How long does frozen chicken last
Do you usually buy chicken in quantity or overcook? Don’t worry! In this post I will explain how long raw or cooked frozen chicken lasts.
You may be surprised how long chicken lasts in the freezer, but you should know that the time it maintains its quality will depend on a series of factors that I will detail in a simple way below.
HOW LONG DOES FROZEN CHICKEN PIECES LAST?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture , frozen raw chicken pieces keep for 9 months. That’s a lot of time! If you plan to buy in bulk, this tip is super helpful for freezing your chicken to use for future meals.
This amount of time is exactly the same for any part of the chicken: breasts, thighs, legs, and wings.
As for how to store the chicken, I recommend separating it into smaller portions, 500 grams or 1 kilo (1 to 2 pounds), and freezing them in sturdy, freezer-safe zip bags.
Note : If you live alone, it’s a good idea to freeze your chicken in amounts you can cook and eat for 3-4 days.
Freezing in small batches will give you the ideal amount for a family of 4 or 6 or just one person, which also means the chicken will thaw faster. Worst case scenario, you cook it straight from the freezer!
HOW LONG DOES RAW WHOLE CHICKEN LAST IN THE FREEZER?
You can freeze a whole raw chicken for 1 year! So the next time you find a deal, take the opportunity to buy several chickens!
You can freeze them in the same bag they came in or, if you buy several wholesale in a single container, divide them into individual zip bags.
CAN FROZEN CHICKEN GO BAD?
Although it can be frozen for many months, chicken can spoil in the freezer. Whole raw chicken cuts generally keep for 9 months, while ground chicken and giblets only keep for 3-4 months.
TIP : Chicken should be stored in the deepest part of the freezer, not in the door or on top. In these areas, the temperature is less stable and fluctuates every time the door is opened and closed.
Cooked chicken also freezes well for 3-4 months, depending on how it’s seasoned or if it includes other ingredients—more on that later. Read more about how to freeze cooked chicken here.
To avoid doubt, before freezing chicken of any kind, use a permanent marker or marker to mark the date you are storing it in the freezer on the zip bag. This will help you know for sure how long it has been frozen.
Note: if the chicken you bought comes in a tray covered with film or very thin plastic, never freeze it like this, because the cold will burn the chicken.
WHAT IF THE FROZEN CHICKEN IS EXPIRED?
If you freeze the chicken just before the expiration date, it will keep for the time listed above. Once frozen, the expiration date is cancelled, as long as the recommendations on how to freeze it are followed.
However, if you have raw chicken that has expired, it is safest to throw it away.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A FROZEN CHICKEN IS NO LONGER USEFUL?
If you have a frozen chicken and you don’t know if it’s good, the first thing you have to do is defrost it, otherwise you won’t be able to tell if it has changed color or texture.
Once you’ve thawed it, check to see if it has a foul odor or if any parts are gray or green in color. If so, discard the chicken.
HOW LONG DOES FROZEN COOKED CHICKEN LAST?
Frozen cooked chicken lasts less than raw chicken due to its state change and the rest of the ingredients used to cook it. The following table includes several possible ways of cooking and how long frozen chicken lasts in each case:
|Type of chicken/recipe||how long does it last|
|Cooked chicken (grilled, baked, boiled)||4 months|
|Stewed chicken with pasta||6 months|
|Chicken nuggets or hamburgers||1-3 months|
HOW TO DEFROST CHICKEN
There are several safe ways to defrost chicken . Depending on how much time you have, some methods are more practical than others. Below you can see the safest options and how long it takes to thaw, depending on the quantity:
- In the fridge:up to 24 hours per 500g – 2,250kg (1-5lbs) of chicken.
- In cold water:5 hours for 500g – 900g (1-2lbs) and 2-3 hours for 1,360kg – 1,800kg (3-4lbs).
- In the microwave:about 10 minutes per 500 g (1 pound) of chicken.
Note: The microwave should only be used in an emergency and only for defrosting boneless, skinless chicken breasts.