chefstemp How to Store Cooked Chicken

How to Store Cooked Chicken

In a world where many of us are constantly on the go and do not always have time to cook, prepping meals beforehand is a life-saver. One of the most popular foods for meal prep is chicken, so it’s essential to know how to store cooked chicken.

Here at Chefstemp, we thoroughly understand the importance of food safety. We love food and are dedicated to making cooking easier for professional chefs and home cooks alike. By taking precise technology and turning it into user-friendly products, we work to ensure that cooking is as safe as it is enjoyable.

In this easy-to-read guide on how to store cooked chicken, we are breaking down everything you need to know about the topic. You will learn how to properly store your leftover chicken so you can enjoy safe and delicious meals at your leisure. Let’s get right down to it.

Cooking Chicken in Bulk

The concept of meal prepping dishes (referred to as make-ahead meals) involved cooking enough to enjoy multiple times. Many people meal prep on days when they are not busy, so they have home-cooked meals ready to go on the days when they are busy.

As a lean and delicious source of protein, chicken is easily one of the most common foods for meal prep. Some people fire up the grill and cook whole chicken breasts, others toss their chicken into a crockpot to make shredded chicken to add to their meals throughout the week.

When it comes to cooking chicken in bulk, there is really no right or wrong method to choose. You can cook chicken in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or in a crockpot. It’s entirely up to you and really just depends on your preferences.

Regardless of the cooking method you choose, it’s important to always use a reliable meat thermometer to ensure that it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Food safety should never be a guessing game, especially when storing in large quantities.

You can season your chicken with any combination of spices or keep it simple with salt and pepper. The latter is especially helpful if you want to be able to use the chicken in a variety of different dishes throughout the week. You can whip up chicken tacos one day and a delicious chicken salad the next. The options are endless!

After you have cooked your chicken, make sure to allow it to cool down to room temperature before storing it. Once cooled, you can transfer the cooked chicken to an airtight storage bag or container. If freezing the chicken, we recommend wrapping the individual servings in plastic wrap so you can easily thaw it as you need it.

chefstemp How to Store Cooked Chicken

How Long Can Cooked Chicken Stay in the Freezer?

When it comes to freezing cooked chicken, it’s extremely important to secure the food in an airtight storage container before storing it. Some people even take the extra precaution of wrapping the individual chicken pieces in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, then storing it in the container.

This is because when any food is exposed to the air in the freezer, it begins to diminish in flavor. Additionally, exposed food is likely to develop freezer burn at a much quicker rate, which can alter both the texture and flavor of the food.

As long as you store your cooked chicken in an airtight container, it will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 4 months. While cooked chicken can safely be stored in the freezer for longer, after the 4-month mark it can begin to lose its flavor. For peak freshness and flavor, it is best to consume cooked chicken from the freezer within 4 months.

For safe food storage in the freezer, always check your freezer temperature. Frozen food should be stored at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit, or -18 degrees Celsius to ensure the best results.

How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last in the Fridge?

For people who like to prepare their meals for the week ahead of time, the fridge tends to be the go-to choice for storage. This method makes it quick and easy to reheat your leftover chicken, because it eliminates the need for thawing.

The one thing to keep in mind when storing cooked chicken in the fridge is that you have much less time to work with than if you had stored the chicken in the freezer.

If you have intentionally cooked your chicken to eat over the next few days, then storing it in the fridge is perfect. However, if you don’t anticipate eating chicken anytime soon, then you should stick to the freezer.

Just like you would if you were storing cooked chicken in the freezer, you will need to transfer it into an airtight storage container once the food has cooled down. When stored safely, cooked chicken will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. For safe food storage, your refrigerator should always be set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can You Store Cooked Chicken in the Fridge for 7 Days?

Many people stick to the one-week rule when storing leftovers in the fridge. However, not all leftovers are the same. For example, cooked vegetables can safely be stored in the fridge for up to a week. On the flipside, the USDA recommends that cooked chicken and other meats only be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

If you store cooked chicken in the fridge for 7 days, you will probably be fine. That being said, the longer cooked meats are in the fridge, the more likely they are to develop bacteria. When it comes to proper food storage, it’s always best to follow USDA recommendations.

chefstemp How to Store Cooked Chicken

In the event that you plan on eating your leftover chicken within 4 days, we recommend that you freeze it to be on the safe side. Food safety is key!

Can I Freeze Cooked Chicken on the Bone?

While most probably think to store chicken breasts or tenders, you can safely store cooked chicken on the bone as well. As long as it’s properly stored in an airtight container, bone-in chicken can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. The bone does not have any impact on how long the chicken can safely be stored.

If you’re freezing a whole bone-in chicken or chicken thighs or breasts with the bones, just be sure to keep the proper storage procedures in mind. This means letting the chicken cool to room temperature first and always using an airtight container or freezer-safe storage bag to store it.

Best Meat Thermometers Online

When it comes to food safety, a quality meat thermometer is one of the most important tools to keep in your kitchen. At Chefs Temp, we feature a collection of precise and user-friendly meat thermometers. Whether you’re a professional chef or a cooking novice, a meat thermometer can help you ensure that all of your dishes are cooked to perfection.

ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10

Finaltouch X10

The Finaltouch X10 thermometer from ChefsTemp gives an accurate reading not only for the inside of food but for surface temperatures as well. The diversity of the thermometer’s usage is second to none compared to other thermometers. By getting a reading within 1 second, the Finaltouch X10 from ChefsTemp is prepared to take on any task it is given.


  1. […] a close eye on the temperature of the food. Aside from the cooking process, the handling and storage of the food is also something to consider to ensure […]

  2. […] that has not been airtight. Leaving cooked chicken out for too long is not safe, but there are ways to store it safely so that you don’t get sick from […]

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