How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last In The Fridge

To pick up a cooked and preserved chicken is an easy task when you don’t have time to cook.But there is a risk of decaying of cooked chicken if it is stored in the fridge for a long period of time and without any precautionary measures. So there are some methods and tips to store cooked chicken in the fridge and this article will explore the question how long does cooked chicken last in the fridge.

There is one of the most common disease, foodborne, caused by cooling cooked foods improperly. According to the USDA cooked food’s internal temperature falls below 140˚F, and bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella can grow and flourish. Its signs includes bad smell and improper taste.

So the things to explore are; to know the validity of storing cooked chicken in the fridge, in simple words to examine that for how long cooked chicken can be good when stored in the fridge or freezer. And the second thing is, what are the precautionary measures to be done before storing the cooked chicken? We will discuss them later.

So, for how long is cooked chicken good?

First of all, make sure that the temperature of your refrigerator is set to 40˚F or above to stay away from the danger zone. The cooked chicken can last in the fridge for 3-4 days, not more than that. After 3 or 4 days have passed, check out whether the chicken drains out some odor or it reflects some another color. If it is so, then waste that chicken.

How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last In The Fridge

You should prefer to make fresh dishes of chicken instead of preserving them for 2 to 3 days. Because the health and taste is much better in freshly prepared dishes. But if you are like a busy person, who found very less time for their own selves, so preserving the foods is best option.

But you should follow some cautionary measures to preserve the cooked chicken for as much long as it can stay.

Precautions to preserve the cooked chicken:

  • Place remaining chicken in a sealed. One of the organization says that you have to wait for the steam/heat to  evaporate before storing it in the refrigerator.
  • Don’t leave chicken, to cool for too long, at room temperature above 32 degree C
  • Some nutritionists recommend to keep chicken at the top shelf of your fridge and also away from raw meats.
  • Refrigerate chicken within two hours of cooking, never leave it more than two hours at room temperature.
  • Refrigerate the chicken in airtight containers or you may wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic.
  • How long does cooked chicken last in the fridge? If properly stored, cooked chicken will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Properly stored cooked chicken will maintain best quality for 4 months, but safe beyond that time.
  • The cooked chicken that has frozen constantly at 0° F will be safe to eat definitely.
  • Bacteria grows speedily at temperatures so the cooked chicken should be discarded, if left at room temperature for more than two hours.

How to tell if the Chicken has gone Bad?

Here are some tips to tell if the stored cooked chicken has gone bad.

  • Change in color

Cooked chicken when started to turn grayish-green color, has gone bad. Spots of gray green indicates the growth of bacteria.

How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last In The Fridge

  •  Smell

Cooked chicken discharge an acidic smell, which indicates that it has gone bad. This smell can be difficult to identify, if the chicken has been marinated with sauces or spices.

  •  Texture

Chicken with greasy texture has gone bad. Washing the chicken will not destroy or remove bacteria. Even by doing so it can spread the bacteria other foods, utensils, cookware and may cross-contamination.


If you suspect the chicken has gone bad, waste it.

Some suggestions

Once you have purchase chicken, try to bring home as soon as possible. Then eat it within 2 hours or you may refrigerate it. Once you’ve decided to store it, to cool it more quickly remove the meat from the bones.

If you have stored the cooked chicken properly, it gives you an additional 2-3 months to eat it.Then reheat the chicken, when an internal temperature reaches to 165˚F. If you have gone through the precautionary measures for storing the cooked chicken in a proper way then it doesn’t matter whether you have frozen it for 2 days or for 2 months, it will be safe to eat.

When  you have a lot of chicken left over then you should go for freezing it rather than storing at room temperature or in fridge at normal temperature. Place the chicken in a zip-lock plastic bag and release as much air as possible, then seal it.

You may defrost the frozen chicken (in order to get the idea and methods of Defrosting you may go for our article How long to deep fry frozen chicken wings). Then reheat it either on the stove or in oven. You can also reheat the chicken in the microwave, but it may dry the chicken and make it chewy or crumbly.

What to do if you have eaten the ruined chicken

If you suspect you have eaten the spoiled chicken you may experience food poisoning. It’s symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue etc, so what you should do then:

See the doctor

Doctor will be able to diagnose if you have food poisoning or not. Do not just depend upon your own capability of diagnosing anything, because your health is a serious matter. They will tell you what kind of medicine or care you will need.

Drink lots of water

If you can’t go for a doctor immediately then drink a lots of water in order to stay hydrated.Because in food poisoning the first thing you face is dehydration. Vomiting and diarrhea will cause to lose lot of water, so make sure to give your body as much water as you can.

Avoid eating

In food poisoning or in any other stomach issues your body does not accept the heavy food to take in. so Health-line suggests that let your stomach settle for a few hours. If you’re hungry then try eat foods like cereal, rice, toast, bananas, and oatmeal.

  • Storing cooked chicken in the fridge will save your time
  • Will be healthy enough to eat within 3-4 days.
  • Can be stored upto 3 months, when it is frozen
  • If there is nothing to eat and you’re hungry, then the stored chicken will help you a lot.
  • There is no issue regarding to its taste, if stored properly
  • At room temperature, it won’t last more than two hours.
  • Prefer freezing the chicken, it will last long, rather than keeping it at room temperature. Room temperature may cause the chicken to be spoiled.

Final Words!

According to nutritionists, the cooked chicken can be stored in the refrigerator, it won’t cause any damage. But there are certain things to be kept in mind. The cooked chicken can last long if it is stored properly, and for refrigerator and freezer it has different capacity.

after 4 days it began to release odor, or some juice or can change its color, so we come to know that the chicken has gone bad.

But in the freezers, you can go for 2 to 3 months, because ice has capacity to store things. So you can easily use that stored cooked chicken within 3 months. It would be safe to eat and healthy.

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