How long can chicken stay in the fridge after thawing?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can chicken stay in the fridge after thawing” with an in-depth analysis of the time for which defrosted chicken stays good in the fridge. Moreover, we are going to discuss the proper way to freeze and thaw chicken.

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

How long can chicken stay in the fridge after thawing?

The raw chicken that has been defrosted in the fridge can stay good for about 1-2 days before cooking it.

On the other hand, if you have defrosted chicken in a bowl of cold water or the microwave then it is recommended to cook the chicken immediately.

Moreover, when it comes to cooked chicken it can stay good for about 3-4 days when thawed in the fridge. On the other hand, it is recommended to reheat and eat the cooked chicken immediately that has been thawed in a bowl of cold water or microwave.

The proper way to store chicken in the freezer

You can easily store the chicken in a plastic freezer bag or heavy-duty freezer container in the freezer. 

Chicken belongs to the meat group that is a highly perishable commodity therefore care should be taken while handling, storing, and cooking chicken. 

Moreover, to preserve the quality of the chicken for quite a long time you can opt for vacuum sealing it which is quite effective in prolonging its shelf life.

Vacuum sealing involves the process of putting the chicken in a plastic zipper bag, removing air from it, and almost sealing the bag with a little space left while lowering it into water. Afterward, press out the bubbles from the bag starting from the bottom of the bag and once you reach the sealed end, you should press the seal closed. 

The reason behind doing vacuum sealing is to ensure that there is minimum air present in the plastic zipper bag with the chicken. As air has moisture and oxygen in it that favors bacterial growth, so by removing air, chicken can retain its freshness for a long time.

It is a good practice to divide the chicken into portions or serving sizes that you generally need. By doing so you will be able to just thaw the quantity of chicken that you need while the rest of the chicken can stay in the freezer untouched.

Thus, keeping the chicken in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably due to the freezer’s cool temperature that halts the bacterial growth on the chicken.

Different ways to thaw chicken

When it comes to thawing chicken, there are a couple of ways to do so and you can choose any of them depending upon your choice.

In the fridge

The recommended way to thaw the frozen chicken is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight and let it thaw there. The raw chicken thawed this way can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days before cooking and eating it.

In a bowl of cold water

You can thaw the frozen chicken in a bowl of cold water but you should cook it immediately after thawing. 

In microwave

Moreover, if you are thawing the chicken in the oven or microwave it is recommended to cook it immediately. 

The reason behind cooking the raw chicken immediately after thawing it in a cold water bowl or microwave is that when you warm 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 thawed chicken immediately until its internal temperature reaches 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 once you have thawed the frozen chicken, you should not refreeze it.

Can I refrigerate the reheated chicken?

So once you have reheated the precooked chicken, you should never refrigerate it. As when you reheat the precooked chicken, its temperature rises more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and we know that bacteria grows at a faster rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. So the bacteria will find their way to your chicken and you should never refrigerate the reheated chicken.

You can read red meat vs white meat here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can chicken stay in the fridge after thawing” with an in-depth analysis of the time for which defrosted chicken stays good in the fridge. Moreover, we discussed the proper way to freeze and thaw chicken.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/questions/index/76#:~:text=How%20long%20will%20the%20thawed,the%20U.S.%20Department%20of%20Agriculture.
https://www.thekitchn.com/how-long-will-raw-chicken-stay-good-in-the-fridge-248178
https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-long-can-meat-and-poultry-remain-in-the-refrigerator-once-thawed
https://askinglot.com/how-long-can-you-keep-defrosted-chicken-in-the-fridge

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.