How Long can you Defrost Chicken in the Fridge?

If you’ve recently purchased a frozen chicken and have thrown it in your refrigerator, you might wonder how long it will take to defrost. The answer depends on the method you’re using. If you’re defrosting the chicken in the fridge, you should expect it to last about 3-4 days. You should be able to defrost the raw chicken for 1-2 days.

Raw chicken should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. This is because bacteria will start to grow rapidly. This can lead to gastrointestinal illnesses. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends storing raw chicken in the fridge for one to two days. If this is not possible, the safest option is to freeze the chicken. This will extend the shelf life of the food by a couple of months.


What is Chicken?

The most widely consumed poultry in the world is chicken. Compared to producing mammals like cattle or hogs, keeping chickens is relatively simple and inexpensive, leading to the widespread use of chicken eggs and chicken meat in many different types of food.\

Prepared chicken became a mainstay of fast food during the second part of the 20th century. Due to its lower levels of saturated fat and cholesterol than red meat, chicken is sometimes touted as being healthier. There are many ways to cook chicken, including baking, to grill, barbecuing, frying, and boiling.

How Long can you Defrost Chicken in the Fridge?

The best and safest way to defrost chicken is in the refrigerator, but it takes roughly a day to prepare, so skip ahead if you need a quicker answer. Transfer your chicken from the freezer to the refrigerator the day before you prepare it so it can defrost gradually for at least 24 hours.

Make sure to put the raw chicken in a rimmed container or bowl and ideally at the bottom of your refrigerator to reduce the chance that it will drop as it thaws onto your other meals. Your meat will remain fresh in your refrigerator for an additional one to two days if you defrost it in this way, but once it has thawed, it cannot be refrozen unless you intend to cook it in liquid, such as stock, soup, or stew. Meat that has been thawed and then refrozen loses flavor and texture because the protein cell structure is disrupted and excess moisture is produced.

What are the Different Methods of Defrosting Chicken?

In Microwave

Although using the microwave to thaw frozen chicken breasts is the fastest technique, I’ve always been concerned that the texture would suffer (or, even worse, start to cook the chicken breast). But I set such concerns aside for this test. I took the frozen breast out of its packing and put it in a microwave-safe container that was just loosely covered. I put it in the microwave, turned on “defrost,” and waited for it to finish.

In Cold Water

This method uses cold water to quicken the defrosting process, much as the method for defrosting chicken in a still water bath. But this method keeps a gentle trickle of water flowing into the bowl to keep the water cold and prevent you from changing it out, as opposed to simply placing the chicken in a bowl of drinkable water and letting it defrost. I always seemed like I wasted a lot of water using this procedure while working in restaurant kitchens, so I was curious to find out if the time it saves is worth the water it uses.

What is the Correct Method of Freezing Chicken?

Get rid of the grocery store packaging. The side of the meat’s foam tray has air spaces between the meat that act as a red carpet for freezer burn.

If possible, carefully wrap each piece of chicken (or a whole bird if you purchased it whole) in plastic wrap.

Put those wrapped components in a single layer in a zipper-lock freezer bag. If you have a vacuum sealer, it would be best to vacuum-seal them in a plastic bag. (This one from NESCO is our fave.)

Frozen chicken should be kept in the freezer’s rear. According to experts, whenever the freezer door opens, some cold air escapes, and the temperature changes, which raises the possibility of freezer burn. Foods near the door or in the front area are more likely to be impacted by this.

Within two months, use it. Even if you wrap the chicken well, the texture and flavor will start to deteriorate after two months of freezing, even if there is no safety danger.

I have to think ahead when I want to cook frozen chicken. Although it takes longer, defrosting meat in the refrigerator is significantly safer than defrosting it on a counter. For every 4 pounds of poultry, it is recommended to allow 24 hours to defrost the refrigerator. How do I recall it being? “A whole chicken takes an entire day.”

How to Store Chicken?

The bacteria that cause foodborne illness should not be kept in chicken storage at a temperature that can increase quickly. The region between 40°F and 140°F is known as the danger temperature zone. In the fridge, raw chicken can be kept for a few days. It should be frozen to prevent it from perishing if it won’t be utilized within the advised time frame.

Cooked chicken leftovers should be properly wrapped and stored in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Chicken should not be left at room temperature for longer than two hours. Chicken should be frozen if it won’t be consumed within four days of cooking.


For several days, raw or cooked chicken can be safely kept in a refrigerator at 40°F or lower. The freshness of the meat at the time of purchase, the temperatures it is subjected to during transportation from the store to home refrigeration, and the type of packaging used will all affect how long it may be chilled.

If the chicken’s original packaging is dripping raw juices, it should be opened, the raw chicken put in a bowl, covered with wax paper, foil, or firmly rewrapped plastic, and then put in the refrigerated. To prevent any beef fluids from spilling onto other items, the package should be placed on a dish with sides. Keeping it separate from other foods will ensure they do not come in contact with the raw juices. The meat should be stored in the coldest section of the refrigerator.


Fresh chicken needs to be kept in the fridge at 40°F or less. It needs to be consumed within two days of the package’s expiration date, and if not, it needs to be frozen. Although freezing should be avoided since it makes chicken less soft and juicy, it must be done if the chicken won’t be used within that time frame to keep it from spoiling.

Make sure the chicken is as fresh as possible before freezing. Take it out of the packaging it was originally in, and then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, foil, or freezer paper. You should double-wrap your items if you plan to keep them for more than two months. Because moisture has been removed from the meat, the chicken has become tough in certain regions, leading to ice crystals forming. To avoid the formation of ice crystals in any unwrapped areas, ensure the wrap is pushed securely against the whole surface of the chicken.

How to Spot a Bad Chicken?

Expiration Date

It might be challenging to determine when food has gone bad. Always a good place to start is by counting the days! Whether the chicken is cooked or raw, the chicken’s expiration date differs.

Fresh Chicken

Check the “use by” date on the packaging before you leave the grocery store. According to the USDA, this date isn’t an expiration date; rather, it marks the point at which the chicken starts to lose its “peak quality.” Therefore, the chicken may be used up to two days after that date. Pay attention to other sensory indicators if the chicken has gone bad after two days.

Cooked Chicken

Place the chicken in the refrigerator as soon as it’s finished cooking to chill down as quickly as possible. After cooking, consume it three to four days later; otherwise, discard it. To know when the chicken expires, remember to name and date your storage container.


A fast sniff test will tell you if the chicken is cooked or uncooked and if something is off. Although it may have a slight “funky” smell if it has been sealed with liquids for some time, fresh chicken has virtually little odor. Strongly scented chicken should be treated as a warning. It is no longer safe to consume if the stench is fishy, acidic, or sulfurous, resembling the smell of rotting eggs.

What are the Side Effects of Consuming Chicken?

Blood Cholesterol Level Rises

Choose boiled, grilled, or stir-fried chicken to lower your cholesterol, but not every day. If you consistently give in to the urge for deep-fried chicken, be prepared to blame that behavior for an increase in your blood cholesterol level. Notably, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims that consuming white and red meat daily might raise harmful cholesterol levels.

Causes an Increase in Body Temperature

Because chicken has a high heat content, eating it regularly might raise your body’s core temperature. Additionally, this may result in nosebleeds, particularly in the summer.

Increase in Weight

Most chicken meals, such as fried chicken, chicken biryani, and butter chicken, are fatty and high in calories. Daily consumption can affect your total weight and may eventually result in obesity. Consequently, indulge in them sometimes.

Reference: Novel Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitory Peptides Derived from Boneless Chicken Leg Meat

After being digested with synthetic gastric juice, the boneless chicken leg flesh hydrolysate included four peptides that inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) (pepsin). The peptides encoded in the myosin heavy chain were found to be two peptides.

The amino acid sequence from amino acids 825 to 834 of the myosin heavy chain is represented by the peptide P1 (MNVKHWPWMK), and the amino acid sequence from amino acids 125 to 135 is represented by the peptide P4 (VTVNPYKWLP). They are new peptides inhibiting ACE, and the IC50 values for P1 and P4 were 228 and 5.5 M, respectively.


If you’re wondering how long it will take to thaw chicken in the fridge, the answer is: it depends. The general rule is 3-5 minutes per pound. But the length of time depends on the chicken’s size and the meat’s thickness.

Defrosting a 5-pound chicken in the fridge will take about 10 minutes. It’s best to rotate the chicken to ensure even thawing. For larger pieces, it takes longer to thaw. For smaller pieces, it might take less.