How long can fried chicken stay in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can fried chicken stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of a fried chicken. Moreover, we are going to discuss tips to properly store fried chicken.

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

How long can fried chicken stay in the fridge?

Fried chicken can last for about 3-4 days when stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag. 

Thus, the cold temperature of the fridge will decrease the rate of bacterial growth and will subsequently prolong the shelf life of your fried chicken.

The proper way to store your fried chicken in the fridge is to put it in the air-tight container or zip lock bag once you have cooled it thoroughly at room temperature. It is best practice to refrigerate the leftovers of your fried chicken within 2 hours after the chicken is being cooked. 

How long does fried chicken stay at room temperature?

Fried chicken lasts for about 2 hours when kept out at room temperature. 

You should discard the fried chicken that has been left in the open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the fried chicken being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

Moreover, if the temperature of the surroundings is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then the process of spoilage takes place at a faster pace and it is recommended to discard fried chicken that is left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long does fried chicken last in the freezer?

Fried chicken if kept in an air-tight container or air-tight bag in the freezer can last for about 4 months provided that it was stored properly. 

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

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

How to thaw frozen fried chicken properly?

You can thaw frozen fried chicken by leaving them in the fridge overnight. The fried chicken that you thaw in the fridge can stay there for 3-4 days before you decide to reheat and eat it.

But if you thaw your fried chicken in a bowl of cold water or the microwave, it is advised to consume it immediately after heating it till its internal temperature rises to 165 °F.

Can I refrigerate the reheated fried chicken?

So once you have reheated the fried chicken, you should never refrigerate it. As when you reheat the fried 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 fried chicken and you should never refrigerate the reheated fried chicken.

Tips to properly store fried chicken

  1. You should always store your fried chicken at 40°F or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore it is always advised to store your fried chicken at a lower temperature.
  1. It is a good practice to store fried chicken on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge that can mess up the quality of fried chicken.
  1. One thing to keep in mind is to let your fried chicken cool thoroughly before putting it in the container or the zip-lock bag. If you put steaming hot fried chicken in these airtight bags or containers, the moisture will build up inside them which can provide suitable conditions for the bacteria to grow.
  1. You can further prolong the shelf life of the fried chicken by wrapping it in the heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic freezer bag and storing it in the freezer.
  1. You can also opt for vacuum sealing at home that can prolong the shelf life of a fried chicken. It involves the process of putting the fried 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. A vacuum sealer pump can also be used for this purpose.
  1. Thaw the fried chicken properly before reheating it. If you are thawing your fried chicken by keeping it in the refrigerator then you can reheat and utilize it within 3-4 days but if you are directly thawing and reheating it in the microwave it is recommended to consume it immediately.

You can read how to make crispy fried chicken here.

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

How to store raw chicken in the fridge?

How long can cooked chicken stay in the fridge?

How to cook chicken breast in a toaster oven?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can fried chicken stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of a fried chicken. Moreover, we discussed tips to properly store fried chicken.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16789#:~:text=Properly%20stored%2C%20fried%20chicken%20will,chicken%20last%20in%20the%20freezer%3F

https://www.allrecipes.com/article/how-long-does-cooked-chicken-last-in-fridge/

https://onthegas.org/food/how-long-can-fried-chicken-stay-out/

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.