How To Freeze A Whole Chicken
You can freeze a whole chicken, simply remove the giblets from the chicken and place it on a cutting board. Remove the remaining fat using a paper towel, place the chicken in a freezer bag and freeze for 3 days. After 3 days, remove it from the freezer, thaw it, rinse with cold water, put in a freezer bag, and again freeze it until ready to cook.
The method that you use to defrost your cooked chicken will determine if you can safely freeze it again. There is, however, a method by which you can refreeze the chicken safely, and that is if you defrost the chicken in a refrigerator, and then keep it under 40F. While a cooked chicken will keep up to one week in the refrigerator, if you are looking to store a bird longer, freezing is a better option.
If you cannot freeze chicken for 24-48 hours, keep your chicken in a refrigerator and try to use it ASAP. As long as you have put leftovers into a refrigerator first, to get rid of any bacteria, then you are good to go with freezing. You can put any remaining chicken back in the freezer using the same methods described above.
Once frozen, a whole chicken can be moved into your main freezer compartment, where it will stay frozen for 4-6 months, or longer. If you purchase a whole chicken, but have no plans on using it within the next 2 days, then it needs to stay in the freezer. Once frozen, it will last up to 12 months in your freezer for raw chicken, or up to four months for cooked chicken. In fact, you can store an entire raw chicken frozen for up to one year or longer, provided that it is kept deep frozen.
If your whole raw chicken is not frozen yet, you will want to place it into a freezer-safe Ziploc-style bag, removing all air before sealing. If you have chicken from the roaster, you can either freeze it whole in a Ziploc-style freezer bag, or you can debone and freeze it in smaller freezer bags. For easy later use, you can chop whole, raw chickens into pieces and freeze individual pieces in smaller freezer bags. Place a whole chicken into a sealable freezer bag or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, making sure you get rid of all air.
|Whole Chicken||4-6 months|
|Raw Chicken||Last up to 12 months|
Freezing the entire chicken ensures your meat stays fresh for months beyond the storage period in your freezer. Freezing will make sure the meat stays fresh, meaning that you do not need to throw away any extra chicken that has gone bad.
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It is also important that you defrost the chicken at low settings, or else the exterior can be cooked while the interior remains frozen. Freezing chicken individually makes using the chicken a lot easier, since you can defrost just the right amount instead of defrosting the whole chicken and risking that it will be wasted. The other drawback of freezing an entire, uncooked chicken is that you have to thaw it before you can use it. Freezing chicken can be a great way to save money, as you are able to purchase a large quantity of chicken when it is on sale, then freeze it for later.
You can prepare a chicken breast, and then freeze it, but you have to allow it to cool down to the right temperature, which is typically just slightly above room temperature. When you are ready to freeze a cooked chicken breast, wrap it in parchment paper, then in foil, and then put in a sealed bag.
When you are ready to cook your frozen chicken, simply remove from the freezer and allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge. You can also thaw frozen chicken in the microwave, but if you are going to use this method, you will need to plan on cooking it right after thawing it in order to keep germs from growing. To defrost a roasted chicken, remove it from the freezer and place in the refrigerator overnight or a few hours, until fully thawed. You can store your frozen roast chicken for around four months before it starts to deteriorate in flavor and quality.
Fortunately, spoilage is not going to be an issue most of the time, and you will be able to freeze your roast chicken just fine and enjoy at a later date. Not only can you freeze a roast chicken, it freezes really well, and if you have frozen it correctly, it should taste as good after you have frozen it as when you cooked it fresh. We cannot ever say the chicken will be quite as nice when it is freshly roasted right from the oven, but overall, it does freeze well and you cannot really tell a lot of difference between a fresh and a frozen chicken. It is pretty common to end up with chicken left over from a big roasting dinner, and the good news is you can freeze it, so none of it has to go to waste.
This will decrease the risk of germs from multiplying on any unutilized cooked chicken, potentially making you sick. Storage will prevent the chicken from drying out, keep the chicken from absorbing any other odors from the fridge, and keep the rest of your food and surfaces in your fridge from becoming cross-contaminated. If your chicken is wrapped or bagged, store on a platter or in a tray with a lip so that any spills are prevented. Before packing your entire chicken for the roaster and getting ready for the freezer, be sure to preheat to an appropriate temperature, not less than 140 degrees (60).
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Raw chicken can last indefinitely in a freezer, provided that it is stored correctly, but the USDA recommends using it within one year if the chicken is whole, and nine months if it is been cut up.
Can you freeze fresh whole chicken?
After freezing, it doesn’t matter whether any package dates are over their expiration date because chicken may be maintained continually frozen and permanently safe. Keep whole raw chicken in the freezer for up to a year; pieces for nine months; and giblets or ground chicken for three to four months for the best quality, flavor, and texture.
Can you freeze whole chicken in its original packaging?
You can freeze meat like whole chicken directly in its original packaging. However, be mindful that this type of packaging is permeable to the air and the quality of the chicken can deteriorate over time. Thus, for long-term preservation, you should overwrap the whole chicken packaging and then store it in the freezer.
Can I freeze whole chicken in zip lock bags?
You should place chicken in zip lock freezer bags and press out as much air as possible before sealing the bags and placing them in the freezer. Raw chicken can last indefinitely in the freezer if stored adequately, but the USDA suggests that you use it within a year if it is whole or within 9 months if it has been cut into parts.