How Long Can Raw Chicken Sit Out?

People are becoming more conscious about what they eat. Because of its non-toxic components, chicken meat is one of the most preferred choices for daily cooking. It can be difficult to keep chicken meat for long periods of time.

What can you do after purchasing a large portion of chicken raw? Let’s discuss how external factors affect raw chicken and how to store it. Let’s now answer the question, “how long can raw chicken sit out?”

How Long Can Raw Chicken Sit Out?

It doesn’t matter whether the chicken has been cooked or raw; it is okay to let the chicken stand for up to two hours without refrigeration. Temperatures above 90 degrees F are considered unsafe. The two-hour rule applies regardless of how the chicken is doing. This means that no matter how cold the chicken is, the two-hour rule applies regardless of whether it’s fresh meat or a frozen one.

how long can raw chicken sit out

How To Keep Raw Chicken Fresh For A Long Time?

1. Freeze The Chicken

Freezing is the best way to preserve many foods, including deli meats, raw chicken, and smoked salmon. Fresh for up to nine months. The meat can be used whenever you like. Simply take it out and let it thaw for 2 to 3 hours.

First, remove the breast. Although you can theoretically not need to cut the chicken into smaller pieces as it will not affect its storing effects, we recommend that you retain the moisture in the breast.

The breasts will become dry and mushy if they are frozen for too long. It is acceptable to freeze all parts of the chicken, except the breast.

Simply place a small amount of chicken meat in freezer bags. Then, manually push as much air out as you can. Zip the bags tightly. If you don’t own freezer bags, foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper are acceptable.

2. Place The Meat In A Refrigerator

You may be asking, “How long can chicken keep in the refrigerator?” Scientists have found that raw chicken can last up to two days in the fridge.

If you have no plans to use the chicken after 2 days, it is advisable to place the raw chicken in a freezer. If you plan to use the raw chicken within 2 days, this section will explain how to keep it in a refrigerator.

First, wash the chicken under running water. Then cut it into small pieces to store in the refrigerator. Then dry the meat with towels or tissue. This is because water can cause bacteria to thrive.

You must also ensure that it is in the coolest place in your fridge. To avoid any spoilage, please set the temperature to the lowest setting if possible. To prevent any juice or fat from getting onto other foods, we recommend that you place the raw chicken on a lower shelf. It is a good idea to wrap the chicken in foil or plastic wrap. This can reduce air exposure.

Why Does Raw Chicken Go Bad So Quickly?

Raw chicken can quickly go bad if it isn’t properly prepared.

  • Temperature

Bacteria can thrive between 40 and 140 degrees. F can reach 140 degrees. F and multiply quickly. They will breed in your food because they are hungry for survival. You now know why your fridge should always remain below 40 degrees. F. Food steamers maintain it above 140 degrees. F.

Temperatures above 40 degrees F will cause bacteria and microorganisms to multiply 4-5x faster. This allows for the growth of toxic bacteria, which can lead to the rottenness and inedibility of raw chicken.

  • Air exposure

Raw chicken exposed to air can cause bacteria densities twice as high as those found in chicken kept in sealed containers. You might not immediately notice any problems with raw chicken if it’s been out for just a few hours. This is enough time for bacteria to multiply to the point that foodborne illnesses can occur.

This is when a chicken can no longer be eaten safely. Some bacteria may not have been destroyed by the cooking process and there is a high chance of food poisoning.

How Can You Tell If Raw Chicken Is Soiled?

It is difficult to tell whether raw chicken has been spoiled. While raw chicken left out for hours may appear, smell, and feel normal, harmful bacteria and microorganisms can already have multiplied and rendered it unfit for human consumption.

What if you don’t know how long your chicken was left out? These signs are indicators that your raw chicken has gone rotten.

  • Smell

When raw chicken is rotten, it emits a sulfur-like smell. This smell is due to spoilage from dangerous bacteria. Fresh, raw chicken should not have any smell.

  • Color

A rotten raw chicken will show a greenish or greyish hue to its flesh. The fat will also turn yellow. The fresh chicken will be pale pink with white fatty bits. Normal aging of meat causes pinkness to fade or become darker.

  • Texture

A change in texture is a sign that your chicken has gone bad. Rotten chicken can feel slimy, tacky, or sticky to the touch. This is an indicator that bacteria are accumulating and tissue degradation is taking place.

How to Avoid Buying Rotten Chicken

Even if you follow the two-hour rule and properly refrigerate and freeze, sometimes you can end up with rotten meat. This could be because of issues with the meat that you bought in the first instance.

This can be avoided by inspecting the meat carefully and making sure that it doesn’t have an off-odor or slime formation. You must ensure that the packaging is sealed properly and there are no tears or leaks. Also, ensure that the bird is properly refrigerated.

This can be done by purchasing chicken from reliable distributors or markets. It is strongly recommended to cook the meat at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking the meat properly kills bacteria. You should chill leftovers at temperatures below 40°F.


Let’s take a look at some of the things to watch out for when you store your raw chicken. Now let’s get into some questions.

1. What Is The Maximum Storage Time For Raw Chicken In The Freezer?

Raw chicken should be stored in the freezer. It can be kept longer without becoming spoiled. Chicken can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. However, it will begin to lose its quality. For up to 9 months, smaller pieces of chicken can retain their texture and taste. Whole chickens will last for 1 year.

2. Is It Possible To Let The Chicken Defrost Overnight?

It is not a good idea to allow the chicken to thaw overnight. This is something I wouldn’t recommend. Frozen food should not be left out for more than 2 hours. It is better to keep frozen meat refrigerated. Simply take them out from the freezer. It can be left to cool for up to 30 minutes before you start cooking.

3. What Temperature Can Raw Chicken Stay Out for?

The temperature plays a significant role in the speed at which deterioration occurs. It is best to keep meat below 40 degrees Fahrenheit if you intend to use it within a few days.

Different bacteria can be spread by leaving the chicken at higher temperatures than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Your chicken or any other meat product left on the counter can encourage bacteria to multiply.

The Bottom Line

We’ve gone into great detail about how long can raw chicken sit out before it becomes spoiled. We also provide some helpful tips for storing raw chicken meat. I hope this article has provided you with useful information regarding your cooking experience. We appreciate your time.

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