How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last in Refrigerator


Chicken is one of the most popular foods in the United States. It’s inexpensive, versatile and easy to cook. For these reasons, it’s no surprise that many people keep cooked chicken on hand for quick meals or snacks. You can always buy fresh chicken, but cooking your own brings a few benefits: You’ll save money over buying it already cooked and preservative-free; you have more control over how it’s prepared (and what seasonings are used); and there’s no need to thaw frozen chicken before cooking or eating. Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to keeping cooked poultry around for days at a time — namely, that bacteria can grow inside it if you don’t refrigerate it properly. So how long does cooked chicken last? And what should you do with leftovers once they’ve been served? Let’s take a closer look at both questions below!

Cooked chicken lasts one to two days in the refrigerator.

Cooked chicken should be eaten within two days. It can be stored safely in the freezer for three months, but it’s important to cook it thoroughly before eating it. If you plan on freezing your cooked chicken, make sure to cook it completely through before storing–this will kill any bacteria that might have been present on raw meat and prevent food poisoning.

If you wrap the cooked chicken in foil or plastic wrap, it will last a little longer.


If you want to keep your cooked chicken for a little longer, wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap. This will help keep the moisture from escaping and make sure that no air can get to the meat. If you are planning on freezing your cooked chicken, put it in an airtight container or freezer bag before putting it in the freezer. Make sure that the chicken is completely cooled before placing it into storage so there will be less chance of bacteria growing on the outside of the meat when they are stored at room temperature (which would lead to an unsafe product).

If you have already placed cooked chicken into storage but find yourself needing another meal soon after, don’t defrost frozen cooked poultry at room temperature! Instead use either:

  • Your microwave’s defrost setting – if possible; otherwise use…

Cooked chicken can be frozen for up to three months if it is cooked properly.

  • Cooked chicken can be frozen for up to three months if it is cooked properly.
  • Use a thermometer to ensure that the chicken has reached a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before you freeze it.
  • Allow the cooked meat to cool completely before freezing, as this will help maintain its texture and flavor when thawed out later on.
  • Wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil after cooling and then place them into freezer bags or containers with food-safe lids before placing them in the freezer (this will keep them from sticking together).

Cooked chicken should be eaten within two days, but it can be stored safely in the freezer for three months.

You can store cooked chicken in the freezer for up to three months. Make sure you use freezer bags or containers with airtight lids, and label each container with the date and contents.

If you plan to cook the frozen chicken at a later date, be sure to thaw it completely before cooking. If your food is still warm when placed in the refrigerator, bacteria growth could occur faster than normal temperatures allow for safe storage times–so don’t put cold cooked food directly into your fridge!


We hope this article has helped you understand how long cooked chicken lasts in the refrigerator, and what you can do to keep it safe. We know that it can be hard to remember all of these details when you’re busy cooking and eating, but if you follow our tips and guidelines then we promise your food will taste great for years!

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