How Long Can Cooked Chicken Sit Out


When you’re cooking for a big family, it can be difficult to make sure everything is done at the same time. You’ve got to keep track of your chicken, and make sure it stays hot enough so that it doesn’t get spoiled. If you’re wondering how long cooked chicken can sit out at room temperature before going bad, read on!

Chicken can be left out for up to two hours

The American Meat Science Association recommends that cooked chicken should be kept out at room temperature for no more than two hours.

If you’re concerned about food safety, check the temperature of your home’s air. If it’s above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then you may want to refrigerate or freeze your leftovers as soon as possible.

Don’t leave it out for more than two hours.

While it may be tempting to leave cooked chicken out for a few hours, you should be aware that the USDA recommends that you cook and then refrigerate all poultry within two hours of it being done. If you’re going to do this, use a timer so that you don’t forget how long it’s been sitting out.

Use caution when cleaning up any messes as well–don’t let raw juices drip onto other food items or surfaces, especially if they’re not being eaten immediately after preparation (like when preparing foods in advance).

When in doubt, throw it out.

When in doubt, throw it out.

If you’re not sure if your chicken has gone bad or if it’s still safe to eat, don’t take the chance. If you’ve cooked chicken and can’t get to it right away, be sure to refrigerate the leftovers immediately–and don’t let them sit out for more than two hours at a time. That way, there’s less risk that harmful bacteria will grow on your food before you have a chance to eat it (and get sick).


For safety reasons, cooked chicken should not be left out at room temperature for more than two hours

For a safe and enjoyable meal, it’s important to follow these guidelines.

  • Cooking chicken to 165 degrees Fahrenheit is the best way to kill bacteria. If you’re cooking it yourself, make sure your thermometer reads 165 degrees before serving.
  • The USDA recommends that cooked poultry be kept hot or cold while being transported and stored–so if you’re taking leftovers home from a restaurant or buying them in bulk at the grocery store, keep them refrigerated until they’re ready for consumption (we recommend placing them in an airtight container).
  • For safety reasons, cooked chicken should not be left out at room temperature for more than two hours


We hope this article has helped you understand how long cooked chicken can be left out at room temperature. We also want to remind you that it’s important to follow proper food safety procedures and throw out any food that may have been sitting out too long.

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