Raw chicken is one of the scariest foods to store after opening. Without taking proper care and storage, it will become stale and unhealthy.
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It may also lead to bacterial growth. But, don’t worry! You can easily store the whole raw chicken for a year, but it totally depends on the storage process.
Keeping a whole chicken in the refrigerator will increase its shelf-life and protect from bacterial attack.
How To Store Raw Chicken After Opening
In this part, you will know how you can store and handle raw chicken once you have opened it.
For 48 hours – If you make your mind to store the raw chicken for 48 hours or less than 48 hours, then you can simply follow the steps below:
Only 2 Things You’ll Need to Complete The Storing Process
- Towel or cloth
- A large box or bowl / Ziploc bag
Let’s follow the steps
Step – 1: First off, you should clean the whole chicken properly. Then use a clean towel or paper to pat dry.
Step – 2: Use a large box to keep the whole chicken and then keep it in the refrigerator.
Step – 3: If you do not want to store it in a large box, then you can alternatively use a big Ziploc bag. Remember, you need to seal it properly.
Besides, if you can also use a large bowl to store the whole chicken, cover it properly and put it in the refrigerator.
For 24 hours – But if you want to store the raw chicken for the next 24 hours, you can brine the chicken then refrigerate it by following the above steps.
Now you’re done.
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Does Raw Chicken Go Bad Faster Once Opened
Raw chicken can go bad faster once you have opened it or removed it from the packet. So, you want to know the reason, right?
Remember, when you remove the raw chicken from its packaging, you expose it to oxygen. Oxygen helps to faster bacterial growth.
So, bacteria grows faster on the opened raw chicken and becomes very dangerous sooner.
But if you keep the raw chicken in the refrigerator, it will slow down the bacterial growth long enough.
So, you can keep the raw chicken for more days. You can also wrap the raw chicken in a plastic bag or wrap it to reduce contact with oxygen.
Also, it helps to extend the shelf-life.
What Is The Right Temperature To Store Raw Chicken?
If you want to store the raw chicken in the refrigerator, it is better to keep the temperature at or below 40°F.
As dangerous bacteria can start to grow at above 40 degrees temperature. In case you go for freezing, then you should keep the temperature at 0° or lower.
According to the USDA, the temperature above 40°F is considered a danger zone for bacteria breeding.
The USDA also suggests cooking the chicken at 165°F. With a meat thermometer, you can also check the temperature of the thickest part of the chicken.
How Long Can You Keep Raw Chicken After Opening?
According to the USDA, once you have opened the chicken from its package, you should store it in the refrigerator for not more than two days.
If you go for freezing, then the USDA suggests exceeding more than nine months, but you need to store at below zero degrees.
Most of the household freezers are frequently opened and closed multiple times a day. So, it can fluctuate the internal temperature of the freezer.
Because of frequent temperature fluctuation, storing the raw chicken frozen for three months to maintain the quality is better. But you need to cook the chicken properly. Otherwise, it may cause harm.
Why Do You Need To Store Raw Chicken After Opening?
It is essential to store the raw chicken once you have opened it from the packaging. As bacteria and viruses spread rapidly, it is very important for us to store the raw chicken properly.
Raw chicken is an ideal breeding place for salmonella and E.coli. These are very dangerous and harmful bacteria, so you should not mess with them.
Bacteria can start to grow at above 40 degrees F temperature. So, if you want to extend your chicken’s storage life, it is better to store it below 40 degrees F.
However, cooking heat can kill most of the bacteria. But remember, it cannot destroy the toxin left by these dangerous bacteria.
These toxins can make you sick. So, it is very crucial to store the raw chicken and check it before you cook it.
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Safety First When Dealing With Raw Chicken
To avoid cross-contamination and chicken or food poisoning, you should take proper safety precautions when dealing with raw chicken.
Before and after storing and handling raw meat, you need to use hot and soapy water for 20 seconds.
So, you should wash your hands, cutting board, knives, other tools, sink, and other working surfaces after dealing with the raw chicken.
For raw chicken, you can use dedicated cutting boards. Never reuse the cutting boards or knives until they are not washed and sanitized properly to prepare other meals.
You can use a plastic cutting board as it is easy to clean and use. On the other hand, a wooden cutting board can become a breeding place for bacteria.
So, it is better not to use a wooden cutting board.
Never cook raw chicken if it has a gray spot or leaves a sour smell. It is better to throw it in the dustbin.
Know How To Handle Raw Chicken While Storing?
Before you handle and touch the raw chicken, you should clean your hands properly with soap water.
So, you need to make sure that you have properly cleaned your hands. Also, you can use kitchen gloves to handle the raw meat and clean the whole chicken.
Once you are done with cleaning your chicken, use soap water or hand wash to clean your hands correctly. Along with that, you should also clean the cutting surface and washing area.
Remember, you need to clean your container or box that you will use to store the chicken and seal it tightly.
Before you keep the chicken in the container, ensure that there is no liquid or water present in the container. Because it may cause bacterial growth.
Is It Safe To Store Raw Chicken Uncovered In The Refrigerator?
I never suggest you store the raw chicken uncovered in the refrigerator. Because an uncovered chicken has a short storage life compared to the covered chicken.
Besides, if you store your chicken uncovered, it will become very dry and inedible. Also, it will become a great breeding place for bacteria.
So, it has a huge risk of cross-contamination and food poisoning.
Uncovered chicken can come in direct contact with the other food stored in the refrigerator and spread bacteria.
Another important reason to cover the chicken is that if you uncover your chicken, it can easily absorb the refrigerator’s odor and make the taste bad.
So, if you want to avoid these unpleasant incidents, then it is better to cover your chicken and store it.
How To Store Raw Chicken Curry Cut Pieces
By following the mentioned steps, you can simply store the raw chicken curry cut pieces for a month safely.
Proper storage can enhance its shelf-life without compromising hygiene factors.
Things You’ll Need:
- Container or small box
- Aluminum foil or silver pouches
Step – 1: You need to clean the chicken cut pieces. No blood should be present. If blood is present and you store the chicken pieces with blood.
Then the liquid blood will form solid ice, which is very unhealthy and also unhygienic. So, remove the blood and clean the chicken pieces properly. Then allow it to rest for some time.
Step – 2: If you want to keep it for 24 hours, then you can keep it in a container and refrigerate it. For more than 24 hours, you can put it in the freezer section.
Step – 3: It is better to create several curry cut pieces in a few different containers or small boxes to store for a few days.
Creating batches also will help to avoid contamination. You can use aluminum foil or silver pouches to keep them in several batches.
Also, you can use Ziploc bags for creating multiple batches. But I suggest you use aluminum foil or silver pouches.
As they give better results and also come at a budget-friendly price.
Isn’t it simple?
With these methods and steps, you can easily store your raw chicken, cut curry pieces, leftover chicken, and thaw frozen chicken.
Some Useful Tips For You To Get Better Result On Storing Chicken
- Never leave the raw chicken for a longer time. It does not only develop bacteria but also can cause foodborne illnesses and food poisoning.
- Always try to store it properly and air-tightly.
- You should rinse the chicken well before starting to cook it.
- Never let your raw chicken touch the other food. Because it can cause cross-contamination.
- Always remember to wash your hands after storing and handling the chicken
Do You Know About Freezing Leftover Raw Chicken If It Once Opened?
If you are a forward-thinker and do not want to waste a single piece of your chicken. Then you can go for long-term storage once it has opened.
But you also need to be careful about freezer burn.
Do You Want To Know – What Is Freezer Burn?
Freezer burn means when food becomes dehydrated because of exposure to the outside air. Also, ice crystals can form on the food.
Besides, your food can become discolored.
But freezer burnt food is not harmful and dangerous to eat. But it can affect the food’s taste and flavor.
Now here are the stepwise instructions on freezing the leftover raw chicken once opened.
Things You’ll Need:
- Plastic wrap
- Ziploc freezer bag or foil.
Step – 1: Firstly, wrap every piece of raw chicken in plastic wrap. Most of the time, freezer burn takes place when air can pass through the container.
So, remember to use air-tight plastic wrap to store the chicken leftover pieces.
Step – 2: Now it is time to keep the plastic-wrapped chicken leftovers in a foil or Ziploc freezer bag.
You need to squeeze all the air out from the Ziploc freezer bag. It will help to increase the storage life of chicken pieces.
Step – 3: Before you put the leftover chicken pieces in the freezer, it is better to label each bag with the date.
So, it is easy for you to memorize how long the chicken can survive in the freezer.
Except for this method, you can also apply other methods to store your raw leftover chicken pieces.
You can also vacuum-seal the raw meat, and it is another effective solution to avoid freezer burn.
Besides, you can flash-freeze it by putting it on a baking sheet. Then put it in the refrigerator. But flash-freezes can cause freezer burn.