How Long is Rotisserie Chicken Good For?

Rotisserie chicken is a delicious, convenient, and affordable meal option that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

You might be wondering how long this delectable dish stays fresh and safe to eat after you’ve brought it home from the grocery store.

In general, a rotisserie chicken will stay fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

To store and enjoy your rotisserie chicken safely, it’s crucial to know about proper storage techniques and how long it can safely last.

This article will provide valuable information and guidelines for ensuring you reap the benefits of your tasty chicken without compromising your health.

So, let’s explore the factors impacting shelf life of this mouth-watering meal and learn some tips to keep it fresh for as long as possible.

How Long Rotisserie Chicken Lasts

Rotisserie chicken is one of my favorite meals to eat. To ensure that you consume it safely, it’s important to know how long it lasts both at room temperature, refrigerated, and frozen.

Refrigerated Chicken

You should refrigerate your rotisserie chicken as soon as you get home, preferably within two hours of purchasing it.

Store the chicken in airtight containers, or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil (or plastic wrap) to keep it fresh. Properly stored, rotisserie chicken will last for:

  • 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator

Make sure to check the chicken’s appearance and smell for any signs of spoilage before eating it.

Frozen Chicken

Freezing is another option for prolonging the life of your rotisserie chicken. To freeze your chicken, follow these steps:

  1. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces.
  2. Wrap each piece tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  3. Place the wrapped pieces in a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible.

When stored this way, rotisserie chicken can last:

  • Up to 4 months in the freezer

To thaw frozen chicken safely, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to defrost for several hours or overnight.

Room Temperature

It’s crucial to remember that you should not keep your rotisserie chicken at room temperature for more than two hours after purchasing.

Bacteria can grow rapidly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, which can lead to foodborne illness. If the chicken has been left out for too long:

  • Discard it after 2 hours at room temperature

By keeping these guidelines in mind, you can enjoy your rotisserie chicken safely and avoid any risk of foodborne illness.

Signs of Spoilage

Visual Signs

Before you dig in take a good look at your rotisserie chicken. If you see any unusual colors like green or blue mold, or any sliminess on the surface, it’s a clear sign of spoilage.

Additionally, check for any dark spots or dried-out areas. If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s best to discard the chicken immediately and not consume it.

Smell Test

Next, give your rotisserie chicken a sniff. If it smells off, sour, or downright unpleasant, it’s likely spoiled and should be thrown out.

Trust your nose—it’s often the most accurate way to detect spoilage.

Texture Test

Lastly, check the texture of the meat. If the chicken feels unusually slimy, mushy, or sticky, it’s probably not safe to eat.

A cooked rotisserie chicken should have a tender, juicy texture without any odd or off-putting consistency.

By checking these three aspects – visual signs, smell, and texture – you’ll be able to confidently determine whether your rotisserie chicken is still good to eat.

Always remember, when in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid eating potentially spoiled food.

Storing Tips

Refrigeration Method

When you want to enjoy your rotisserie chicken within 3-4 days, storing it in the refrigerator is your best bet. Follow these steps to keep your chicken fresh:

  1. Let the chicken cool down to room temperature before storing.
  2. Remove the meat from the bones, and slice or shred it into small pieces. This will make it easier to reheat and consume later.
  3. Store the chicken in a reusable airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  4. Place the container in the refrigerator, ideally at a temperature of 40°F (4°C) or colder.

Remember to always reheat the chicken to at least 165°F (74°C) before serving.

Freezing Method

If you’re planning to store your rotisserie chicken for a longer period (up to 3 months), freezing is the ideal method. Follow these simple steps to freeze your chicken safely:

  1. Allow the chicken to cool down to room temperature.
  2. Debone the chicken and slice or shred the meat into small pieces. This will make it easier to thaw and reheat later.
  3. Divide the chicken into portion-sized freezer bags or airtight containers.
  4. Label the container with the date of freezing and a description of the contents.
  5. Place the containers in the freezer, maintaining a temperature of 0°F (-17°C) or colder.

To thaw your chicken, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Alternatively, you can use the defrost function on your microwave. Always reheat the chicken to at least 165°F (74°C) before serving.

Safety Measures

Handling Chicken

When you bring home a rotisserie chicken make sure to handle it properly to maintain its freshness and quality. Here are some tips for safe handling:

  • Transportation: Keep your rotisserie chicken in an insulated bag to maintain its warmth and prevent bacterial growth during transportation.
  • Cooling: If you don’t plan to eat the chicken immediately, let it sit for a few minutes. Then, slice or shred the meat, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Expiration Dates

Paying attention to expiration dates is essential for your safety. You can usually find the expiration date printed on the label of the chicken. Here’s a quick guide to understanding expiration dates:

Storage MethodDuration before Expiration
At Room Temperature2 hours
In the Refrigerator3-4 days
In the Freezer4 months

Of course, use your best judgment. If you notice any signs of spoilage like a bad smell or sliminess, it’s best to discard the chicken and not consume it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I eat rotisserie chicken after 5 days?

No. If you properly store the rotisserie chicken in a refrigerator (below 40°F), you may consume it within 3-4 days.

Eating the chicken after five days becomes risky, as there’s a higher chance of bacterial growth leading to foodborne illness. To remain on the safe side, it’s best to consume the chicken within the recommended time frame.

How long will a Costco rotisserie chicken last in the refrigerator?

A rotisserie chicken from Costco or any other store can last up to 3-4 days if you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To prolong its life, you could consider breaking it into smaller pieces and freezing them.

When properly frozen, the chicken pieces can last up to 4 months. Remember to defrost them safely in the refrigerator, microwave, or cold-water method before consuming.

How long should you keep a store bought rotisserie chicken?

You should ideally keep a store bought rotisserie chicken for no more than 3-4 days, as long as it is stored in an airtight container and refrigerated properly.

It’s important to maintain proper storage, as bacteria can grow rapidly on cooked chicken when left out at room temperature for more than two hours.

When in doubt, use your senses to check for any off smells or sliminess, as these could be indicators that the chicken is no longer safe to eat.

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