Rotisserie chicken has become a staple in many households. It’s readily available at grocery stores and can be a quick and easy meal option. But how long does it last? The shelf life of rotisserie chicken can vary depending on various factors, including storage conditions, preparation, and preservation methods. In this post, we’ll explore the different factors that affect the shelf life of rotisserie chicken and provide tips on how to extend its freshness.
First, let’s discuss how long rotisserie chicken typically lasts. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), cooked chicken should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking and consumed within 3 to 4 days. However, when it comes to rotisserie chicken, there is typically a sell-by date on the package. The sell-by date is a guide for retailers to indicate how long they should display the product for sale. It’s important to note that the sell-by date is not an expiration date and doesn’t necessarily mean the chicken is spoiled after that date.
When it comes to storage conditions, the temperature is a crucial factor. The USDA recommends keeping cooked chicken below 40°F in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth. If you plan on storing the chicken for longer than a few days, it’s best to freeze it. Cooked chicken can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months, but it’s recommended to consume it within 2-3 months for optimal freshness.
Preparation methods can also affect the shelf life of rotisserie chicken. If the chicken isn’t cooked to the proper temperature, it can increase the risk of foodborne illness. The USDA recommends cooking poultry to an internal temperature of 165°F. You can use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken has reached the right temperature. Additionally, if the chicken is cut into smaller pieces or shredded, it can dry out quickly and spoil faster.
Preservation methods can help extend the shelf life of rotisserie chicken. One method is to vacuum seal the chicken. Vacuum-sealed chicken can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer. Another option is to preserve the chicken in airtight containers or freezer bags. It’s important to remove as much air as possible from the containers or bags to prevent bacterial growth.
In conclusion, the shelf life of rotisserie chicken can vary depending on various factors such as storage conditions, preparation, and preservation. As a general rule, it’s best to consume cooked chicken within 3 to 4 days and store it below 40°F in the refrigerator or freeze it for longer storage. Proper preparation methods, such as cooking to the proper temperature, can also help prevent foodborne illness. Lastly, preservation methods such as vacuum sealing or storing in airtight containers can help extend the freshness of rotisserie chicken. Remember to check for the sell-by date on the package, but don’t rely solely on it as an indicator of freshness. Use your senses and look for signs of spoilage such as a foul smell, slimy texture, or discoloration. With proper storage and preparation, you can enjoy delicious and safe rotisserie chicken meals for days to come.