Rotisserie chicken is a convenient and delicious meal option for busy people. It’s often cooked and ready to go, so no need to start from scratch in the kitchen. This is a fantastic thing for anyone who wants to whip up a quick dinner for themselves or their family. But, how long can a rotisserie chicken sit out before it becomes a food-safety hazard? Let’s take a closer look.
Rotisserie chickens are a favorite because they’re pre-cooked, and taste perfect with vegetables or hummus, meaning they’re safe to eat right off the grocery shelf. But when you get one home, this doesn’t mean you can leave it on the counter indefinitely. Most experts advise against sitting the chicken out for more than a few hours.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to the length of time a rotisserie chicken can remain at room temperature. First, the chicken should be refrigerated as soon as possible after it’s purchased. The longer the chicken sits at room temperature, the more food-safety risks you’re taking. Generally, after approximately two hours at room temperature, the chicken needs to be refrigerated or thrown away.
The temperature of the room is also a factor. The ideal temperature for keeping chicken from spoiling is 40°F or below. At hotter temperatures, bacteria can quickly multiply and make the chicken unsafe to eat. This is why it’s important to store rotisserie chicken in the fridge or a cool place as soon as possible.
It’s also important to note that what you do with the cooked chicken affects how long it can remain on the counter. If you’re planning to refrigerate leftovers, they can stay on the counter for no more than two hours. If you’re planning to eat the chicken right away, it can remain out of the fridge for up to two hours. However, the two-hour limit applies whether you’re planning to refrigerate the leftovers or not.
It’s also vital to use the right cookware and storage containers when it comes to eating rotisserie chicken safely. Once cooked, it’s important to use clean utensils when serving the chicken, and to discard any pieces you haven’t used immediately after its been served. You should also make sure that any leftovers are stored in clean, airtight containers and refrigerated for up to four days.
The bottom line is that rotisserie chicken can be stored safely for up to two hours. After that, it’s important to refrigerate the chicken or discard it. Keeping the rotisserie chicken at a cool temperature and using the right cookware and storage containers will help keep the chicken’s flavor and also ensure safe food consumption. So, unless you’re planning to eat it right away, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator as soon as possible.
How to store Rotisserie Chicken?
Storing rotisserie chicken can be a tricky affair. On the one hand, it’s a delicious, premade meal that requires no effort or time to prepare. On the other hand, it’s important to store it correctly to stay safe to consume and retain its flavor and texture. To ensure the quality of your rotisserie chicken, the first step is to understand the available different storage methods.
The most important factor when it comes to storing rotisserie chicken is temperature. This includes the temperature of the chicken when it’s purchased and the temperature of the refrigerator or freezer it’s stored in. To maximize freshness, rotate out any rotisserie chicken you’re storing in the refrigerator and replace it with the new chicken you bought. This ensures that the chicken stored in the refrigerator is at its freshest. Once the new chicken is added, move the existing chicken to the freezer.
When it’s time to freeze leftover rotisserie chicken, it’s important to remember that cold air keeps bacteria from multiplying. For this reason, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe container. Also, label the package with the date it was purchased. It’s best to store rotisserie chicken within 2-3 months of purchase, however, if it is stored correctly in a freezer, it should still be of good quality for up to 6 months.
Once you’ve removed the rotisserie chicken from the freezer, it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator. Although it might be tempting to thaw the chicken at room temperature, this can create a conducive environment for bacteria to grow. It’s best to give yourself several hours to thaw rotisserie chicken in the refrigerator as opposed to leaving it at room temperature.
An additional factor to consider when storing rotisserie chicken is how much space it is taking up in the refrigeration and/or freezer unit. Refrigerators can lose cold air quickly when multiple items are placed side-by-side. Rotisserie chicken should be stored in a single layer on the refrigerator shelf or in an air-tight container for optimal freshness. The same goes for the freezer; really cold air helps to keep the chicken from becoming freezer burned, so make sure to leave enough space between items so that air can circulate evenly.
Finally, it’s important to remember that reheating rotisserie chicken is always preferred to eating it cold or at room temperature. Allowing the chicken to reach room temperature before reheating allows the heat to penetrate it more thoroughly, which helps to kill any bacteria that may have developed in colder temperatures. For best results, reheat rotisserie chicken in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees F and use a food thermometer to verify that it reaches 165 degrees F.
Learning how to store rotisserie chicken correctly can be an invaluable tool for meal prepping and saving time. With the knowledge of how to properly store rotisserie chicken, you can ensure that your family enjoys its freshness and flavor for weeks – and even months – to come.
I have always loved cooking and discovering new flavors. My hobby gradually grew into a serious hobby and now I write about food professionally on my blog. For almost a year now, I’ve been sharing my thoughts with the world and helping many people find their perfect “recipe” 🙂