How to store defrosted chicken?

In this short guide, we are going to answer the question “How to store defrosted chicken?”.  In addition, we will discuss how to safely defrost chicken. Finally, we will discuss how long you can keep defrosted chicken in the fridge before cooking.

How to store defrosted chicken?

To store defrosted chicken, use an airtight container to prevent frostbite from occurring, as this modifies the texture and flavor of the meat. Chicken meat is a perishable food, so it should never be left for more than two hours at room temperature, as the risk of spreading harmful bacteria to health is very high.

In the freezer, raw chicken pieces will last up to a year without spoiling, as long as there is no change in temperature. If you bought the chicken fresh and it is raw, place it in an airtight container in the fridge. Raw chicken parts will last up to 48 hours in the fridge.

If the chicken pieces have already been cooked, placed in an airtight container in the fridge, they will last up to four days without going bad. So if you can’t freeze it, a tip is to prepare the chicken and store it cooked in the fridge, as it lasts two days longer than if it’s raw.

Always check the smell and appearance of raw chicken pieces. If you notice a bad smell, if it gets a little gooey or with a strange color, don’t eat it because it can be dangerous for your health.

In the case of frozen chicken pieces, check for frostbite, this burn does not cause the meat to rot, but it does have a weird flavor and texture. Pay attention because be careful, it’s never too much.

How to safely defrost chicken?

To safely defrost chicken, it is best to take the meat out of the freezer the night before and leave it in a container in the fridge. However, if you’ve run into the problem of not planning or simply forgetting, you can work around the problem.

There are basically two ways to do this safely and we’ll talk about them next:

1-Defrost with water: Place the chicken inside a well-sealed plastic (preferably vacuum) and use a basin — or any other container — that is big enough to fit the package and completely cover it with water.

Ideally, the water should be at room temperature and change it every 30 minutes, approximately. Be aware that this process takes a little longer and that 500g of chicken can take about an hour and a half to fully thaw (this may vary depending on the temperature in your region).

2- Defrosting in the microwave: Completely remove the chicken from the original packaging and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Afterwards, wrap it in plastic that can be used in the device. Using medium to low power, program the microwave on the “defrost” function.

Once the cycle is over, check to see if there are still any ice crystals, especially in the middle or inside the chicken. If you still notice some hard parts (still frozen), continue to microwave, but this time at smaller intervals. The time needed to complete the process will depend on the power of your equipment and the size of the meat.

If you bought the meats and froze them in large blocks, you’ll probably have a hard time defrosting the ideal amount for the meal. As it is not recommended to return the item to the freezer, there is a great risk of suffering from waste. Therefore, plan to remove only the necessary portions at the time they will be prepared.

How long can you keep defrosted chicken in the fridge before cooking?

You can keep defrosting chicken in the fridge before cooking for three days. This only applies if the chicken has been thawed in the fridge overnight. The result is meat that has already been frozen with a high microbial load, since freezing does not kill microorganisms.

As soon as they thaw, they grow back.

Chicken thawed in the microwave or in cold/tap water needs to be cooked immediately or it will spoil.

Plan your meals in advance and always defrost the chicken in the refrigerator. Leave in the fridge overnight. Place the freezer bag on a plate before placing it in the fridge to prevent it from dripping.

Ground chicken or boneless chicken breasts take about 24 hours to completely thaw in the fridge. However, this time may vary according to the size of the meat and whether it has bones or not.

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

How much meat is on a rotisserie chicken?

How long will unrefrigerated chicken broth be good?

Can you get botulism from a chicken broth?


In this short guide, we answered the question “How to store defrosted chicken?”. In addition, we discussed how to safely defrost chicken. Finally, we discussed how long you can keep defrosted chicken in the fridge before cooking.