Freshly cooked chicken is a delight no matter how you serve it up. But often you will find yourself with leftovers and you may be wondering how long does cooked chicken last in the fridge. Taking cooked chicken out of your refrigerator to reheat it is an easy solution to a quick after work meal if you do not have lots of time to cook something up. However, a lot can occur between the time your chicken was cooked initially and the time it takes to put it back on your plate. If you do not handle cooked chicken appropriately, you will find it is the most common cause sickness if it goes bad. This is why you need to be mindful of how long cooked chicken lasts.
How Long is Cooked Chicken Good For?
Cooked chicken will typically remain fresh in your refrigerator for up to four days. There are however extra precautions which you might want to take to ensure that your cooked chicken will last for longer in the fridge. As soon as you get your chicken home from the store, then you need to ensure that you ready it for eating or for storing as soon as you can. You really should either be cooking and eating your chicken there and then, or you need to refrigerate cooked chicken appropriately within a couple of hours. When you do want to just store your chicken, you are best to cook it up and then remove the chicken meat from the bones. This will make your cooked chicken easier to store and it will cool it more rapidly so that it can be stored as soon as it has been cooked.
How to Store Cooked Chicken in the Refrigerator
You can happily keep your cooked chicken in the fridge when you have cooked too much or want to keep your leftovers for another day. But you need to always store your cooked chicken on the top shelf of your refrigerator away from other foods. As soon as you have cooked it, permit the meat to cool slightly and make sure that it is in the refrigerator within the hour. It needs to be well wrapped up, put into an airtight container and then you can put it in the fridge on the top shelf. Try to keep your cooked chicken away from any other foods but especially any raw meat that you are keeping in the fridge. When it comes to eating your cooked chicken, you can use it cold in salads or carefully reheat the chicken and use it up in a curry or a classic chicken soup. It is also important that you only ever reheat cooked chicken once.
The Correct Temperature for Cooked Chicken
The temperature of your fridge ought to be between 2°C and 4°C degrees to keep your cooked chicken edible. To discover the precise temperature of your refrigerator you may want to purchase a thermometer from your nearby department store. It is important to keep eye on this because when your refrigerator is not set to the right temperature your chicken will spoil quicker. Simply use the thermostat in your refrigerator to change and maintain the temperature which will help you to determine how long cooked chicken can stay in the fridge.
Temperature is also key when you have just taken your cooked chicken out of the oven. It is fine to package it up and put it immediately into your refrigerator to cool in there which reduces its contact with bacteria. Otherwise, you can cool down your cooked chicken by putting it into a bowl over ice enabling you to get it into the fridge as soon as possible. To put a whole chicken into your refrigerator you can slice it up first to make it more manageable.
How Long Cooked Chicken Can be Stored For?
- Grilled, baked or roasted chicken will happily last between three and four days in your refrigerator when correctly cooled down and packed up.
- Chicken salad will remain fresh for a couple of days, maybe longer if it is homemade and kept in an airtight container.
- Fried chicken pieces will last up to 4 days however they will need to be reheated in the oven, and not the microwave, if you wish to keep a crispy crust.
- You should be using up cooked chicken pieces that have been covered in any kind of gravy or sauce within a couple of days.
- The sealed deli chicken that you can purchase from the store can last for up to five days in your refrigerator after being opened.
- A chicken casserole keeps for 4 days in the fridge if you package it up into individual serving containers.
- Leftover chicken nuggets are not the best thing to keep for long in the fridge once the chicken has been cooked and so should be used up within one to two days.
In the end, you need to be sensible about whether or not you should be reheating and eating the cooked chicken in your fridge. You need to use your nose to check if the cooked chicken still smells right and your eyes to look for any kind of discoloration of your cooked chicken. If your cooked chicken looks different or has a strange smell, then it would be safer to just throw it away.
Chicken is always going to be one of the most varied food choices that you have as it can be used in so many diverse recipes. Whether you enjoy grilling your chicken on your barbecue or want to create a wonderful roast dinner chicken at all times turns out to be enjoyable. Nevertheless, if you cook chicken frequently, you may realize that sorting out your leftovers can sometimes be a nightmare. Mostly, it is important to keep in mind how long does cooked chicken last in the fridge as if you leave it to long, it will become unsafe to cook with.