Food Storage - How long can you keep...

CHICKEN PIECES, INCLUDING CHICKEN BREASTS / THIGHS / WINGS - COOKED

Refrigerator
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3-4 days
Freezer
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4 months

Tips

  • How long does cooked chicken last in the fridge or freezer? The precise answer to that question depends to a large extent on storage conditions - refrigerate chicken within two hours of cooking.
  • To maximize the shelf life of cooked chicken for safety and quality, refrigerate the chicken in shallow airtight containers or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Properly stored, cooked chicken will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • To further extend the shelf life of cooked chicken, freeze it; freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap.
  • How long does cooked chicken last in the freezer? Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 4 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only - cooked chicken that has been kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How long does cooked chicken last after being frozen and thawed? Cooked chicken that has been thawed in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before cooking; chicken that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be eaten immediately.
  • How long does cooked chicken last at room temperature? Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F; cooked chicken should be discarded if left for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • How to tell if cooked chicken is bad? The best way is to smell and look at the chicken: signs of bad chicken are a sour smell and a slimy texture; discard any chicken with an off smell or appearance, do not taste first.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here

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