How To Store Raw Chicken – Frozen & Fresh

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Raw chicken is one of the most difficult meats to store and is one of the meats that you have to be the most careful with. Everyone has sketched out at some point wondering if the chicken they bought is okay, if it’s been stored properly, or if it’s safe to eat. It’s important to know how to store raw chicken to protect yourself and others from getting food poisoning.

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In this article we will explore a few different ways to store raw chicken. We will also give instructions on how to store raw chicken safely.

Table of Contents

How To Store Raw Chicken After Opening?

So, what is the best way to store raw chicken after opening? It’s very important to make sure that the raw chicken is in an airtight bag or container, as this will stop the nasty bacteria chicken carries from spreading or growing. In an airtight container, if you would like to store using a refrigerator, the raw chicken can last a number of days.

There are many questions floating around when we talk about storing chicken in the refrigerator, such as, “is raw chicken OK in the fridge for 5 days?” No. Raw chicken – once opened – will last up to two days. The length of time raw chicken will last for is dependent on which way you decide to store your raw chicken

So, how do you store raw chicken after opening? Safety must always come first! Make sure to always place your chicken in a clean container and wash your hands after you have touched raw chicken. This is to stop the spread of the any bad bacteria which contain diseases that could lead to food poisoning.

There is not a best way to store chicken, it’s whatever works for you and depends on how long you would like to store the chicken for.

sliced raw chicken

How To Safely Store Open Raw Chicken In The Fridge

Knowing how long it is safe to store raw chicken in the fridge is very important. Just because you have stored your raw chicken in the fridge doesn’t mean you forget about it and assume it’s at its safest storage.

When choosing an airtight bag to place your chicken in, it’s best to check for holes to make sure no air can get in. If you do not have an air-tight bag, plastic wrap or cling wrap will work perfectly fine.

It’s key to place your raw chicken at the back of the fridge, as this is where it is the coolest. Every time you open the fridge door, you will let warm air in. This is why it is best to move your raw chicken to the back of the fridge.

When choosing where to place your raw chicken within the fridge, it’s best to keep it away from other food. If the raw chicken drips on other food then they could become dangerous to consume. If you want to store the chicken in the fridge, use a baking tray or a rimmed tray. These will prevent the chicken juice from dripping on other food or across the fridge.

Due to the risk of raw chicken juice contaminating other food, place your raw chicken at the bottom of the fridge. This way, there is no food underneath the chicken that could be in the splash zone.

Do not leave your raw chicken at room temperature for over two hours before wrapping up to store. Two hours is the maximum amount of time you can leave the raw chicken at room temperature. Longer than this and the dangerous bacteria will start to grow. Aim to store raw chicken in the refrigerator immediately rather than waiting for extended amounts of time.

Whenever you handle raw chicken make sure to wash your hands after, especially before opening the fridge door. You do not want to spread the nasty bacteria chicken has onto common household surfaces that your family, friends or children could touch and then move to their mouth.

Wanting to store raw chicken for longer than two days,? It is best to use a different method of storage, such as using a freezer.

Sometimes when life gets busy it’s hard to remember which day you stored what. Labelling foods that could potentially harm you if handled wrong, like raw chicken, could prevent illness. Stickers with the date on can help you keep track of when you need to cook raw chicken to make sure it is not wasted and can be safely consumed.

The fridge temperature can also affect how long raw chicken can last in the fridge once opened. The ideal temperature is below 40 degree Fahrenheit. Any temperature above 40 degree Fahrenheit is considered to be the danger zone, which is when bacteria will grow rapidly.

A great way to keep on top of making sure your chicken is stored correctly is to do a temperature check. Using a meat thermometer by sticking it into the middle of the piece of raw chicken will tell you the temperature of the raw meat.

How To Store Raw Chicken In The Freezer

Once you’ve mastered the safety steps of storing raw chicken in the fridge, it’s easy to learn how to wrap and store raw chicken in the freezer. You can store your chicken for a little longer if you make sure to wrap the raw meat in an airtight bag. Do this not once but twice, and then place it in the freezer.

Freezing raw chicken can mean that the chicken can last up to 9 months at 0 degrees. It is not advised to leave raw chicken in the freezer after 9 months as the chances of freezer burns rises. Normal household freezers tend to be quite small and when opened and closed a few times in the day, the air temperature will continue to fluctuate and change.

Freezer burn is when an item in the freezer becomes dehydrated because of its exposure to room temperature air. This shows when ice starts to sit on your raw chicken and your raw chicken begins to change color slightly.

If you tend to plan your meals weeks ahead, then freezing raw chicken is the best option to store it for long periods of time and will be ideal for you.

Here are some step by step instructions on how to store extra raw chicken in the freezer:

  • Step 1: Wash each piece of raw chicken under running water
  • Step 2: Double wrap the raw chicken in plastic wrap or an airtight bag. Make sure the plastic wrap or bag has fully covered the raw chicken or it may be exposed to freezer burn.
  • Step 3: Make sure to press down and squeeze all of the air out of the plastic wrap and air tight bag.
  • Step 4: Label the raw chicken with the date and place it towards the back of the freezer, where it is the coldest.

Freezing already cut raw chicken can require a different approach.

  • Step 1: When preparing to freeze the cut raw chicken breast pieces, lay all the cut pieces out on a piece of baking sheet parchment.
  • Step 2: Transfer the baking sheet with the raw chicken to the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Step 3: Once the chicken is frozen, the cut raw chicken can be moved to a bag.
tied raw chicken

How To Store Raw Chicken Without A Fridge

There are plenty of ways to store raw chicken livers, chicken wings and unused chicken without a fridge.

Here is a list of the top ways to store unused raw chicken:

  • Freeze Drying: Freeze drying is the method other than refrigerating that we would recommend when wanting to preserve your chicken. To preserve the meat, freeze the raw chicken and remove the ice before sealing in a bag.
  • Dehydration: This is one of the most popular preservation methods that are used more in other countries.
  • Pressure Canning: This uses pressurized steam to heat the meat and kill any bacteria.
  • Smoking: Smoking is one of the most popular and traditional methods of preserving meat. Smoking the meat can cause health problems. Therefore it’s recommended to do this in moderation and use other preserving methods instead.
  • Curing: Curling involves salting the meat which will preserve it. Salt will draw out a lot of the moisture and will prevent it from spoiling in the long run.
  • Pemmican: Pemmican is an old, traditional way of preserving meat and fish for long extended periods of time. Pemmican is made from dried meat, fat and dried berries.
  • Refrigerating naturally: This is a very unpredictable way of freezing and preserving your raw chicken. The weather and temperature can be fickle and can change very frequently. This may be an ideal option if you live in a colder area. Natural refrigeration means to store the meat outside in the winter months, in air tight bags and containers. Keep note that there is the risk that the smell of the meat will attract pests and animals to your home with this method. Here are some helpful tips for keeping pests out of your home.

If you do not preserve raw chicken correctly, you can become very ill with food poisoning. We only recommend preserving raw chicken with a fridge or a freezer as it is easiest and most accessible.

How To Store Raw Meat And Chicken In The Same Cooler

Is it possible to store raw meat, raw fish and raw chicken in the same refrigerator. But you should keep them on different levels.

The fish should be on the top shelf, the meat should be on the second shelf and the raw chicken should be on the bottom shelf. This is due to the risks chicken can have on our health if it drips on other food.

Make sure to always wrap each meat tightly before placing it next to another or bacteria will spread fast and you could risk cross-contamination. 

How To Store Raw Chicken In The Fridge Uncovered

It is not wise to store raw chicken in the refrigerator if it’s uncovered. Uncovered chicken has a shorter shelf life than covered chicken. This will cause the raw chicken to dry out quickly and become inedible, spoiling the raw chicken. Uncovered chicken can also absorb smells from the refrigerator which can make the raw chicken taste funny when cooked.

If you don’t have any air tight bags to wrap your chicken in you can place a tray on top of raw chicken in your fridge. However, this will not be as effective as using an air tight bag.

Uncovered chicken can also increase the risk of the bacteria coming into contact with other foods in the fridge. Raw chicken contains bacteria such as salmonella and e.coli which can make you extremely sick if you consume.

Raw chicken will turn bad faster once you have opened it and exposed it to oxygen. Oxygen fuels the bacteria growth on raw chicken. To prevent this bacteria growth, keep the uncovered raw chicken far away from other foods in the fridge. Make sure your fridge temperature is always below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

platter of raw meat and roe

Preserve Properly to Avoid Sickness

Raw chicken is a meat that you have to be very careful with when preserving. You have to make sure you are preserving it correctly to ensure you do not get ill. Preserving your raw chicken in a fridge will keep it good for at least two days. Preserving your raw chicken in a freezer will keep it good for at least nine months.

How do you preserve raw chicken?


How Long Can You Keep Raw Chicken In The Fridge?

It’s best to know how to store leftover raw chicken and how long you can keep raw chicken in the fridge.

If you have opened the chicken you can store it in the fridge for up to two days. If you have not opened the chicken, follow the use by date on the packet.

Should You Cover Raw Chicken In The Fridge?

Yes, covering raw chicken in the fridge is wise. This will stop the spread of bacteria and will also make your raw chicken keep fresh.

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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