When you’re cooking chicken, it’s great to have a few extra on hand for the next few days. But you probably don’t want them taking over your refrigerator! So let’s talk about how long cooked chicken can be stored in the fridge and what you should do with any leftovers.
How long can cooked chicken be in the refrigerator?
When it comes to storing cooked chicken, there are a few rules you should follow. First of all, cooked chicken can be refrigerated for up to five days (or longer if properly packaged). Uncooked chicken should only be refrigerated for three days before being frozen or discarded. Additionally, raw meat should never be frozen because it’s more vulnerable than its cooked counterpart when frozen–and thawing out can lead to bacterial growth.
Can you freeze cooked chicken? What about raw?
You can freeze cooked chicken for up to 3 months. If you’re freezing raw chicken, it’s best to do so in small batches and use freezer bags or containers that are labeled with the date of freezing. You might want to avoid freezing large amounts of food at once–it’s better to spread out your frozen goods over a few days if possible.
When freezing cooked foods like chicken casseroles or soups that have been prepared in advance, make sure they are well-sealed so no moisture escapes during storage (this will help keep them fresh).
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Tips for storing cooked and uncooked chicken
- When storing both cooked and uncooked chicken, make sure to keep them separate.
- Don’t store cooked chicken in the same container as raw chicken. This can lead to cross-contamination if you’re not careful.
- Don’t store cooked chicken in the same container as other foods that can spoil quickly, such as salads or cheese. If you want to preserve the taste of your freshly cooked meats for later use, stick with airtight containers and bags made from materials like plastic or glass (though these won’t keep out light).
Cooked chicken can be refrigerated up to five days; uncooked, three days.
- Cooked chicken can be refrigerated up to five days.
- Uncooked, three days.
- Freeze cooked chicken for up to 6 months; uncooked, 3 months.
- Keep uncooked chicken at 40 degrees or below in the refrigerator and cook it within two days of buying it (or if you’re not going to use it right away).
There you have it! We hope we’ve answered your question about how long cooked chicken can be kept in the refrigerator. Remember that it’s best to use cooked chicken within five days and uncooked within three days. If you’re not going to eat all of your chicken at once, try freezing some of it so that you always have some on hand when needed.