Can You Put Warm Chicken in the Fridge? Complete Guide

Can You Put Warm Chicken in the Fridge

Can You Put Warm Chicken in the Fridge? Refrigerating heated chicken reduces the growth and multiplication of bacteria that can create difficulties later on. Salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, and ecoli are known to contaminate exposed food. Can you refrigerate heated chicken? Warm chicken can be stored in the refrigerator. To prevent spoilage, it is best to store your chicken in the fridge while it is still warm.

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So, where does the myth that you can’t store warm food in the fridge come from?

It stems from a misunderstanding of what constitutes hot or warm food. While both are subjective concepts, there are clear distinctions between them.

Can You Put Warm Chicken in the Fridge
Can You Put Warm Chicken in the Fridge

Items that are warm are only slightly warmer than room temperature. They are plainly hotter than room temperature, but not hot enough to scorch the skin or cause a fast withdrawal reaction when touched. Hot things, on the other hand, are much hotter and can scorch the flesh when touched.

Food items below 35°C (95°F) can be considered warm, while anything beyond might be considered hot.

While some refrigerators can handle hot food, it is best to avoid storing hot meals in your fridge. Can You Put Warm Chicken in the Fridge This is mostly due to the fact that hot food causes the refrigerator to work more to maintain the temperature stable.

When kept in the fridge, hot chicken, in particular, is prone to deteriorating. This is due to the fact that the food will warm up the air in the fridge, and the resulting warmth might allow germs to thrive in the food. It can even damage other fruits and vegetables you had in the fridge in rare circumstances.

How Long Can I Keep Chicken in the Fridge After Cooking?

Because hot chicken is dangerous for your fridge, you must wait for it to cool. Knowing how long to wait, on the other hand, is critical. Waiting too long can exacerbate the situation.

Allowing cooked chicken to cool for roughly two hours is a good rule of thumb. Can You Put Warm Chicken in the Fridge After two hours, you can place it in the refrigerator.

If chicken is left out for more than two hours after it has been cooked, it enters the “danger zone.” This word refers to temperatures that are neither warm nor chilly for the chicken. The danger zone is typically defined as being between 5° C and 60° C.

Bacteria are more active and reproduce more quickly in the risk zone. Allowing your chicken to cool into the danger zone can result in food contamination.

If you’re in a hurry, use ice or chop your chicken into smaller pieces to speed up the cooling process.

How Long Can Cooked Chicken Be Stored in the Fridge?

Freezing chicken aids in its preservation by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms in it. Most bacteria slow down when exposed to cold environments, which lowers their reproductive rate. However, your refrigerator can only do so much.

Raw chicken should only be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Can You Put Warm Chicken in the Fridge Cooked chicken, on the other hand, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.

If you leave your chicken in the fridge for more than four days, it will go bad. Some of the warning signs of rotten chicken include a slimy texture, a change in color, and strange odors.

If you find that your cooked chicken is going bad, throw it away. Bacteria often contaminate bad chicken, and eating it can cause food poisoning, which can lead to hospitalization.

Is it true that cooking chicken kills all bacteria?

Bacteria are your chicken’s biggest adversaries. It is found naturally everywhere and prefers to feed on organic items such as chicken. However, when these bacteria are consumed in large quantities, they become poisonous.

Because raw chicken contains salmonella bacteria, proper cooking and storage procedures are critical.

Cooking chicken kills the majority of the bacteria in it. Can You Put Warm Chicken in the Fridge However, this can only happen if the dish is completely cooked and at the proper internal temperature.

The cooking method, type of chicken, and cooking time are the most essential factors in determining whether your food is safe to eat. Roasting chicken takes more time than boiling or grilling. It is advised that you cook the chicken to an internal temperature of at least 165°F for all cooking methods.

What exactly is the 4 hour/2 hour Rule?

When studying how to keep cooked chicken, you may come across the 4 hour/2 hour rule. It is the universally accepted rule of thumb when dealing with cooked food that needs to be refrigerated. The guideline is based on how quickly bacteria grow on food and how quickly the food becomes unsafe to consume.

According to the 4 hour/2 hour rule, if cooked food is left at room temperature for less than 2 hours, it is acceptable to use or refrigerate. Can You Put Warm Chicken in the Fridge Between 2 and 4 hours, the dish is still edible but not optimal. Food that has been left at room temperature for more than 4 hours, on the other hand, is no longer safe to eat and should be discarded.

This preventive precaution, sometimes known as the 2 hour/4 hour rule, pertains to a certain type of foods. It notably pertains to foods including cooked meat, dairy, cooked vegetables and fruits, rice, pasta, and egg-containing processed foods. You must be aware of the guideline once you have these items at room temperature.


Chicken is a common household staple, and most people consume it frequently. Given that you will be eating chicken for the foreseeable future, here are some thoughts we hope you will take away from this:

Warm chicken can be refrigerated.

After cooking your chicken, allow it to cool for no more than two hours before transferring it to the refrigerator.

Cooking kills the majority of the microorganisms in chicken. Can You Put Warm Chicken in the Fridge It must, however, be done completely and at the appropriate temperature.

The 4 hour/2 hour guideline governs the cooking and storage of foods such as chicken. It prevents microbial illnesses by instructing us to eat while the food is still safe.

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Hello there! Cuisine Cravings Team is a group of people who are passionate about Kitchen Ideas that developed this website to educate people on the finest kitchen techniques. We publish articles that focus on basic and fundamental cooking ideas for all levels of chefs, from beginners to specialists! Our objective is to remove the guesswork out of meal preparation so you may worry less and enjoy more! Food is an important aspect of our life, and we are excited to share our knowledge with you!

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