Since the invention of the freezer, people have been making use of buying in bulk and freezing the excess for later use. Many people also make meals and freeze them for use when they are busy or unable to cook complicated meals. One of the most common meats frozen is chicken. As chicken can carry salmonella, it is particularly important to make sure that it is stored and prepared correctly. How long can chicken stay in the freezer? Read this article to find out.
How long can chicken be kept in the freezer?
How long a particular type of food can stay in a freezer depends on whether it has been cooked prior to freezing or is in it raw form. Freezing raw meats, particularly chicken, is better as moisture is lost during the cooking. This means when you unfreeze cooked chicken it may be dry and unappealing. The standard guidelines that are given for chicken are as follows:
- Cooked chicken can be stored for up to four months before use.
- Raw chicken pieces, such as breasts, wings and drumsticks can be frozen for up to 9 months.
- Whole raw chickens can be kept in the freezer for up to 12 months.
- Casseroles, and similar dishes, containing chicken can be stored for 2-3 months before use.
- Processed chicken products, such as chicken nuggets, will have an expiration date listed on the packet. However, for best results they should be eaten within 3 months
Did you know?
Most food, even chicken) can be stored in a freezer indefinitely as long as the temperature is lower than -17 °C (0 °F). Storing food in a freezer for longer than 12 months will affect the overall quality and taste of the product when unfrozen. In most cases extended freezer storage will cause the loss of some of the flavor and texture of the food. For the best results it is best to always buy and freeze your chicken with the intent to use it with a couple of months.