Can I put warm chicken in the fridge?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can I put warm chicken in the fridge?”, how long does chicken last in the fridge, can you get rid of bacteria by cooking the chicken, and what tips should you follow to make the juiciest chicken. 

Can I put warm chicken in the fridge?

Yes, you can put warm chicken in the fridge. The difference between hot and warm should be crystals clear to you. Chicken above 35 degrees Celcius is technically considered hot. You are not allowed to put the hot chicken in the fridge for various reasons. 

Firstly, it puts stress on your fridge. Putting hot food in the fridge might become a habit that will eventually overwork the machine resulting in a broken fridge. 

Secondly, hot food will raise the temperature of its surroundings. This may hasten the spoilage or compromise the safety of the nearby foods such as fruits, meat, veggies, or milk. 

The ideal way of storing cooked chicken starts with allowing the chicken to reach room temperature. A few degrees above room temperature are also acceptable. 

Do not leave the chicken on the counter for more than 2 hours or one hour if the surrounding temperature is above 90F. Sticking to this 2-hour rule is imperative to ensure food safety. 

When the chicken is warm enough to be handled easily, pack it in an air-tight container and put it in the fridge or freezer. Leaving the chicken in the danger zone, i.e at temperatures between 5° C and 60° C, is malpractice that facilitates bacterial growth. This is the optimum temperature range for the growth of microbes. 

To make the cooling process quick, you can place the chicken container over an ice cube bowl, spread it, or cut it into smaller pieces. The less time chicken spends on the counter after cooking, the less likely it is to spoil fast.

How long does chicken last in the fridge?

Cooked chicken should not be kept for more than 4 days in the fridge. Refrigeration and freezing do not stop the degradation or microbial growth. They merely slow it down. Freezing does a better job though. 

After 4 days of refrigeration, the chicken may not necessarily become unfit for consumption but it will surely undergo noticeable changes in quality.

Can you get rid of bacteria by cooking the chicken?

Yes, cooking does help you get rid of the pathogenic bacteria in the chicken. But it cannot destroy the toxins produced by pathogenic microbes. Toxins can withstand cooking temperatures and cause food intoxication. 

The USDA recommends cooking your chicken to a safe internal temperature of 165°F to kill the harmful bacteria. Use a thermometer to correctly gauge the temperature of the chicken. 

Tips to make a juicy and tender chicken 

Sear the chicken before cooking it in the oven  

If your chicken always turns out rubbery and chewy, you are cooking it wrong. The correct way to go about it is to first sear the chicken in a greased pan over medium-high heat. 

This step will seal the juices inside the chicken by forming an outer crust while also heating it to a safe minimum internal temperature. The subsequent cooking in the oven at a low temperature will make sure the chicken comes out nice and juicy. 

Use bricks and foil for tender chicken 

Using the brick and foil method will help you get a nice and even crust on the chicken. The result is an evenly grilled or cooked chicken with the juiciest core.

Learn the art of marination 

The key ingredients of a good marinade include olive oil, lemon zest, lemon pepper, cayenne, paprika, and some honey. Do not miss any of the mentioned ingredients if you are conscious of how your chicken tastes. 

To make the marinade penetrate your chicken to the maximum, prick it with pork all over its surface before marination. We swear by this technique as it never fails.

Do not overcook 

Refrain from overcooking your chicken if you want juices oozing out of it when you slice it. Give it nice charr so it looks good. Balance the time and temperature combinations to yield a soft and tender chicken. Play with the cooking time and temperature to get the chicken charred on the outside and soft on the inside.


In this article, we answered the question “Can I put warm chicken in the fridge?”, how long does chicken last in the fridge, can you get rid of bacteria by cooking the chicken, and what tips should you follow to make the juiciest chicken. 


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