If you’re like most people, you probably love to cook chicken at home. Chicken is a versatile and delicious protein that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to salads and sandwiches. But once you’ve cooked your chicken, you may wonder how long it will last in the fridge. After all, you don’t want to eat chicken that’s gone bad and risk getting sick. In this guide, we’ll answer all your questions about how long cooked chicken lasts in the fridge, so you can enjoy your meals without worrying about food safety.
Cooking chicken at home is a great way to save money and eat healthy. But it’s important to know how to store your chicken properly to avoid getting sick. In this guide, we’ll answer all your questions about how long cooked chicken lasts in the fridge, so you can enjoy your meals without worrying about food safety.
How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last in the Fridge?
Cooked chicken can last for a few days in the fridge if it’s stored properly. The USDA recommends that cooked chicken be stored in the fridge for no more than four days. This is because bacteria can start to grow on the chicken after four days, which can cause food poisoning.
It’s important to note that these guidelines apply only to properly cooked chicken that has been stored in the fridge at the correct temperature (below 40°F or 4°C). If your chicken was not cooked to the proper temperature or has been left out at room temperature for too long, it may not be safe to eat, even if it’s within the four-day limit.
Factors That Affect How Long Cooked Chicken Lasts in the Fridge
The length of time that cooked chicken lasts in the fridge can depend on several factors, including:
The temperature at which your fridge is set can affect how long cooked chicken lasts. If your fridge is set too high, the chicken may spoil faster. Ideally, your fridge should be set to a temperature of 35-38°F (1.6-3.3°C).
If your chicken is stored in a container with too much moisture, it can spoil faster. Make sure to remove any excess moisture from the chicken before storing it in the fridge.
3. Type of Chicken
Different types of chicken may have different shelf lives in the fridge. For example, boneless chicken breasts may last longer than chicken thighs.
4. Storage Container
The container you use to store your cooked chicken can affect how long it lasts in the fridge. Make sure to use an airtight container to prevent bacteria from getting in.
How to Store Cooked Chicken in the Fridge
To ensure that your cooked chicken lasts as long as possible in the fridge, follow these simple steps:
- Let the chicken cool down to room temperature before storing it in the fridge.
- Store the chicken in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Label the container with the date that the chicken was cooked so that you can keep track of how long it has been in the fridge.
- Store the chicken in the fridge at a temperature of 35-38°F (1.6-3.3°C).
How to Tell If Cooked Chicken Has Gone Bad
If you’re unsure whether your cooked chicken has gone bad, here are some signs to look for.
We understand that food safety is a serious matter, and the thought of getting sick from spoiled chicken can be scary. That’s why it’s important to know how to tell if your cooked chicken has gone bad. Some signs to look for include:
- A sour or rancid smell coming from the chicken
- Slimy or sticky texture on the surface of the chicken
- Discoloration or a grayish tint on the chicken
- Any signs of mold or unusual growth on the chicken
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw the chicken away and not risk eating it. Trust your senses and don’t take any chances with your health.
Q: Can you freeze cooked chicken to make it last longer?
A: Yes, you can freeze cooked chicken to make it last longer. Cooked chicken can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.
Q: Can you reheat cooked chicken that has been in the fridge for a few days?
A: Yes, you can reheat cooked chicken that has been in the fridge for a few days, as long as it has been stored properly. Make sure to reheat the chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before eating.
Q: Is it safe to eat cooked chicken that has been left out at room temperature for a few hours?
A: No, it is not safe to eat cooked chicken that has been left out at room temperature for more than two hours. Bacteria can grow rapidly on chicken that has been left out, which can cause food poisoning.
Q: Can you store cooked chicken and raw chicken in the same container?
A: No, you should never store cooked chicken and raw chicken in the same container. Raw chicken can contaminate cooked chicken and increase the risk of food poisoning.
Q: How can you tell if cooked chicken has been stored at the correct temperature in the fridge?
A: You can use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your fridge. Make sure the temperature is set to 35-38°F (1.6-3.3°C) to ensure that your chicken stays fresh for as long as possible.
Q: Can you use the smell test to tell if cooked chicken has gone bad?
A: Yes, the smell test can be a good way to tell if cooked chicken has gone bad. If it has a sour or rancid smell, it’s best to throw it away.
In conclusion, cooked chicken can last for up to four days in the fridge if it’s stored properly. Make sure to store your chicken in an airtight container and keep your fridge at the correct temperature to ensure that your chicken stays fresh for as long as possible. If you’re ever unsure whether your chicken has gone bad, trust your senses and don’t take any chances with your health.
Remember, food safety is important for everyone, and knowing how long cooked chicken lasts in the fridge can help you avoid getting sick. By following the guidelines in this guide, you can enjoy delicious and safe chicken meals at home.