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Store bought roasted chicken - how long ok in the fridge?

Anyone have a general rule of thumb on this? Ours are usually gone pretty quickly, but we have one that's been hanging around about 5 days. Too long?

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  1. If you take the meat off the bone as soon as you bring it home, I'd say it's good for about 3 days in the fridge. Beyond that, you'll have to do a taste test. If the meat tastes gummy, mushy, rubbery or off in any way, turf it. I'm not sure why leaving meat on the bone shortens its life in the fridge, but I've always read that after roasting a turkey, to save the leftovers you should separate the meat from the bones. The bones can be frozen for use in stocks and soups. The meat should be consumed within a few days.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 1sweetpea

      That's only because it will cool down faster if it's not on the bone, especially with a large bird like a turkey. It doesn't make any difference to a supermarket roast chicken because it's much smaller to begin with.

      I've found that cooked chicken is good for four or five days. It gets a slightly funky taste before it's actually 'off' so I do a nibble test before I use it. If I want to freeze the carcass I pull all the meat off the bones within two days.

    2. I usually rely on this website for those sort of questions:


      3 Replies
      1. re: arktos

        Wow - what a great site! I'm leaning towards tossing. Just hate the waste.

        1. re: harrison

          +1 on that site. How great is that? Thanks!

          1. re: harrison

            I'd open it, sniff and feel...then if it seems okay, I'd make stock with it.

        2. 5 days should be ok assuming you haven't torn through it with dirty hands. Give it a try...

          1. Five days is usually ok. Seven gets iffy.

            1. had a tummy ache and slight squitters after a small piece of cold organic chicken but can I use it for chicken soup??? could be 3 - 4 days old..........urggghhh

              1. we have a 3 day rule for all purchased cooked food and deli.
                Why take a chance on illness/

                1. Just a warning to all.... What YOU cook in YOUR home, is totally different than how food is prepared in a grocery store by someone else. Many times, several hands have had a role in its preparation. Guidelines for employees are not always followed. As a safety precaution, I would NEVER go past 3 days. (Especially with chicken.) It's just not worth it. Don't say you weren't warned.........

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Phoebe

                    That's our rule as stated above, AND to quote my 90+ year old mother:

                    WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      I still go by that old adage too!!! What I don't get is the risk that people are willing to take. Why? It is NEVER worth the sickness that can be brought on by something that's gone bad.

                    2. re: Phoebe

                      But rotisserie chickens go straight from the oven to the containers...there's very little room for contamination.

                    3. 3 days is about my cutoff date too for roti chicken. Usually when it gets old it'll start to turn greyish, and that "rotisserie" smell/flavor will be gone.