Chicken is a well-loved meat all over the world. It is both tasty and healthy. Just ask any kid around and they will most likely tell you that they love fried chicken. Aside from all that, it is also easy to cook and is very versatile.
It’s very handy to have chicken stocked in your fridge because it’s very easy to whip up some last minute dish using chicken meat. Whether you’re in a diet, have a picky eater in your house or just someone who loves chicken is essential to know how long can chicken stay in the fridge!
The Importance of Knowing
Chicken is very healthy, that is, if it is handled properly. As you might already know, chicken and other poultry products are playground for salmonella. This is very important, especially since children love chicken meat and they are most at risk of contracting diseases brought on by consuming this meat.
As I have said, chicken is very versatile, but at the same time many things can go wrong with it. One wrong step in handling chicken can cause food poisoning, not knowing when it is still safe for eating will surely result to the same thing.
Of course you can always look for signs that the chicken you have been keeping in the fridge has already gone bad. If you bought the chicken in the grocery, it must have a ‘best by’ date and you can use that as a basis and even if you have kept the chicken in the fridge it could still be spoiled.
You can also look at the chicken skin for signs of spoilage, if it’s already going gray (no pun intended!) then it might be safer to throw it out already. You can also try smelling it, if it smells kind of foul then it’s bad. Touching the chicken can also help, if it feels slimy then don’t take chances, just let it go. Those tips can also be used if you’re just buying the chicken!
How Long Can Chicken Stay In The Fridge
There is a definite time by which a chicken can stay in the fridge! We’re in the modern era and there have been studies for these things! But of course there are certain circumstances to consider in answering this question. Some of those points are: is your chicken meat cooked, raw or in a marinade?
Raw chicken is a staple in almost everyone’s fridge. Why not when it an easy meat to use and a blockbuster where children are concerned! If you have a child who is a picky eater, just whip up some fried chicken and he or she might even set the table!
But just how long can raw chicken stay in the fridge and still be safe for human consumption? Well, the answer is it depends!
- If we are talking cut up chicken pieces, you can store it in the fridge for only one to two days and it will still be safe to eat. If you are not planning on using the chicken before that then you should store it in the freezer- that will extend the shelf life of the chicken for up to 9 months.
- If you bought a whole chicken, or maybe it came from your backyard, you can still use it for cooking if you store it in the fridge for one to two days. If you want to use it beyond that, you will have to put it in the freezer and that will make the chicken safe for up to a year.
Chicken is loved by many and is rarely overlooked whether by you family during meal time or guests when you serve your chicken dishes during parties. But there is always the possibility of having leftovers. How long can chicken stay in the fridge once it’s cooked?
According to foodsafety.gov, the length of time cooked chicken can stay in the fridge depends on the dish and also where in the fridge you’re planning on storing it. If we are talking chicken salad, for example, it can stay good for 3 to 5 days in the fridge and you must not put it in the freezer because it does not freeze well.
On the other hand, other dishes with chicken can stay in the fridge for only 3 to 4 days and in the freezer for 2 to 6 months before it’s unsafe to eat. Keep in mind that proper storage of food is very important, otherwise even if experts say that it is safe to eat leftover chicken after three days, if you did not store it well you might still contract food poisoning.
However, you must also remember that the chicken is not the only component of your dish that you have to put into consideration in deciding how long the dish is safe for consumption if you store it in the fridge!
Marinating your food is very effective and makes your dishes tastier. It is a very common thing to do especially if you are the type of person who plans his or her meals ahead of time.
The more time the meat or any other food is marinated, the better. But did you ever wonder just how long they can stay in the marinade? Remember, chicken meat is definitely not cheese or alcohol! It sure doesn’t get better with time!
Marinated chicken can only be stored in the refrigerator for two days. After that, if you happen to forget to cook it, or maybe you just got too busy, all you can do is throw it all away- yup, no use crying over spilled milk, or in this case thrown chicken. Better safe than sorry!
Some Helpful Tips to Lengthen the Time
The designated amount of time you can store you chicken meat will be nullified if you handle the meat wrong. You have to store your raw chicken meat correctly otherwise it might even cause contamination on the other food in the fridge!
Never let the liquid from the raw chicken (or any other meat) drip on cooked food- that’s a recipe for disaster! Make sure that the raw and cooked things in your fridge are separated and tightly sealed to avoid making contact with each other.
Another helpful tip: don’t wash the chicken meat before cooking! Cooking already kills the germs and bacteria in the chicken- you don’t have to wash it off. The only thing you’re doing by washing the meat is spreading the contamination!
Chicken is a very popular choice of meat and I’m sure that if you have little kids in your house, a week won’t pass that you don’t cook chicken, that’s why it’s very important to know how long can chicken stay in the fridge. Food safety is very important so remember these!
- Raw: 1 to 2 days
- Marinated: 2 days
- Cooked: 3 to 4 days
- Raw, cut up: 9 months
- Raw, whole: 1 year
- Cooked: 2 to 6 months for certain dishes, others won’t take well to freezing
Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments section!
You also can see: How Long Can Chicken Be Frozen? Facts and Notice