Can you freeze cooked chicken? Well picture this.
You and your company have recently gotten a rather new and expensive client. The administration decided to throw a party in celebration to a job well done.
You and your officemates excitedly make a list of what you are going to buy for the party that is going to be celebrated that night. After much deliberation, you have ordered the food that you are going to eat.
The party rages on, drinks have been poured and drank, and as it ends and everyone is about to depart. Noticed that there are still some leftovers. You and your officemates divided the food that was left equally amongst yourselves. You have been given a bucket of roasted chicken.
As you go home bringing along the bucket, you ask yourself: “Can I freeze cooked chicken? Isn’t this going to harden?”
Well, technically yes you can freeze chicken. The question that must be dwelled upon is that how long can you have it frozen. Before it begins to spoil and is unsafe for consumption, and what manner of freezing, if any, is best.
Can I Freeze Leftover Chicken until the Next Season?
The fascinating thing about chicken is that due to how modernized the mass production. Distribution and overall ubiquitousness of it as a staple of food in today’s society. Leaps and bounds have been made to ensure that a constant supply of chicken is available for the whole populace. No matter what season it may be.
Growing Popularity of Frozen Chicken
One of the factors that contribute to this steady and robust chain supply is the versatility of chicken being frozen. Contrary to popular belief, most if not all the chicken that you are eating may have been frozen somewhere between the supply chain, while still maintaining its overall freshness without much of its quality being affected in any negative way.
Due in part to this, once chicken gets cooked, it will still be able to retain freshness for up to four months, given that by the time it has been cooked, it must be immediately be put in a freezing, sub-zero environment. This is most commonly done towards chicken nuggets available in most fast food joints and other sorts of chicken that is often mass produced.
Can You Freeze Your Cooked Chicken?
But what about the sort of chicken that you cook in your own kitchen? Can you freeze those?
Apparently, you can. Although there are factors to consider in doing so, especially if you intend to freeze freshly-cooked chicken and retain it in such a state for months.
One of the factors is the freezer itself. Blast freezers that constantly pump out sub-zero temperatures twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week are going to be the most effective in keeping your cooked chicken safe and fresh when frozen. Chicken frozen in this manner will remain fresh and safe for consumption up to six months.
But if you were to use, say, any ordinary freezer that is often bought at appliance stores, the capabilities of which is not to be compared to that of an industrial blast freezer. These types of freezers often fluctuate a couple of degrees during hours to either save up on electricity or a slight error on the in-built thermostat. While not as effective as blast freezers, commercial freezers will be able to keep your cooked chicken frozen fresh and safe for consumption for about a month.
What Reasons Could You Have To Freeze Cooked Chicken?
1. Expecting an Event
One of the reasons why people opt to freeze cooked chicken is that they are anticipating an occasion or an event from weeks, even months ahead of time.
One such notable event is Thanksgiving. Turkeys, ducks and chicken are going to be scarce once that specific holiday dawns closer, so people who do not want to scamper around the city looking for chicken the night before Thanksgiving are most likely going to buy it a month prior to the event.
2. Time Saving and Efficiency
Some have, for the sake of efficiency and practicality, cook or roast chicken, turkey or duck a month or so prior to Thanksgiving and after cooling, would wrap the food in a vacuum tight container and place it inside the freezer, and come Thanksgiving, be thawed out be simply reheated and prepared.
3. In Case of Hunger
One other practical reason why you might consider freezing cooked chicken is to have the comforting thought. In case you might get hungry in the middle of the night, it will always be present at the back of your mind that you have some frozen chicken in your fridge. You can just thaw out, reheat in the microwave oven for a few minutes and eat to your heart’s content.
How Do I Freeze, Store And Ensure That My Cooked Chicken Will Be Safe While Frozen?
One of the many concerns that you must keep in mind when it comes to freezing chicken is that you have to ensure that it does not get contaminated in any way.
Which is why it should be a priority that you store cooked chicken in an airtight container. Vacuum-sealed lunchboxes, zip lock bags and cling wrap are one of many ways you can securely store chicken with and freeze.
If you do not have the aforementioned items, another alternative, albeit discouraged, would be to use aluminium foil. Make sure to wrap the cooked chicken tightly and check for any holes, gaps and such. Leaving any points of entry will allow contaminants to enter and will shorten the shelf life of your frozen cooked chicken.
In summary to the query: “Can you freeze cooked chicken?”, to which the answer is yes, it is best to keep a few things in mind when doing so:
- Use airtight containers to store the cooked chicken.
- Cooked chicken will retain its freshness for up to six months when placed in constant, sub-zero conditions.
- Cooked chicken must be thawed prior to eating. The “defrost” option in microwave ovens do a splendid job in this regard.
- Before thawing frozen cooked chicken, check for signs of spoiling. Scent, moulds and other odd signs will be present in chicken that has gone bad.
Check my other articles on cooking chicken thighs and stir fry chicken thighs.