You accidentally left out your chicken on the kitchen counter, and now you are worried whether it is safe to eat or not? So now you don’t have to fret about anything. In this article, I will share my experience and let you know how long chicken can sit out unrefrigerated. However, I follow some of the fundamental storage rules, especially when it comes to poultry.
Whether the chicken is raw or cooked, It can be full of bacteria when kept outside for more than 2 hours. Before you even smell it, the chicken is out of your safety zone! Proper handling of your poultry is essential. It is one of the sources that cause food-borne severe illness. Hence observance and proper food handling can lead to a safe and healthy lifestyle.
I still think of the days when I didn’t correctly handle food. But now, with the experience, I can give proper explanations to every food-related query. It would help if you generally looked after all the essential factors before leaving your chicken to sit out unrefrigerated. Let me dismantle the central part you have to look at before discovering how long chicken can sit out unrefrigerated?
It would help if you never forgot the temperature at which you’re keeping your chicken outside. Bacteria starts to form on your chicken if held between 40 degrees and increases faster if the temperature rises. That is why you should also look out for the temperature of your fridge before keeping your chicken in it. Therefore the moment your chicken is out of the refrigerator, it is prone to bacteria.
How long can a chicken sit out unrefrigerated? As you know, the bacteria multiply the moment your chicken is out of the refrigerator. Therefore never leave chicken unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours. For instance, if you forget that you went the chicken on the counter for more than 2 hours, you should remember that it is already spoiled.
On the other hand, if the chicken is kept at a temperature above 90 deg.F, then a maximum of one hour is enough for the chicken. You must have to cook that chicken within that time or else it will turn nasty and start to smell. Therefore always keep yourself updated with the time duration of the chicken that is kept outside. Along with that, try to cook the chicken as soon as it is defrosted because the more you keep it outside, the more toxins the bacteria will produce within every 20 minutes.
Similarly, if you are planning to have a barbeque, you must remember that the chicken kept under the heat of the sun should be cooked within an hour. This way, you will be able to eat toxin-free chicken. Sometimes people leave the chicken marinated for hours before putting it on the grill. Therefore this practice should be avoided.
Suppose you have guests coming for dinner or lunch and cook chicken. The best option you can have is to defrost your chicken in the microwave if you want to cook your chicken immediately. If you leave your chicken to defrost until it thaws, the outside of the chicken will eventually start producing bacteria, and the inside of the chicken will still be left frozen. Use the microwave at a proper temperature to defrost the chicken inside out equally.
One of the other easy methods to defrost your chicken is to transfer it from the freezer to the fridge. This is the best method that I also follow when I am having guests at home. I take the chicken from the freezer to the refrigerator one night before the arrival of guests. This method gradually melts the frozen chicken and increases its shelf life of the chicken. So you can cook it quickly the next day and enjoy your delicious meal!
Tips To Remember
Here are some of the tips that I follow while handling my poultry to avoid it from spoiling. Furthermore, if you follow these tips, you would quickly understand on your own how long a chicken can sit out unrefrigerated and when you would know that it is spoiled? Go along with the tips like a pro!
- Always keep your chicken in a clean place.
- Never let the chicken sit out for more than 2 hours.
- Don’t rinse raw chicken.
- Immediately throw spoiled chicken.
- Always place the chicken in the refrigerator.
- Clean your chicken before you freeze it.
- Use a separate dish for your uncooked chicken.
If you follow these tips, then the shelf life of your poultry will eventually increase. You will be able to eat healthy food. Therefore never put yourself or your family in danger by keeping your chicken out for more than an hour or two. Henceforth always note the temperature with a food thermometer before you cook it.
I have shared my experience with you all to understand how long chicken can sit out unrefrigerated. Playing safe is much better than putting yourself and your family in danger. Never leave your chicken to sit out for more than 2 hours, depending on the temperature.
You can apply some of the tips mentioned above to increase the shelf life, but it’s better to cook it immediately after taking it out. Bear in your mind that the raw chicken will start producing bacteria and become toxic if you leave it to sit out unrefrigerated for more than the required time. Handle your food with safety and have a healthy way of living!