Does cooking chicken extend the use-by date?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “does cooking chicken extend the use-by date?” and the shelf life of a chicken.

Does cooking chicken extend the use-by date?

No, cooking does not extend the use-by date of chicken. Cooking causes the cell walls of cooked food to break, causing degradation to occur more quickly and resulting in a reduced shelf-life; the standard rule of thumb for cooked meals is 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

 In certain cases, cooking does not eliminate toxins produced by harmful bacteria that may cause illness; if the toxins were present in the raw food, the cooked meal has the same risk of infection as the raw food.

 How long does chicken have to be refrigerated before it becomes spoiled?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, raw chicken may be kept in the refrigerator for about 1–2 days (USDA). In addition, raw turkey and other poultry are good options. Meanwhile, cooked chicken may be stored in the refrigerator for 3–4 days.

Because germs grow more slowly at temperatures below 40°F (4°C), refrigerating chicken helps to reduce the growth of bacteria in the meat.

Furthermore, raw chicken should be stored in a leak-proof container to prevent its fluids from evaporating and contaminating other meals. Refrigerate cooked chicken in an airtight container after it has been cooked.

If you want to preserve chicken for more than a few days, it’s better to freeze it instead of cooking it.

 Chicken pieces may be stored for up to nine months in the refrigerator, while a whole chicken can be frozen for up to a year. Cooked chicken may be frozen for up to two–six months after it has been cooked.

How to tell whether your chicken has been rotten?

If the chicken has been sitting in the refrigerator for more than a few days, it may have been spoiled.

Some signs that the chicken in your refrigerator has gone bad include the following.

  •  It has passed the “use by” date on the package. Raw or cooked chicken that has passed its “best if used by” or “best if consumed before” date is more likely to spoil.
  •  Raw or cooked chicken that has acquired a gray-green color is bad and should be thrown away. The presence of microorganisms is indicated by the formation of gray-to-green mold spots on the surface of the wood.
  •  When raw or cooked chicken degrades, it emits an ammonia-like acidic odor that is difficult to ignore. If the chicken has been marinated in sauces, herbs, or spices, it may be difficult to identify the scent of these ingredients.
  •  Ruined chicken has a slimy feel, similar to that of rotten eggs. Washing the chicken under running water will not eliminate the germs from its skin and meat. Instead, cross-contamination of chicken with other foods, utensils, and surfaces is a possibility.

 The Shelf Life of a Chicken in the Refrigerator

In the refrigerator, uncooked chicken has a two-day shelf life; thus, it should be used or frozen as soon as possible after purchase. The stench of raw chicken that has been sitting in the refrigerator for seven days is probably not something you want to deal with, much alone ingest it.

To put it another way, the packing date for your particular shop may lead you on the correct path. Unless the chicken is beyond its expiry date today, you should only keep it for a day or two. If it is not date-stamped today, you may keep it for up to two days without the risk of spoiling it. Keep in mind that the horrible bugs that may get you ill – such as salmonella, Yersinia, E. coli, and other pathogens – have no impact on the smell or flavor of the chicken. They will go undetected until your stomach gives you a distressing message that something is wrong.

 How to Extend the Life of Your Chicken?

For those who want to make their chicken last longer, there are a few easy ways to try. If your dinner plans change, one option is to continue to cook the chicken and store it in the refrigerator. You can store cooked chicken in the refrigerator for three to four days, giving you plenty of time to integrate it into another dinner. Additional options for freezing chicken include keeping it in its original packaging or freezing it in high-quality freezer bags.

  It may be stored in the freezer for many months, especially if the bag is vacuum-sealed to keep out any air. The presence of air in the freezer causes the chicken to get freezer-burnt, thus eliminating the air enables you to keep it for a longer time. Depending on the quality of the vacuum-sealed bags used, vacuum-sealed chicken may last for up to a year or two.

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

If you cook chicken on its use-by date can you eat it the next day?

Can you freeze chicken on the use-by date?

How to freeze shredded chicken?


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “does cooking chicken extend the use-by date?” and the shelf life of a chicken.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.