Grilled, roasted rotisserie chicken is delicious, it’s hard to believe when there are leftovers. When it happens, it’s normal to wonder how long does rotisserie chicken last in the refrigerator, before you can’t eat it anymore? It is important that you follow specific food safety guidelines in order to avoid any foodborne illnesses.
How Long Does Rotisserie Chicken Last In The Refrigerator?
If you properly cool the chicken before refrigerating, use airtight containers, a well-cooked bird should last 2-3 days in the refrigerator. This applies to homemade, store-bought, and takeout chicken. You can freeze leftover chicken for up to four months before eating it.
Eating it after the expiration date can cause food poisoning. You won’t notice it right away, as it can take 8-72 hours to start experiencing any symptoms.
What is Rotisserie Chicken
Rotisserie chicken is a dish that you cook with the use of an electric oven or pellet grill with a rotisserie attachment. It is cooked for several hours with seasonings you often see on BBQs like garlic, paprika, etc.
This type of chicken is roasted slowly with indirect heat which you rotate on a spit. Rotisserie chicken can be served as the main dish or the side dish. You can buy or cook your own and it doesn’t take that long as the oven or grill does most of the work.
Find out how to put a rotisserie on a Pit Boss pellet grill, so you can cook your own from home and save money.
It’s a very popular dish for backyard bbq’s and some people even buy one from grocery stores or big chain stores like Costco. But what do you do with the leftovers and how long are they good for?
This article will show you what to do with your grilled rotisserie chicken, including storing the leftovers for later use as well as how to tell when it has gone bad.
Here’s what I’ve learned from grilling and buying several rotisserie chickens.
Does Rotisserie Chicken Have to be Refrigerated?
After you’re done eating the rotisserie chicken and it has cooled down enough, it’s time to put it in the refrigerator to keep it safe. It should be stored in a refrigerator at 40°F (4°C) or less, in an airtight container.
So how long do you let it cool down? I always refrigerate the chicken right after I’m done eating, which is about 20-30 of sitting on the counter.
According to the USDA Food and Safety Inspection Service, chicken (cooked or raw) shouldn’t be left at room temperature for more than two hours. In temperatures above 90°F, the chance danger zone of the food increases.
The danger zone is the amount of time it takes for dangerous bacteria such as salmonella to grow on the food.
Paul Wrigley from the University of Liverpool who studies food poisoning organisms from chickens recommends refrigerating cooked chicken within two hours of cooking it.
Can I Refrigerate A Hot Rotisserie Chicken?
Refrigerating hot chicken increases the temperature inside the fridge, and decreases the shelf life of the poultry. In addition, when chicken is not cooled properly before refrigeration, it can cause bacteria to grow.
The best way to do this is to, remove the meat from the bones and store it in smaller containers. This entails removing all the edible parts and putting them in Pyrex or some other container.
Foods will cool down much faster when it’s in smaller containers.
If It’s too hot to use your hands, then use a knife and split it down the middle lengthwise to let the hot heat out of the center. It’ll cool much faster and won’t have to sit at room temperature for too long.
The important thing is to let the chicken come down to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator.
How Long Can A Raw Whole Chicken Last In The Fridge?
According to the USDA and U.S Food and Drug Administration, raw chicken regardless of whether it’s been seasoned or not needs to be cooked in 1-2 days. If the chicken was frozen, the timeline starts when it’s completely defrosted.
Some people like Stay at Stove Dad, say it’s safe to use week-old chicken to make chicken soup. Personally, I’d just throw it out, especially, if you know it’s bad.
But then I’ve had a case of food poisoning before and never want to go through that again.
Which brings me to the next question, how do you know it’s bad?
Signs The Rotisserie Chicken Has Gone Bad
It happens to the best of us, we plan on eating the leftover rotisserie chicken as leftovers, but then someone orders pizza, and before you know it the chicken has been sitting in the refrigerator too long.
So it’s important to know what to look for to check if the chicken is spoiled or it’s still good to eat. Below are some of the signs to look at to help decide if you should eat it or not. These signs pertain to any kind of chicken such as breasts, drumsticks, wings, whole, and thighs.
It Smells Funny
Raw chicken has a really sour or sulfur-like smell that will knock you off your feet as soon as you open the refrigerator. Cooked chicken doesn’t smell quite as bad when it starts to spoil. In fact, sometimes cooked chicken may not have a bad smell to it at all.
That said, it doesn’t smell as bad as raw chicken, so you should never rely on the smell alone.
The Color Looks Weird
Once again raw chicken will have several visible signs it has gone bad such as; mold growth, more gray-colored than pink with white fatty pieces. However, cooked rotisserie chicken has a lot of seasonings, making it hard to determine if it looks good.
That said, if you look closely, you may notice the white meat now looks grayer or green-gray colored. Depending on how long it’s been sitting in the refrigerator, it may have white spots or mold growing on it.
It Doesn’t Feel Right
It’s easy to tell when raw chicken goes bad because it’ll be slimy, sticky, or tacky. Cooked chicken that has spoiled will also have a slimy, sticky, and overly soft overlay.
Basically, when in doubt, it’s best to throw out the rotisserie chicken. I know you don’t like to throw food away, especially, with the high cost of meat. But it’s much better than spending the next 48 hours or longer feeling sick because you ate bad chicken.
If you have a rotisserie chicken in the fridge, you’ll want to use it within a few days or freeze it for up to six months.
Rotisserie chickens can be frozen in freezer bags and then used later for up to 4 months. All leftovers of refrigerated grilled or bought rotisserie chicken needs to be eaten in 1-2 days to prevent any foodborne illnesses.
You should also plan on eating any leftovers within 1-2 days. Regardless of whether it’s homemade, store-bought, and takeout rotisserie chicken.
Leftover rotisserie chicken is especially delicious when you use it to make chicken salad, sandwiches, tacos, or nachos. There are several ways to use the leftovers so it doesn’t spoil, you just have to get a little creative!