Does Frozen Chicken Go Bad

Does Frozen Chicken Go Bad?

Chicken is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes and meals. The issue is that fresh chicken has a relatively short shelf life and a high risk of bacteria growth if left out for an extended period of time. Freezing chicken extends its shelf life and keeps it fresher for longer. However, there are still risks associated with freezing chicken!

Does frozen chicken spoil? Chicken can be kept in the freezer indefinitely because freezing stops bacterial growth, but after a certain amount of time, the quality of the chicken will deteriorate (both in taste and texture) and the risk of freezer burn will increase. So, while the chicken may not spoil in the freezer, it may become unpalatable to eat. You should still look for signs that your chicken has gone bad, as it may have spoiled before freezing. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know!

Can Chicken Go Bad In The Freezer?

Chicken can stay fresh for a longer period of time by being frozen. For instance, a whole, raw chicken can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months instead of just a few days. After 12 months, freezer burn will cause the chicken to lose its best quality and dry out, so this recommended time frame shows when the chicken will maintain its best quality. The chicken is largely rendered inedible as a result, and it may not be worth eating.

However, when chicken is frozen, bacterial growth is halted; as a result, it cannot spoil and cannot potentially cause food poisoning. The chicken won’t spoil in the freezer, but once it is taken out and allowed to thaw, bacteria growth can resume and the chicken may eventually spoil.

How Long Can Chicken Be Frozen For?

The length of time you can freeze chicken depends on what part of the chicken you are freezing and whether it is cooked or not! A whole, raw chicken can be frozen for up to 12 months if properly packaged and kept at a temperature below 0°F. Raw chicken pieces or diced chicken can only be frozen for up to 9 months before losing quality. Cooked chicken can only be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months, after which the taste and texture will likely change. Even though these times are adequate for keeping chicken frozen, keep in mind that the longer chicken is kept in the freezer, the lower its quality. The best option is to keep the chicken in the freezer for a few months.

How To Freeze Chicken To Prevent It From Going Bad

When kept at a constant temperature, frozen chicken won’t spoil in areas with higher bacterial growth, but the quality may drop off quickly over time. After some time, the taste and texture of the chicken will change, but it is still supposedly safe to eat. You must properly prepare the chicken for freezing in order to delay freezer burn and maintain the chicken’s freshest quality for a longer period of time. In spite of the fact that many people put chicken in the freezer while it is still in its packaging, this method does not adequately protect chicken from freezer burn.

Chicken should be taken out of its original packaging and put into a resealable freezer bag before freezing in order to preserve its best quality. Prior to sealing, you would need to get rid of as much air as you can. As an alternative, you could put the chicken inside a freezer container that is airtight. Regardless of what you decide, label the packaging with the date that it was frozen so that you can use it within the advised time frame.

Repackaging the chicken for freezing will allow it to maintain its best quality in the freezer for a longer period of time, preventing freezer burn and ensuring that the chicken has a good flavor and texture when you do decide to eat it.

How To Tell If Chicken Has Gone Bad

Because it can be difficult to tell if your chicken has gone bad when it is frozen, you should let it thaw slightly or completely before deciding whether it is safe to eat. Here are some signs that the chicken has gone bad after it has thawed or partially thawed!

Bad Odor

When chicken smells bad, one of the first signs that it has gone bad. It is best to discard the chicken if you notice any unusual odors because they are a surefire indication that the chicken has gone bad. Chicken shouldn’t have an off or sour smell.


The skin of the chicken should be pink, with pinkish, clear meat and white fat. If you notice any gray, yellow, or green spots or discoloration, discard the chicken. Any unusual color on the chicken indicates that it has begun to spoil and is no longer safe to eat.

Slimy Texture

A slimy texture on the outside of the chicken is another indication that it has spoiled or is starting to rot. It is much safer to simply throw the sliminess away rather than try to wash it off or cut it away.

The Best Way To Thaw Chicken

You must safely defrost chicken to keep it in the best possible condition and to avoid an increase in bacteria growth during the thawing process. Depending on how much time you have available to allow the chicken to defrost, there are three safe ways to do so!

1. In The Fridge

Chicken should thaw in the refrigerator over night for the safest method of defrosting. Depending on how big the chicken is, you can let it thaw in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Though you’ll need to prepare for it, it does allow the chicken to thaw at a temperature that discourages bacterial development. The chicken can stay in the refrigerator for up to two days after it has defrosted there.

2. In A Cold Water Bath

If you don’t have time to let the chicken defrost overnight in the fridge, you can try defrosting it in a cold water bath. To do this, fill a large bowl halfway with cold water. The bowl should be large enough to accommodate the chicken. Fill the bowl halfway or more, depending on how much chicken you’re thawing.

Place the chicken in the cold water bath and set it aside to defrost. Small amounts of chicken should defrost in about an hour, but larger portions may take up to three hours. To keep the chicken thawing and at a cool temperature, change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the chicken as soon as it has thawed.

3. In The Microwave

You can microwave the chicken to defrost it for a quick fix. The chicken would need to be taken out of the packaging and put on a plate that can go in the microwave. Defrost or 50% power should be selected for the microwave. For a whole chicken, set the timer to 10 minutes and for a chicken breast, to 7 minutes. The chicken should be cooked right away after defrosting.

Final Thoughts

Frozen chicken cannot spoil in the freezer if kept at a constant temperature because bacteria growth is halted at freezing temperatures. Chicken can be ruined in the freezer if it is not properly protected or if it is left in the freezer for an extended period of time. This causes freezer burn, causing the chicken to lose its best qualities — the taste and texture will be poor. Keep in mind all of the signs that chicken has spoiled and only freeze chicken for the recommended amount of time to ensure that it retains its best quality.

Related Questions

Here are some more queries we thought you might have now that we’ve covered whether chicken can go bad in the freezer, how to tell if it’s gone bad, and how to properly freeze and thaw your chicken.

What does spoiled chicken taste like?

Spoiled chicken with a strong odor should not be consumed. The odor of off chicken is sour, fishy, and almost sulfurous, similar to that of rotten eggs. If any of these odors are detected, the chicken should be discarded.

Does chicken smell different after freezing?

Chicken should not smell different after it has been frozen. The only time chicken will smell different after freezing is if it has spoiled.

Does chicken become slimy when defrosted?

Chicken that has been frozen and then defrosted should not be slimy. It might be slightly moist, but it should not be slimy.

If the chicken is slimy, then it has gone off.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *