Can you put chicken in the fridge after defrosting it?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you put chicken in the fridge after defrosting it” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can store defrosted chicken in the fridge. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of chicken and tips to properly handle and store chicken.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you put chicken in the fridge after defrosting it?

Once you have defrosted your chicken at room temperature, it is not advised to store it in the fridge as it is no longer safe. 

Bacteria grow at a faster pace between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit and if the chicken has been left out in the open for more than 2 hours, there are great chances that bacteria would have already started contaminating it. Therefore once you have thawed your chicken at room temperature, it is not advised to store it in the fridge.

It is recommended to thoroughly cook the chicken that is defrosted at room temperature or in the microwave. 

The reason behind cooking the chicken immediately after thawing it at room temperature or in a microwave is that when you defrost the chicken using these methods, the temperature at the surface of the chicken gets higher than that of 40 degrees Fahrenheit before the core temperature can become 40 degrees Fahrenheit and it can thaw completely and that’s when the bacteria can start to grow on the surface rapidly.

Therefore it is advised to cook such chicken immediately until its internal temperature reaches about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it is only by cooking the chicken properly that we can get rid of the bacteria completely.

It is worth mentioning that the best way to defrost chicken is to leave it in the fridge overnight and let it thaw there. The chicken thawed this way can be safely kept in the fridge for an additional 1-2 days before cooking and eating it.

Chicken is a perishable commodity that is loaded with a lot of micro and macronutrients therefore care should be taken while handling and storing it.

Raw chicken lasts for about 1-2 days when stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag. On the other hand, cooked chicken lasts for about 3-4 days when stored in an air-tight container in the fridge.

If you want to further prolong the shelf life of the chicken then you can also freeze it. Raw whole chicken lasts for about a year when stored properly in the freezer while raw chicken pieces last for about 9 months when stored in the freezer in plastic freezer bags or heavy-duty freezer containers.

Thus keeping the cooked chicken in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the chicken.

It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of the chicken.

Other FAQs about Chicken which you may be interested in.

How long can grilled chicken last in the fridge?

How long can leftover chicken stay in the fridge?

Tips to properly store and handle chicken

  1. You should always wash your hands thoroughly before handling the chicken. Moreover, all the counters should also be washed and cleaned properly.
  1. Uncooked chicken should never come in contact with other fruits and vegetables as the bacteria can be present on the surface of the meat and if such meat comes in contact with other food items it can cause cross-contamination.
  1. Cook all poultry to 165°F, it is only if you cook the chicken thoroughly that you can get rid of bacteria that might have found their way to your chicken.
  1. You should always store your chicken at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it is always advised to store chicken at a lower temperature.
  1. You should let the frozen chicken thaw in the fridge overnight. In case you are in a hurry, you can also defrost chicken in the microwave or a bowl of cold water but chicken thawed in such a way should be cooked immediately.

You can read how to make golden chicken tenders here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you put chicken in the fridge after defrosting it” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can store defrosted chicken in the fridge. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of chicken and tips to properly handle and store chicken.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/questions/how-long-can-raw-chicken-be-left-out-of-the-fridge

https://www.stilltasty.com/questions/index/76#:~:text=Answer%3A%20If%20you%20thawed%20the,the%20U.S.%20Department%20of%20Agriculture.

https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/cold-food-storage-charts

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-defrost-chicken

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.