There probably isn’t any other food frozen as commonly as chicken. This meat simply seems just like made for being frozen, and it, therefore, would be tough to find a freezer without any.
And frozen chicken can be found outside the freezers as well – when you’re about to use it soon and have to thaw it, you’re most likely simply going to put it on your kitchen board. This is a widespread practice; however, many people do it without knowing the answer to a very crucial question:
So how long can frozen chicken sit out? Believe it or not, frozen chicken cannot sit out for more than two hours, at least according to the USDA. This recommendation goes for any perishable food, though, and you can expect the frozen chicken to last a bit longer, something around six hours.
This was just to put it quickly, though, and we’ll have to dive a little bit deeper into this topic to understand it indeed.
So without any further ado, let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
- Does frozen chicken need to be refrigerated?
- How long can frozen chicken sit out at room temperature?
- How long can frozen chicken sit out to thaw?
- Can frozen chicken be left out overnight?
- Frozen chicken left out for 12 hours – is it ok?
- Frozen chicken left out for 6 hours – is it ok?
- How long can frozen chicken sit out in cold water?
- How can you tell if the frozen chicken is bad?
- How do you keep frozen chicken fresh?
- What happens when you eat a bad frozen chicken?
Does frozen chicken need to be refrigerated?
Even though the vast majority of us thaw frozen chicken by putting it on the kitchen board or into hot water, it actually should be done by putting it into the fridge. So although frozen chicken doesn’t need to be refrigerated, putting it into the fridge may be a wise choice while thawing it.
How long can frozen chicken sit out at room temperature?
The United States Department of Agriculture says that frozen chicken shouldn’t sit out at room temperature for longer than two hours. However, this seems like a bit too drastic a rule, because in most cases, the frozen chicken will be good when left for even six hours.
With that being said, though, there is a reason the USDA doesn’t recommend you to leave it for more than two hours, so if you want to be entirely sure it’s safe to eat it, stick to their words.
How long can frozen chicken sit out to thaw?
If you want to thaw your frozen chicken by letting it sit out, you should leave it out there for something around two hours. Actually, the USDA says letting it sit out for a longer time may make it turn bad, so if it still hasn’t thawed by that time, you should probably consider putting it into the fridge.
Can frozen chicken be left out overnight?
No, frozen chicken definitely cannot be left out overnight because it may be dangerous to eat it just after it sat out for two hours. With that in mind, though, it’s fair to point out that in most cases, the frozen chicken will still be perfectly good after the two hours pass.
Nonetheless, eating frozen chicken left out overnight isn’t a safe thing to do, simply because that’s a far too long time.
Frozen chicken left out for 12 hours – is it ok?
Even though frozen chicken should not turn bad when left out for a bit longer than the two hours recommended by the USDA, frozen chicken left out for 12 hours probably isn’t okay. Therefore, we recommend you throw it.
But if you’re scared that you’ll be throwing out a still good piece of food that way, there’s, fortunately, a pretty easy way to decide whether the chicken is still good or not, without a doubt. Just check the chicken’s temperature; if it is above 45°F, you should throw it out.
Frozen chicken left out for 6 hours – is it ok?
Frozen chicken left out for 6 hours should most likely still be ok, even though USDA says you should throw it out just after two hours of sitting out. However, they say this about every perishable food, and frozen chicken is an exception.
Provided your room doesn’t have extremely high temperature, the frozen chicken should, therefore, get through 6 hours in there. If you want to be entirely sure the chicken’s safe to eat, you can check its temperature; if it hasn’t risen above 45°F yet, the chicken is good to go.
How long can frozen chicken sit out in cold water?
How can you tell if the frozen chicken is bad?
As you can see above, it’s hard to say for what time exactly frozen chicken can stay good. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to bother us since there’s an extremely straightforward way to tell if the frozen chicken is bad – the only thing you have to do is making sure that its temperature hasn’t yet gone above 45°F
How do you keep frozen chicken fresh?
Keeping frozen chicken fresh isn’t really possible because it, well, has already been frozen. So the only you can do to “keep it fresh” is not to take it from the freezer and then put it back again because an additional round of freezing (and also defrosting this time) would harm it even more.
What happens when you eat a bad frozen chicken?
When you eat a bad frozen chicken, chances are you’re going to experience some of the most common symptoms of food poisoning. That means you might have a stomach ache or maybe diarrhea.
As strange as it may seem, the frozen chicken shouldn’t be left out for any more than two hours, at least in the opinion of the USDA. The reason for that is that after that time passes, harmful bacteria start to grow extremely quickly in the meat.
Therefore, it isn’t even recommended to thaw the frozen chicken by letting it sit out. Quite the contrary, you should slowly defrost it by putting it into the fridge. That way, it’ll be ensured the frozen chicken is safe to eat.
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