How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 days

Chicken is one of the most popular options chosen by people all around the world when it comes to lean protein. A single serving of chicken can contain a considerable amount of fat, minerals, vitamins, cholesterol, and any other essential nutrients. Chicken is also very easy to cook, and they are also available in every country in the world and most of the restaurants if they serve meat. Chicken normally comes in various cuts, including breasts, wings, thighs, and drumsticks.

Chicken is available skin-on and off, and bone-in and less. There are various ways to store a chicken. Chicken can be stored at room temperature, and also in the fridge and freezer. Wherever one stores them, there is a certain period for which they will stay good. After that, the chicken will get spoilt, and eating them will be bad for health.

Normally, the time chicken lasts is based on where one stores them. Chicken lasts longer in the fridge and freezers. It does not last that long at room temperature.

How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last


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How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last?

Storage locationTime
Refridgerator4 days
In-room temperature2 hours
Freezer4 months

Chicken is one of the common staple meats in many households all over the world, and they are also high in protein and very tasty. The methods of preparation, cooking, and storing are also very important, and if one doesn’t, the foodborne illness will start spreading. There are many ways to prepare and cook chicken. Roasting, baking, deep-frying, and stir-frying them can be a great way and after that, if there are any leftovers they must be stored very properly.

Chicken can be conveniently stored in refrigerators and if one wants them to last long, they can store the chicken in the freezer. Medical experts normally advise against storing chicken at room temperature because they tend to get spoilt soon. Chicken can be stored raw and cooked. Some people buy chicken from the store, while some take a chicken and get the meat themselves.

There are many ways to find out if the chicken is going bad. When the chicken is left in the fridge for more than two days, there is a high chance that it might go bad. Never store a chicken anywhere without covering them, especially in a fridge, because when they are uncovered, and if they get spoilt, the bacteria growing on the chicken will affect the other contents and edibles present in the fridge.

Why Does A Cooked Chicken Last That Long?

Store-bought chicken, raw or cooked, must be eaten before the “best before” date for safety measures. Other signs include the change in the color of the chicken, the foul odor the cooked and raw chicken emits after it gets spoilt, and the texture too. The chicken becomes slimy when it is spoiling since the bacteria and fungi growing on the chicken will change the look of the chicken on whole.

According to USDA, cooked chicken can last in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days and can last for 2 to 6 months in the freezer. Yet, the cooked chicken will last for only about 2 to 3 hours at room temperature. Storing the chicken in the fridge is the best option, as the temperature in the fridge is below 4 degrees. This can slow down the growth of bacteria and always make sure to store the chicken in an air-tight container.

When chicken is stored in a container that is not air-tight, fluid from the chicken can leak, and that can contaminate other contents in the fridge easily. Hence, if one wants to store the chicken for a long time, they should preferably store the chicken in the freezer.


Eating spoilt chicken can cause many food-borne illnesses, and all of them have symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, stomach ache, bloody stools, high fever, nausea, chills, and much more. Chicken is a dish that poses a high risk when contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella. Hence, cooked chicken lasts in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days when cooked thoroughly and properly and stored right. It is best to eat them before that.

It is better to visit a doctor if one eats the spoilt chicken mistakenly and takes the right medicines to clear up the symptoms, which shouldn’t take that long.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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