How Long Does Chicken Last in the Fridge?

However, there is a significant possibility of bacteria being present in this nutritious and delectable source of protein. Because of this, ensuring that it is correctly prepared, stored, and cooked is of the utmost importance; otherwise, it may become a source of foodborne illness.

It is convenient to keep chicken in the refrigerator, but many people are curious about how long they may safely keep chicken in the refrigerator. A roast chicken’s color and flavor may not return for several days. By keeping it in the refrigerator, you can save some time if you’re searching for a quick meal. To prevent unwelcome guests, keep it stored in an airtight container in a dark, cold location. A tiny bit of time is quite helpful. Reheat the chicken on the stove if you intend to eat it again soon.

How Long does Chicken Last in the Fridge?

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that raw chicken can be stored in your refrigerator for 1–2 days. The same holds for poultry, including raw turkey.
  • In the meantime, cooked chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for 3–4 days.
  • Since germs tend to develop more slowly in temperatures below 40°F (4°C), storing chicken in the refrigerator helps slow down bacterial growth (2, 3Trusted Source).
  • To avoid juices from raw chicken spilling and contaminating other meals, it is better to store it in a leak-proof container. Refrigerating cooked chicken in an airtight container is recommended.
  • It’s best to store chicken in your freezer if you need to keep it for more than a few days.
  • A complete chicken can be frozen for up to a year, while raw chicken bits can be kept for up to nine months. For two to six months, cooked chicken can be kept in the freezer (1, 2).

The cooked ground chicken will remain fresh for 3–4 days in the refrigerator if properly stored. Store cooked ground chicken in shallow, airtight containers to maintain quality and lengthen shelf life. Alternately, you might wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil or a thick, high-quality plastic sheet.

Chicken Breast 

If properly preserved, the cooked chicken breast will remain edible for 304 days in the refrigerator. The lifespan of a raw breast is only one or two days. For longer shelf life, keeping the breast piece in the freezer is preferable.

Whole Chicken

When stored in the refrigerator, whole chicken keeps almost as long as ground or breast meat, occasionally even less. It is advised to chop the whole chicken into manageable pieces to increase shelf life.

Vacuum Sealed Cooked Chicken 

Cooked chicken that has been vacuum-sealed will keep for two weeks in the fridge and months in the freezer. The microorganisms are kept at bay by vacuum sealing.

Chicken Liver 

The cooked chicken liver will only keep in the fridge for one to two days. You may have seen chicken liver in stores with a label that stated it would last three weeks. This long without becoming dangerous. However, the taste will suffer and the quality will not be the same.


Keep it in the Refrigerator

The USDA advises against leaving cooked or raw chicken out on the counter for longer than two hours and only for an hour if the temperature is above 90°F. After the chicken has cooled down and been cooked, store it within two hours.

Your Food Storage Containers with Seals

Before keeping your food, pay close attention to the container’s hygiene. Grease and dust should not be present in food storage containers. A suitable food storage container should also have a tight seal to protect the food from bacteria and microbes that cause deterioration.

Chicken Should be Cut into Small Pieces

It will take longer for larger chicken slices to reach a safe temperature. Longer pieces will take longer to cool. The freezing process will also take longer for more extensive food storage containers than smaller ones.

Avoid Eating Raw Chicken

Food deterioration is frequently caused by cross-contamination. Therefore, keep cooked food commodities separate from your raw food commodities.

Reheating Cooked Chicken on the Stove is More Beneficial than Microwaving

For several reasons, reheating cooked chicken on the stove is preferable. First, direct heat tends to dry out chicken, making the final product less soft. If you’ve already cooked chicken, ensure you reheat it correctly and without drying it out by following the instructions below. When prepared properly, the chicken will remain soft and moist. Continue reading to learn about other advantages of reheating cooked chicken on the stove.

Reheating chicken on the stovetop is superior to uniformly warming chicken in the microwave. Additionally, poorly reheated food is still susceptible to microorganisms and presents a danger for food-borne illness. Additionally, food cannot be cooked from scratch in a microwave; it can only be reheated. They might also be filthy, which would contaminate the food.

The Acidic Smell Of Chicken

You could discover that your roast chicken has a very unpleasant smell. This stench can raise the hairs on the back of your neck and make you swear off meat for good. If you believe your chicken is wicked, look it over carefully to check for discoloration. This is a sign of excessive bacterial development in the meat. Be sure to discard it immediately to avoid this happening.

Average Home Room Temperature and Food Storage

  • Knowing the danger zone for food storage, it’s crucial to remember that cooked chicken exposed to room temperatures above 90°F (32.2°C) needs to be refrigerated immediately rather than waiting the two hours advised for foods exposed to lower room temperatures.
  • Give no room for doubt. Throw the meal away if any of these suggestions are broken.
  • You must refrigerate cooked chicken if you plan to store it as an ingredient in a recipe you’ll be making in a few days. Make sure the storage temperature is below 40°F. Food poisoning is possible if you eat anything higher.

Is Freezing the Cooked Chicken Better than Refrigerating it?

The shelf life of cooked beef products is increased by freezing. In the refrigerator, grilled and roasted chicken only keeps for 3–4 days. While if stored correctly in the freezer, it will remain fresh for 4-6 months. Like burgers, fried chicken will be kept in the freezer for 1-3 months.

In the freezer, chicken broth or gravy can remain fresh for up to 6 months. Since food goods now have a longer shelf life, freezing cooked chicken is a preferable choice. However, there is a price for it. The meal needs to be thawed and reheated.

What is the Best Way to Freeze Cooked Chicken?

  • Before storing, let the chicken cool down.
  • So that you can quickly defrost the required amount of chicken, divide the chicken into portions.
  • The chicken should be snugly wrapped in a clean plastic sheet.
  • For added security, put the chicken chunks wrapped in plastic in a freezer bag or an airtight container. Place the bag in the freezer after labeling it.

Is Chicken that was Left Outside All Night Safes to Eat?

  • Food items, especially chicken, left out at room temperature for longer than two hours should not be consumed. Since the food has had a chance to get contaminated by hazardous bacteria, it cannot be cooked or reheated.
  • Although you may reheat contaminated chicken at high temperatures, the poisons produced by bacteria will still be there.
  • Therefore, those who think that food that has been left out of the fridge overnight at room temperature is safe to eat as long as it is reheated ought to reconsider.
  • We all went to bed at night without realizing it and left food on the table or a work area. Throw any leftover food in the trash if this is what you discover when you wake up the following morning. Always err on the side of caution.
  • Food items, especially chicken, left out at room temperature for longer than two hours should not be consumed. Since the food has had a chance to get contaminated by hazardous bacteria, it cannot be cooked or reheated.

How Long can Cooked Chicken Sit Out at Room


Cooked chicken is food, so you should abide by our discussed guidelines. Therefore, the answer to the question of how long cooked chicken can sit out at room temperature is 2 hours, keeping in mind that at 90°F, that time decreases to 1 hour. Any longer, throw it away.

How to Use Leftover Cooked Chicken?

Stuff bagels with the remaining cooked chicken. To the taco salad bowl, add the cooked chicken along with the cherry tomatoes, avocados, cheeses, fresh corn, and green onions. Without chicken, an Italian pasta salad would be lacking.

Chicken pot pie is a simple and effective method to use up leftovers and satiate cravings. The cooked chicken may alternatively be shredded and added to the casserole.

How Long can a Frozen Chicken Sit Out Before it Spoils?

A frozen bird shouldn’t be left outside the freezer for more than two hours, according to conventional advice. If the temperature of a defrosted chicken is still below 45°F, I use a thermometer to make sure it is safe to cook.

The amount of time needed to safely defrost can change. For instance, if the bird is in a sealed container, it might still be safe to cook it after being left out for a few hours or more. Don’t take any chances, albeit I don’t want to keep saying it.

Make sure the thermal core of a cooked entire chicken reaches a temperature of 165°F (74°C). Use of a Threaten Mk4 is highly recommended in this situation.

Can Chicken be Left Out Overnight to Thaw?

It is better to avoid letting a chicken sit out to defrost overnight. You won’t go too far wrong if you follow the two-hour guideline.

The chicken should be allowed to thaw in your refrigerator. Depending on the size of the bird, it can take a bit longer than 30 to 60 minutes.


Cooked chicken can be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator. But be careful not to store it in the refrigerator overnight. It will most likely grow bacteria that will make you sick if you leave it out overnight. To prevent this, store it in the fridge or freezer for up to three months before using. Then you may defrost it and eat it later.