How can you tell if cooked chicken is spoiled?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How can you tell if cooked chicken is spoiled?, with an in-depth analysis of the ways by which you can spot spoiled chicken. We will also discuss the shelf life of chicken and list down healthy ways to cook chicken properly.

How can you tell if cooked chicken is spoiled?

You can tell if the cooked chicken is spoiled by looking at its texture, color, smell, or any mold growth. No matter which cooking technique you choose to cook the chicken, it will spoil in a few days. 

Cooked chicken is firm, opaque, and white from the inside. Spoiled cooked chicken on the other hand, may have a slimy or gooey texture. It may even feel softer on touch than it was when it was cooked. 

Spoiled chicken will almost always give off a very bad odor. You can smell it as soon as you open the container that it was stored in. This smell is a very apparent sign that the chicken has spoiled.

Cooked chicken is usually white on the inside and brown on the outside. Spoiled chicken may turn gray, or even greenish-blue in color. If you see a perfectly seared brown chicken on the outside, make cuts on it to see if the insides are white in color or not. 

One of the many reasons for color change may be the growth of mold. Mold growth on chicken is not uncommon because it is relatively wet with all the chicken juices. It is easily spotted and such cooked chicken should be thrown out. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that the chicken should not be undercooked. It should be cut up in the middle to see if there are any pink areas. Properly cooked chicken is all white. Uncooked chicken can give you food poisoning and it may also spoil faster.

What is the shelf life of chicken?

Chicken contains a bacteria called Salmonella which is why it has a reduced shelf life. Salmonella is one of the most common pathogens that cause food poisoning. Uncooked raw chicken lasts for about 1-2 days in the fridge while cooked chicken lasts for about 3-4 days in the fridge.

Raw chicken can be stored for 9 months up to a year in the freezer. So if you wish to store the chicken for longer periods of time, you should freeze it rather than refrigerating it.

Find out more about freezing the chicken here.

What are some healthy ways of cooking chicken?

Chicken is a type of lean meat and is an excellent source of protein. While it is very nutritious, it should be cooked in the healthiest way possible to increase its benefits. 

Here are some healthy ways to cook chicken:

Sous vide

Sous vide is a kind of cooking method that cooks the chicken without having to directly heat the chicken. Place the chicken as it is or seasoned inside a BPA-free plastic bag. Vacuum seal this bag and place it inside a hot water bath.

Let it cook for an hour or three hours depending on how well done you want it. This way the nutrients are not lost and the chicken remains healthy for consumption.

Steam it

Steaming is another great way of cooking chicken. Marinate the chicken, cut it into smaller pieces or make cuts on a large piece, and place it over a pot of boiling water. Alternatively you can also use a steamer basket.

Steaming the chicken prevents the chicken from drying out and keeps it tender and juicy.

Pressure cooker

Pressure cooker allows the chicken to be cooked properly while reducing the cooking time. Pressure cooker also reduces the amount of oxidized cholesterol present in the chicken after it has been cooked.

So this method not only reduces the cooking time, it also helps in keeping the heart healthy while still providing all the healthy nutrients and proteins present in chicken.


This may sound odd but you can actually cook chicken in a microwave. It only takes about 10 minutes. This is a healthy way of cooking chicken.

Remove to cover the chicken before placing it in the microwave to prevent it from drying. You also need to flip the side midway through the cooking process so that both the sides are cooked thoroughly.

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

What happens if you don’t put cooked chicken in the fridge?

Can I put warm chicken in the fridge?

Can you eat rotisserie chicken after a week?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How can you tell if cooked chicken is spoiled?, with an in-depth analysis of the ways by which you can spot spoiled chicken. We also discussed the shelf life of chicken and listed down healthy ways to cook chicken properly.


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.