Defrosting chicken properly is an essential step in preparing chicken for cooking.
Whether you plan to bake, fry, grill, or roast the chicken, ensuring the meat is thoroughly defrosted is essential.
It’s important to ensure the chicken is still fresh and hasn’t gone bad while it was thawing in the fridge. Additionally, be sure to cook the chicken thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before eating it to ensure it’s safe to consume.
Once the chicken is defrosted, knowing how long the chicken can stay in the fridge before being cooked is essential. We are here to answer your questions in detail so you can keep your chicken fresh and safe.
The Short Answer: 1-2 Days
Defrosted chicken can generally stay in the fridge for 1-2 days before cooking. This is because chicken is a perishable food, which can spoil quickly if not stored correctly. Once the chicken is defrosted, it’s essential to keep it refrigerated until it’s ready to be cooked.
If you’re not planning to cook the chicken within 2 days, it’s recommended to freeze it again. This will help prevent bacterial growth and ensure the chicken stays fresh and safe to eat.
Factors That Affect How Long Can Thawed Chicken Stay In Fridge
Several factors can affect how long defrosted chicken can stay in the fridge. These include:
The temperature of your fridge is one of the most important factors when storing defrosted chicken. Ideally, your fridge should be set to a temperature of 40°F or below. This will help slow down bacterial growth and keep your chicken fresh longer.
How you package your defrosted chicken can also impact how long it can stay in the fridge. It’s essential to store your chicken in an airtight container or plastic bag to prevent contamination and bacterial growth.
Age of the Chicken
The age of the chicken can also play a role in how long it can stay in the fridge. If the chicken were fresh when frozen, it would likely stay fresh for longer than frozen chicken close to its expiration date.
Quality of the Chicken
The quality of the chicken can also impact how long it can stay in the fridge. If the chicken were fresh and high-quality before being frozen, it would likely stay fresh for longer than lower-quality chicken.
How the Chicken was Defrosted
How you defrost your chicken can also impact how long it stays in the fridge. If the chicken is defrosted in the refrigerator, it will remain fresh for longer than at room temperature or in the microwave.
How to Store Defrosted Chicken in the Fridge (Important Tips)
To ensure that your defrosted chicken stays fresh and safe to eat, it’s essential to follow these tips for storing it in the fridge:
- Store it in an airtight container or plastic bag: This will help to prevent contamination and bacterial growth.
- Please keep it on the bottom shelf: This will help prevent juices from dripping onto other foods and causing cross-contamination.
- Don’t overcrowd your fridge: Overcrowding your fridge can impact its ability to maintain a consistent temperature, leading to bacterial growth and spoilage.
- Use a thermometer to check the temperature: Use a food thermometer to ensure your fridge temperature is 40°F or below.
- Please don’t leave it out at room temperature: Once the chicken is defrosted, it should be kept refrigerated until it’s ready to be cooked.
- Freeze it again if you won’t cook it within 1-2 days.
- Label and date your chicken: It’s important to label and date it when storing it in the fridge. This will help you track how long it’s been in the refrigerator and ensure you use it before it spoils.
- Store it away from other foods: Keep your defrosted chicken away from other foods in the fridge, especially those ready-to-eat. This will help to prevent cross-contamination and ensure that your food is safe to eat.
- Use it as soon as possible: Even though defrosted chicken can stay in the fridge for 1-2 days, it’s best to use it as quickly as possible. The longer you keep it in the refrigerator, the greater the risk of bacterial growth and spoilage.
- Cook it to a safe temperature: When you’re ready to cook your defrosted chicken, cook it to a safe internal temperature of 165°F. This will help to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present and ensure that the chicken is safe to eat.
Why is it Important to Store Defrosted Chicken Properly?
Storing defrosted chicken properly is essential for several reasons.
- First, it helps prevent bacterial growth and spoilage, making the chicken unsafe to eat. Chicken is a perishable food that can spoil quickly if not stored correctly.
- Properly storing defrosted chicken can help prevent cross-contamination with other foods in your fridge. Raw chicken can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, which can cause foodborne illness if they contaminate other foods.
- Finally, properly storing defrosted chicken can help preserve its quality and flavour. If the chicken is stored in an airtight container or plastic bag, it will be protected from moisture and air, which can cause it to become dry and tough.
How long can you cook chicken once it has been defrosted?
You don’t have to cook the chicken immediately if it is thawed in the refrigerator. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, defrosted poultry may be stored in the fridge for one to two days before cooking.
If you cook chicken that has been frozen, it will likely take 50% longer to cook than fresh chicken. Be sure to cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure food safety.
Can you refreeze defrosted chicken?
You can refreeze chicken if it was thawed in the refrigerator and has not been cooked, but it will only be safe to eat for up to four days after refrozen. If you need to store the chicken for longer, it is best to cook it before freezing. Chicken defrosted inside the microwave or hot water should not be refrozen.
When in doubt, throw it out! If you need clarification on how long the chicken has been defrosted or doesn’t look or smell right, it’s best to play it safe and toss it in the trash.
Is it OK to eat defrosted chicken three days later?
Use ground meats, poultry, and fish one or two days after thawing and beef, hog, lamb, or veal (roasts, steaks, or chops) three to five days after thawing.
Is keeping the raw chicken in the fridge for five days safe?
Cooked chicken lasts 3–4 days in the fridge, but raw chicken lasts 1–2 days. Check the “expiry date” and look for symptoms of spoilage, such as changes in smell, texture, and colour, to see whether the chicken has gone wrong. Even if thoroughly cooked, rotten chicken may cause food poisoning.
How can you tell if your chicken is terrible?
It has gone wrong if your chicken is slimy, smells terrible, or has become a yellow, green, or grey hue. Toss any chicken over its expiry date, has been in the fridge for more than two days raw or four days cooked, or has spent more than 2 hours in the temperature danger zone.
Is it possible to refrigerate defrosted chicken?
When the chicken is defrosted, ensure it remains cold before returning it to the fridge. Then put it in a jar or carefully wrap it in plastic wrap and back in the refrigerator for up to two days.
What happens if the spoiled chicken is cooked?
While boiling ruined chicken kills Salmonella and E. coli, the flesh still contains toxins, making it dangerous to consume. If you consume rotten chicken, you might get a variety of ailments. You may get cramps and a fever. You can also have issues with your intestines.
Is there a scent in defrosted chicken?
Because chicken absorbs some odors from whatever else is in your fridge, the easiest way to check it is to take it out, unwrap it, and give it a thorough whiff. Get rid of it if it has a nasty odor. Look at the color if you still need clarification.
Is it possible to find out whether the cooked chicken is terrible?
Cooked chicken has a brown or white hue while fresh, but it becomes grey or green-grey as it ages. A strong and unpleasant odor, slimy chicken after cooking, and mold or white spots on cooked chicken are all signs that the chicken has gone wrong.
Defrosted chicken can stay in the fridge for 1-2 days before cooking. However, it’s essential to store it properly in an airtight container or plastic bag, on the bottom shelf of your fridge, and at a temperature of 40°F or below. You should also label and date your chicken and use it immediately to prevent bacterial growth and spoilage!