Fried chicken on a plate

Can Fried Chickens Be Left Out Overnight

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Ever bought fried chicken and couldn’t finish it all so stored it away? Has the thought of whether you should eat the fried chicken later on or throw it all away crossed your mind? We are here to answer all your questions in this article. 

You should not keep your leftover fried chicken to eat later on. Unless you reheat the fried chicken in the microwave, you might fall sick. Fried chicken left cold for over four hours has bacteria going on it.

Often, I would order more fried chicken than I can eat and have them left over for the day after. There were times I also made fried chickens and were left to eat for the next day. So, what do I do with these leftovers? Read more to find out.

Can Fried Chickens Be Left Out Overnight?

You cannot have fried chicken leftovers outside for more than four hours. Fried chicken can become inedible much faster than other forms of meat. This is due to bacteria in food multiplying faster in moist foods than normal. With fried chicken having both dairy and high-water content, bacteria will thrive to grow faster with each hour. 

Now that you have so many fried chickens left over that you can’t eat, what do you do with them? Here are tips on how you can store chicken properly and not have leftovers outside.

  • Transfer food to a dish 

After cooking fried chicken, I will always move the chicken to a new vessel. I usually use a plate to keep it. Here there are fewer chances of the fried chicken absorbing the extra oil, which will keep it fresh for a longer period of time. 

  • Refrigerate

You should also store the fried chicken away in the refrigerator. If I leave the fried chicken outside, then it starts to get damp and moist. Keep it inside a fridge so it has its crisp. Microwave to reheat the chicken before eating. You should keep in mind that you can only reheat fried chicken once. Too much reheating will make the food turn bad.

  • Measure your fried chicken 

If the fried chicken was cooked to 165 F as measured with a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, then it is safe to eat left out overnight at room temperature.

Will I fall sick If I Eat Fried Chicken Leftovers Overnight?

You have a risk of getting food poisoning by eating chicken that has been left outside overnight. I usually cook chicken at least 165 F to have it well cooked and marinated a day beforehand.

If you don’t have the proper temperature to cook, you leave all the uncooked bacteria present on your fried chicken. Bacteria is the main cause of food poisoning from fried chickens. This will cause you serious health-related illness.

I also often found fried chicken left over for hours not to smell different and look normal, however, even then you should not eat it as it may still be poisonous.

Will Reheating Fried Chicken Make It Safe To Eat? 

You can eat fried chicken left overnight if you reheat it in a microwave. The chicken needs to be reheated at about 90 F or higher to make it safe for you to consume it.

I recommend not to eat any food left over above four hours to be consumed. Reheating will not make your fried chicken safe to eat totally. Staphylococcus aureus, a form of virus, will form a heat-resistant toxin that will not go away even after the food is reheated.

How Long Can Fried Chicken Be Left Sitting Out?

I would not recommend consuming a fried chicken that has been left out for more than 2 hours. That is the maximum amount of time that you can leave a fried chicken left out before you need to throw it away. 

You may also refrigerate the fried chicken after 2 hours but make sure to reheat it only once before consuming it. It is still not enough to make it safe to eat. If your room temperature is higher than you should get rid of your fried chicken in 1 hour. 

Any advice would be to not order fried chicken more than you can eat or make them.  You should eat fried chickens fresh and not plan on having leftovers. 

Will Covering the Chicken Up All Night Work?

Wrapping up fried chicken can protect the meat from all the airborne projectiles or germs. If the fried chicken was kept covered overnight, I assume that dust particles or bacteria did not land on the crisps. 

The fried chicken will still multiply bacteria growing on it from the inside. If your room temperature is higher than it will happen faster. As a result, I still suggest not eating fried chicken left out. You should learn to properly store fried chicken to consume it while it is edible.

How To Properly Store Fried Chicken? 

The proper way to store your leftover fried chicken is to wrap it up right after you are done eating. I usually take time to eat. If the time window has crossed 2 hours, it is best to not store and throw it away. 

To wrap your fried chicken, store it in a zip lock bag. I would also use sealed containers to keep them away. I will next squeeze out all the excess air that is inside the container or wrapper. Keep it in the lowest section of the fridge. This way you can keep leftover fried chicken for up to 3 days.

I will also try to keep the fried chicken pieces separated by placing cling wraps in between the chicken. This helps to keep them in place and not stick to each other’s coating.

How To Tell If The Fried Chicken Has Gone Bad When Left Over? 

A fried chicken that has gone bad will taste and smell different. It is obvious that fried chicken leftovers overnight will go bad. However, there are times you will not notice changes in its texture when it is already bad and should not be consumed

What I usually look out for are the first crisps. If it seems damp, then it has already had air contact. Bacteria have likely already grown on it. The most common way to understand would be the smell of fried chicken. If fried chicken has started to smell bad, do not try to reheat it. I would simply just throw it away and get it disposed of.

Does Storing Fried Chicken In The Refrigerator Bring Changes In Its Taste? 

Fried Chicken Stored In the refrigerator will not bring changes in its taste. This is because the bacteria do not affect the taste of the fried chicken. However, if you leave it out for too long, the fried chicken will start to smell bad which is a sign to get it disposed of. 

Refrigerators do help in keeping food healthy. Storing frozen fried chicken will keep it healthy for a while but you will still have to store it properly and not just dump it inside the cold. I believe one of the main reasons people will consume a fried chicken being left over is because of unnoticeable changes in its outlook and taste. 

You should keep in mind that not consuming fried chicken can affect your health. I rather order a new bucket of fried chicken and eat it. Dispose of the old fried chicken.

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