Can You Eat Frozen Cooked Chicken Without Reheating It?

Frozen cooked chicken is a great staple for any household kitchen given the wide variety of ways it can be utilized within meals. But just because it is frozen does not mean it has to be reheated. Typically cooked chicken lasts a few days in the fridge.

Frozen cooked chicken can be eaten without reheating it first. Thawing is the best way to prepare frozen cooked chicken for consumption if you do not want to reheat it in an oven, microwave, stove or other method.

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How Is Eating Frozen Cooked Chicken Safe?

While eating uncooked chicken is very dangerous due to risks of salmonella poisoning and other bacterial infections, eating frozen cooked chicken does not pose the same risks.

The keyword for why this is safe is frozen cooked chicken. Given that the meat has already been cooked before being frozen, all bacteria and other inconsumable aspects of raw meat have been eliminated in the process. 

As long as you are not consuming frozen raw chicken, and the meat has in fact been cooked, there is nothing to worry about. Feel free to chow down on frozen cooked chicken without having to worry about reheating it or getting sick. 

Best Ways To Consume Frozen Cooked Chicken Without Reheating It

While some may enjoy cooked chicken still frozen, most are looking to add it to dishes unfrozen without reheating it. 

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The best way to consume frozen cooked chicken without reheating it is by thawing it. You can choose to thaw by either placing the frozen chicken in the refrigerator or in cold water.

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Defrosting In The Refrigerator

If you choose to defrost your chicken in the refrigerator, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the chicken from the freezer at least twenty four hours before you need to have it thawed.
  2. Place the desired amount in an airtight plastic bag or container with a lid.
  3. Put it in the refrigerator until fully defrosted, about 24 to 48 hours depending on the size.
  4. Use within one to two days of thawing.

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Defrosting With Cold Water

Defrosting with cold water is a quicker method of thawing that may be used when you do not want to wait a day or so to serve and eat the chicken. Chicken marsala can also be served in addition.. If that sounds more your speed, here’s how to do it:

  1. Place the chicken in an airtight plastic bag or keep in sealed packaging.
  2. Fill a bowl or basin up with cold water to a high enough level to completely submerge all of the chicken.
  3. Change the water every half an hour to ensure it stays cold.
  4. Once the chicken has thawed, serve immediately. 

The water must be changed during this method to remain cold so that it does not enter the ‘danger zone’ of temperatures for poultry that allow bacteria to grow. 

In Conclusion

When thawing, always ensure you use a refrigerator or cold water. Never thaw cooked chicken on a countertop or other open air space, as these temperatures are not safe and can allow for bacteria to grow.

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Frozen cooked chicken is a great staple that can be prepared without reheating. All you need to do is thaw and serve however you like, such as with salad or on top of a pizza you are making. 

Be sure to keep those leftovers frozen when you cook chicken and use them at a later date in a delicious way!