Whether you have leftovers or want to cook in bulk, learning how long you can keep cooked chicken in the fridge is a must!
With the info below, you’ll avoid potential food poisoning, save money by not throwing it out, and save time without having to cook again!
How Long Can You Keep Cooked Chicken in the Fridge
According to the USDA guidelines, cooked chicken can be stored in an airtight container and kept refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Personally, after 3 days I transfer leftover chicken to a freezer-safe bag and freeze it for future use. The exception to this is if I’m meal planning and plan to eat it the next day.
How to Safely Store Chicken in the Fridge so it Lasts Longer
Using airtight storage containers or bags is the best way to make a cooked chicken last several days in the fridge.
You’ll want to refrigerate the sealed bag or container once it’s cooled down to room temperature to avoid excess condensation (waterly liquid) from forming.
How Cold Does the Fridge Need to Be for Storing Chicken Safely
Your fridge should be at 40F (4C) or below to keep cooked chicken and other foods fresh.
Tip: store cooked chicken on the fridge’s top or middle shelf, not close to the door, which is often the warmest spot.
If you aren’t certain about your fridge’s temperature, you can test it using a fridge thermometer, a meat thermometer, or by placing a body thermometer in a cup of room-temperature water and refrigerating it for two hours. Once the time is up, you should have an accurate reading.
Cooked Chicken in the Fridge for 7 Days
Chicken that’s been in the fridge past 4 days is not safe to consume and should be tossed. Freezing cooked chicken is a great way to avoid food waste, and should be done on day 3.
How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last Outside the Fridge
Cooked chicken shouldn’t sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours because it can develop bacteria that may lead to foodborne illness when left out for extended periods of time.
How Long Does Shredded Chicken Last in the Fridge
Shredded chicken can last up to 4 days when properly stored in the fridge; including shredded chicken tossed with sauces and gravies.
How to Know When Cooked Chicken Has Gone Bad
While chicken can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, it can go bad in as little as 2 days if not stored properly. There are some signs that show that cooked chicken has gone bad such as changes in smell and color being most noticeable.
How Long Does Raw Chicken Last in the Fridge
Based on USDA guidelines, raw chicken lasts for 2 days in the fridge. This goes for packaged chicken from the grocery store and frozen chicken that has been fully thawed.