It’s no secret that chicken is the go-to meal of many people worldwide. After all, it is one of the most delicious crowd-pleasing meals you can prepare for your family.
But all chicken is not good chicken. Chicken will eventually spoil, and there is nothing you can do about it.
This is why you must know how long chicken lasts in the fridge.
How To Store Chicken?
Storage is essential whether you are reheating a rotisserie chicken or purchased raw chicken to make BBQ chicken legs.
How the chicken is stored will determine how it last.
When you purchase raw chicken, you can refrigerate it for a few days, cook it, or freeze it.
Freezing or cooking the chicken may be the best options as they will last longer than storing raw chicken in the fridge.
If you want to store raw chicken in the fridge, you can keep it in its original container. However, be sure to place it on a container.
If the chicken’s packaging has a tear, it will catch the juices and prevent the meat from contaminating the fridge as well as other foods stored in the refrigerator.
Store the chicken on a lower shelf in the refrigerator, away from ready-to-eat foods or leftovers to prevent cross-contamination.
To store cooked chicken in the refrigerator, cool it to room temperature. Do not leave your chicken sitting at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
If you live in a hot area, do not leave the leftover chicken at room temperature for more than 1 hour.
If you leave your chicken sitting at room temperature for too long, bacteria will rapidly develop on the chicken’s surface.
Exposure to bacteria can lead to food poisoning.
Place the leftover chicken into an airtight container and store it in the fridge.
While you can store raw chicken in its original packaging, it may be best to remove it from its original packaging.
Place the chicken into an airtight freezer-safe container or ziplock bag.
If you are using storing chicken in a zip lock bag, wrap the chicken breast individually with plastic wrap. Place the chicken into the bag.
Make sure you press the air out of the chicken before sealing the bag and placing it in the freezer.
Alternatively, you can also package the chicken individually using a vacuum sealer.
How Long Does Chicken Last in the Fridge
As mentioned above, chicken will spoil whether it is cooked or raw. The FDA asserts chicken has a shelf life of 1-2 days when stored in the refrigerator.
This timeline applies to an entire chicken as well as chicken pieces.
I know what you’re thinking; 1-2 days! That’s such a small time frame! Yes, it is a short window.
But as the FDA says, this timeline is a short and safe time frame.
This quick window will help you and your friends or family avoid food poisoning.
As for the cooked chicken, the timeline is a little bit longer.
Whether you intend to make Hawaiian BBQ chicken, regular BBQ chicken, or BBQ chicken wing drummettes, the leftover chicken will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Therefore, it will last 1-2 days longer than raw chicken.
How Long Does Raw Chicken Last in the Freezer?
The best way to extend the shelf life of your chicken is to place it in the freezer.
An entire raw chicken can last in the freezer for up to a year. Chicken pieces such as chicken wings or chicken breasts will last up to 9 months in the freezer.
When it comes to chicken giblets, they will last 1-2 days in the fridge and 3-4 months in the freezer.
You can also freeze cooked or leftover chicken. However, cooked chicken will not last as long as raw chicken.
Baked or fried chicken pieces have a life span of 4 months. On the other hand, chicken nuggets or chicken patties will last for 1-3 months.
How To Tell If Chicken Is Bad
Just like you need to know when shrimp is bad, you must know when chicken is rotten.
It is super important to know if your chicken is spoiled before you consume it.
Consuming bad chicken is no fun. You will most likely end up with a case of food poisoning and experience symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Luckily, there are multiple ways to determine if your chicken is rotten. The easiest way to know if your chicken is bad is to smell it.
Chicken is bad if it has a potent, rancid smell like rotten eggs. Raw chicken should have a mild scent.
Cooked chicken should smell like the seasonings it was cooked with.
Another way to determine if your chicken is rotten is by checking the sell-by, use-by, best-by, or expiration dates.
If any of these dates have passed, assume your chicken is bad.
Chicken has a light pink color. However, if this color changes to grey, it is bad.
In addition to this, if the chicken feels slimy, do not consume it. It is probably spoiled.
The same rules apply to cooked chicken. Make sure you smell it, touch it, and look for signs of mold or discoloration.
If you are still unsure whether your cooked chicken is bad, you can taste it. However, I would not recommend tasting chicken that could possibly be spoiled.
No one wants to eat spoiled chicken. Furthermore, it could turn you away from eating chicken.
So if you have to question whether your chicken is good or bad, throw it in the trash.
Ensuring we serve our families fresh, healthy, and delicious food is essential.
To serve fresh chicken, we must know how long it lasts in the fridge.
Remember, chicken only lasts in the fridge for 1-2 days. So if you do not intend to cook it right away, freeze it to extend its life span.
You might also be interested in:
- How Long Does Turkey Last In The Fridge
- How Long Does Rotisserie Chicken Last In The Fridge
- How Long Does Ground Turkey Last In The Fridge
- How Long Does Pork Last In The Fridge
- How Long Does Bacon Last In The Fridge
- How Long Does Sausage Last In The Fridge
- How Long Do Hot Dogs Last In The Fridge
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.