How Long Does Thawed Chicken Last In The Refrigerator?

You might wonder how long thawed chicken stays in the refrigerator, and you should first know that the chicken does not stay frozen for that long if it is properly stored. To thaw the chicken quickly, you can either microwave it or use the cold water method to thaw the chicken.

thawed chicken

Chicken Nutrition Facts

chicken nutrition facts

How To Thaw Chicken?

You can defrost chicken in several different ways. Please note that these methods do not involve defrosting at room temperature on the counter or in a basin of hot water. These methods are harmful because they allow bacteria to proliferate quickly by allowing the chicken to sit at dangerous temperatures. The danger zone is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The refrigerator, a basin of cold water, or the microwave on defrost are the best ways to thaw chicken. Each of these methods ensures that the chicken is securely thawed.

Refrigerator Thawing

Thawing chicken in the refrigerator entails placing the frozen chicken in the refrigerator and defrosting in a relaxed environment. After they’ve defrosted, the time it takes for them to be appropriately thawed in the fridge begins.

The length of time it takes for a piece of chicken to defrost is determined by its type and size. A smaller chicken breast, for example, will thaw in the fridge in roughly one day, and chicken with bones takes longer to cook, usually two days. After defrosting, parts of poultry can be kept in the fridge for one to two days, according to the USDA.

Cold Water Thawing

When a piece of frozen chicken is placed in a bowl of ice-cold water to thaw, it is known as cold water thawing. The chicken is then submerged in ice-cold water until it thaws, and it is retrieved and cooked once it has thawed.
To thaw chicken breasts in ice-cold water varies from one to two hours. Larger chunks of chicken will take longer to thaw in cold water, perhaps up to two hours. It may be tough to thaw a complete chicken using this procedure because the entire body would have to be submerged in water.

Microwave Thawing

Thawing chicken in the microwave is probably the quickest way to defrost it, and it’s as simple as putting your chicken in the microwave and watching it closely. If your microwave has one, you’ll want to use it to defrost the food.
To do this at home, double-check your microwave’s handbook to be sure you know how it works. Most require you to push the defrost button and then enter the weight of your meal. After a certain length of time, it will ask you to flip the food over. Because of the unique nature of microwave thawing, any meat thawed in this manner should be processed and cooked soon away. Raw meat should not be kept in the fridge after being defrosted in the microwave.

How Long Can Thawed Chicken Stay In The Fridge?

The length of time chicken will last in your refrigerator is determined by a few factors. Whether your thawed chicken is raw or cooked is one of the elements to consider. Another consideration is the method you choose to defrost your meat. We’ll look at the several factors that influence how long chicken can last once it’s thawed in the fridge. A general rule of thumb is that raw thawed chicken will last one to two days in the fridge.

On the other hand, this timeline begins when the meat has been thoroughly defrosted. It also relies on the defrosting procedure employed on your chicken. Keep in mind that you can always put raw or cooked chicken in the freezer to avoid losing it in the fridge.

On the other hand, cooked chicken keeps for a more extended period than raw chicken. Cooked chicken can be kept in the fridge for three to four days after being thawed. If you’re worried about losing your cooked chicken, you can also put it in the freezer. This will allow you to keep it for a more extended period. A few chicken basics can help you determine whether the chicken in your fridge is still OK or has gone bad.

Can Chicken Be Cooked While Frozen?

thawed chicken

Cooking chicken while it’s still frozen is another option. This is a little-known fact, yet it is possible. The only thing to keep in mind is that it may take up to 50% longer to cook than if it had been thawed. It must also reach an interior temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you keep these two factors in mind, you won’t need to defrost the chicken entirely before cooking it.

Best Practice For Keeping Thawed Chicken In Fridge

For optimum results, we suggest the following:

  • If the chicken is frozen, transfer it directly to the fridge and leave it there to thaw for one to two days. Alternatively, soak in ice-cold water for a few hours to thaw.
  • Allow for an extra one to two days in the fridge once your meat has thawed. Keep in mind that your fridge time does not begin until the meat has been defrosted.
  • Keep in mind that any meat that has been microwaved should not be kept in the refrigerator. As soon as it has finished defrosting, it should be cooked.
  • The length of time frozen chicken can be kept in the fridge varies depending on thawed. On the other hand, chicken can be kept in the fridge for one to two days after it has been thawed.


Once thawed, cooked chicken can last up to three days in the fridge. It would help if you cooked it as soon as it thawed. After thawing, it will be hot enough to heat the meat, so it’s essential to cook it as soon as possible. If it hasn’t been fully re-frozen, the chicken will be overheated, and the insides won’t thaw. To avoid spoiling, it’s important to thaw the chicken as soon as possible. Then, cook it and enjoy it! You’ve just saved your chicken!

Cooked chicken lasts 3–4 days in the fridge, but raw chicken lasts 1–2 days. Check the “best if used by” date and look for symptoms of spoilage such as changes in smell, texture, and color to see if the chicken has gone wrong. Even if you cook it properly, don’t consume ruined chicken because it can induce food illness.