAW CHICKEN||1–2 DAYS|
|COOKED CHICKEN||3-4 DAYS|
|DELI MEAT OPENED||3 DAYS|
|FROZEN BREADS||14 DAYS|
|CHICKEN OR BEEF BROTH||3 DAYS|
|HOT DOGS OPENED||7 DAYS|
Putting cooked chicken in your freezer will extend its life, giving you 3 months before it goes bad.
How Can You Tell if Chicken is Bad?
It’s hard to know if the cooked chicken is bad by taste or smell. Bacteria may be present, like salmonella, if the chicken wasn’t cooked properly, and this could make you very sick.
Here are a couple of ways that you can tell that your chicken has gone bad.
- It’s past the time listed above. If you have cooked or raw chicken that’s been in your fridge for longer than the days listed above, then it’s a good assumption that the chicken is bad. Because old chicken can make you very sick, it’s not worth the gamble to consume it. It’s best to discard it.
- Change in Color. If you notice that your stored chicken has changed colors (turning a grey/green color), then it’s undoubtedly gone back. This would indicate that bacteria are growing on the chicken, and it needs to be thrown out right away. I say thrown out right away because you do not want anyone to take the chicken and cook it, unaware that it’s gone bad.
- Change in Texture. If the chicken changes in texture to a slimy film, then it indicates bacteria growth. Your first reaction is probably to rinse the chicken, but be aware that washing the chicken will not kill bacteria. It’s best to throw the chicken out right away.
If you suspect that the chicken you have in your fridge is gone bad, then be proactive and throw it out. Bad chicken can make someone very sick, and it’s not worth the risk to keep suspected bad chicken around.
How Should You Store Chicken In Your Fridge?
Chicken that is not cooked should only be stored in your fridge for only 48 hours or less. If you’re not going to use the chicken in 48 hours, then it’s better to toss it into the freezer and not the fridge.
When you’re ready to use the chicken from the freezer, just take it out the night before and let it thaw. The next day you’re ready to begin the magic.
I love making homemade chicken noodle soup with chicken from the freezer. It’s great for those cold days, or the days that you don’t feel the best.
The great thing about having chicken in your freezer is that there are many meals that you can make. You never have to worry about what to have for supper because the internet is full of great recipes. I mean it! There are thousands of recipes that you could choose from.
Storing Uncooked Chicken in Your Fridge
It’s best to store any raw meat (chicken, pork, or beef) on the lowest shelf in your fridge. This way, if juice from the meat leaks from the packaging, it will not leak all over your other foods.
Ensure that foods in your fridge are carefully marked, so you don’t get confused, and it’s also important to date the food if it’s not in the store packaging.
Storing Cooked Chicken in Your Fridge
It’s important to store your cooked chicken correctly in your fridge. Please place it in an air-tight container, wrap it in plastic wrap or use a freezer bag. If the chicken is packaged well from the store, it is best to leave it in the original packaging until you’re ready to prepare it.
How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Cooked Chicken Last in the Fridge?
Vacuum sealing your poultry is a great way to preserve its flavor and freshness for a longer time.
By vacuum sealing your chicken, you’ll be able to get 50% more days in your fridge. Instead of cooked chicken lasting for about 3 days, you’ll be able to get 6 days.
There are many great vacuum sealers on Amazon that work very well. Recently, I purchased the FoodSaver FM2000 Vacuum Sealer Machine, and it’s a great value. This vacuum sealer works very well, keeping chicken fresh and tasting great for a long time.
Risks of eating spoiled chicken
The greatest risk of eating bad chicken is that it can give you food poisoning.
Bad chicken is a host for bacteria such as Campylobacter and Salmonella. Normally, when you cook chicken or reheat it, it kills the bacteria that lies on the surface. The problem is it doesn’t kill all of the bacteria or the toxins that are caused by the bacteria – which will leave you feeling terrible.
Food positioning is a terrible condition that, most of the time, can be avoided if we are proactive. Food positioning will give you a high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools, and dehydration.
If the food positioning is severe, then it may require a hospital visit and stay. Again, it’s not worth the chance that you chicken is hosting bacteria, if the chicken has been stored longer than the recommended time or you notice visible signs that your chicken has gone bad, discard it right away – it’s not worth the risk.
Raw chicken can be stored in your fridge for 1-2 days, and cooked chicken can be stored for 3-4 days.
If you have any comments or questions about this post, you can throw them in below. Thanks for reading this post, and best of luck with making something wonderful with your leftover chicken.