If you cook or bake with chicken often you're going to want to make sure that you aren't introducing bacteria when the chicken is raw, or uncooked, or not cooked properly.
We're sharing info on how long chicken can sit out, how long cooked chicken can sit out, and how long raw chicken can sit out.
We are also answering the questions can you refreeze thawed chicken and how long you can leave frozen chicken in the freezer.
When it doubt, don't leave raw or cooked chicken out!
How long can raw chicken sit out
When it comes to raw chicken you want to be careful not to introduce bacteria otherwise, you’ll get sick.
Bacteria can grow rapidly when raw chicken temperatures are between 40° F and 140° F. If chicken has been left out of the fridge for too long the bacteria can multiply to the point where the chicken is no longer safe to eat.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, you can safely leave raw chicken out at room temperature for up to two hours or up to 60 minutes if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long can cooked chicken sit out
Similar to raw chicken, cooked chicken is also subject to bacteria if left in the right (or wrong) conditions.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, you can safely leave cooked chicken out at room temperature for up to two hours or up to 60 minutes if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
After that, you risk bacteria growth.
How long can fried chicken sit out
Just because it is fried doesn't mean it can be left out any longer. The USDA still recommends that fried chicken not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Bacteria grows rapidly at room temperature, so its best to store fried chicken in the refrigerator.
Is it okay to eat cooked chicken left out overnight?
No, as you may get food poisoning due to bacteria that grew on your chicken.
If you have ever suffered from food poisoning before, you know it is no fun, so don't risk it. Throw the chicken away.
What if I reheat the chicken that was left out?
It sounds logical. Take the cooked chicken that was left out for hours and reheat it, that will surely kill all the bad bacteria.
Unfortunately, some bacteria thrive in that heat as they can form a heat resistant toxin that your reheating will not destroy.
Be safe not sorry, simply discard the chicken that was left out.
How long can frozen chicken sit out
To be safe, frozen chicken should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Please follow the guidelines in our "freezing and thawing chicken" section to properly thaw frozen chicken.
Can you refreeze thawed chicken
According to the USDA guidelines, you can safely refreeze raw and cooked chicken within their respective shelf lives.
Only refreeze raw chicken that has been thawed in the refrigerator or chicken that hasn't reached more than 40° F.
How long can you leave frozen chicken in the freezer
Individually wrapped and sealed chicken stays good in the freezer for up to 9 months, whole chickens stay good in the freezer for up to a year.
The longer chicken stays in the freezer, the higher the chances the quality goes down.
Freezing and Thawing Chicken
Use sealed containers, zip lock bags (if freezing for a short period of time), or use a food saver to freeze raw and cooked chicken.
Weighing and wrapping individual chicken parts in foil, freezer wrap, or butcher paper will allow you to store the chicken in portions that are easy to cook with.
Label the container or package with what kind of chicken it is, and the date the chicken was frozen.
Freeze fresh chicken as soon as possible to maintain the best quality.
You can safely thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator, or in a cold-water bath, changing the water every 30 minutes or in the microwave. I don’t typically like using a microwave.
Make sure the chicken is completely thawed before cooking, to ensure it cooks evenly. Thawed chicken should be cooked within a couple hours of thawing, at the most.
If you're looking for some chicken dinner ideas, you've come to the right place. We have a mix of healthy chicken recipes that we're sharing. Many are great for dinner, but also leftovers for lunch.
Marry Me Chicken – One of our favorites! Creamy, tangy, savory and delicious, this easy Marry Me Chicken recipe is super simple to make and quite scrumptious. We LOVE make up a big batch of mashed cauliflower and spooning the savory sauce over it.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole - You'll love Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole. It's the ultimate cheesy, rich, comfort food that your whole family will enjoy.
Chicken and brussels sprouts - create an easy sheet pan chicken dinner that is delicious, flavorful, and quick.
Keto Chicken Fried Steak - Coated in a crispy Parmesan and pork rind crust and smothered in sausage gravy, you won't believe how filling and delectable this chicken fried steak is.
Chicken Fajitas - Keto Fajitas are a simple and easy way to create a flavorful, high protein, low carb dinner. This chicken is marinated in a delicious blend of spices, lime and seasonings. Prefer taco seasoning flavors? No problem, use a low carb taco seasoning recipe.
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- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (about 4 cups)
- ½ cup mayonnaise (or more if you like)
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried dill (or more if you like)
- Add everything to a bowl and stir it until it's well combined.
- If desired, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Store covered in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- Make sure you use a sugar-free mayonnaise
- You can add more or less mayo to fit your preference.
- Serve this keto chicken salad with keto bread, keto crackers, keto wraps, lettuce wraps, pork rinds, cheese crisps, or enjoy it with a fork.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: ½ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 408mgCarbohydrates: 1gNet Carbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 10g
The nutrition information for this recipe is an approximate total per serving. Please double check the nutrition information for your exact ingredients and brands.