Safe keeping: storage and thawing tips
Believe it or not, the best method for thawing is the fridge.
Allow approx. 5 hours per pound. And the leftovers? You can keep those safe in the fridge for 1-2 days, or up to 9 months in the freezer.
Store fresh, raw chicken in its original unopened wrapper at 40°F or less, in the bottom, coldest part of the refrigerator. Always be sure to cook or freeze raw chicken by the “use by” or “freeze by” date on the label.
For longer storage, immediate freezing is recommended. To prevent freezer burn, wrap chicken in foil or other freezer wrap. Separate parts into individual meal-size portions before freezing, so you can later avoid defrosting more chicken than you need.
- Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking.
- Store leftovers in small portions for quicker chilling.
Can I freeze chicken in its original wrapper?
Yes, the original packaging is fine for freezing for up to two months. For longer freezing, over-wrap packages with foil, plastic wrap, freezer paper, or plastic bags.
What’s the best method for thawing frozen chicken or turkey?
The safest method is in the refrigerator. Allow approximately five hours per pound thawing time. For faster thawing, you can defrost using the microwave.
What’s the best method for thawing fully cooked, frozen poultry products?
The safest method is in the refrigerator. Allow approximately five hours per pound of thawing time. For faster thawing, you can defrost in your microwave following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Can I refreeze partially thawed raw chicken or turkey?
For the best quality, we recommend that you finish thawing the poultry and cook it completely, then immediately freeze it if desired (whole poultry should be cut into small portions prior to freezing).