Chicken tastes great whether it is grilled, stewed, or roasted. But what do you do when you have eaten to your fill and there are some leftovers, or you are one of those people who like to meal prep for the week?
Of course, you can vacuum seal the chicken first before putting it in the fridge but how long will it last?
Well, refrigerated cooked chicken is safe to eat for 3-4 days. When you vacuum seal it, you can have a good meal out of it even after a week.
So, how can you tell that cooked vacuum-sealed chicken is safe to eat?
First off, it is not easy to tell if cooked chicken is unsafe for eating just by smelling or tasting it. In fact, if it was not cooked all through, the chicken might harbor bacteria like salmonella and you know what that could do to you health wise.
Therefore, if the chicken has been out of the fridge for more than two hours, you may want to do away with it. Better safe than sorry you know.
How to Store Cooked Chicken in Your Fridge
It is crucial to correctly store your cooked chicken in the fridge and here is how to do it.
Cook your chicken and wait for it to cool. Put it in an airtight container or a vacuum-sealed bag. These bags suck the air out before sealing.
This is supposed to make your chicken last longer because as you now, oxygen creates a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive.
Put the sealed chicken inside the fridge at the lowest shelf. This is to prevent any of the juices from the chicken from leaking over other foods.
It is also important to dry the sealed bag once you package the chicken.
Set your fridge to the right temperature and allow the chicken to stay for not more than 8 days. Remember we said that cooked chicken could stay in the fridge for up to 4 days?
Well, when you put it in a vacuum-sealed bag, the number of days increases by 50% hence the 8 days.
Tip: If your chicken is bought, it is better to store it in the fridge using its original packaging as opening it up to store differently only exposes it to bacteria.
Now that you know how long your cooked chicken can last in the fridge, you may be wondering about uncooked chicken so here goes.
How to Store Raw Chicken in the Fridge
Uncooked chicken should only be in the fridge for a maximum of 2 days. After that, you may want to consume it or transfer it to the freezer.
You want to store raw chicken on the lowest shelf in your fridge. This will prevent any juices from dripping over other foods.
Label all the food in your fridge and put dates on it if it is not already dated.
Benefits of Vacuum Sealing
Using a vacuum sealer to store food comes with a host of benefits such as:
Safeguards Your Food from Freezer Burn
By vacuum sealing your food, you protect it from drying out and freezer burn. What is freezer burn? It is simply the result of air coming into contact with water crystals in food.
Although freezer burn is not a health threat, it does alter the texture and taste of your food. Vacuum sealing prevents this by taking air out of the food packaging.
Longer Lasting Food
When you take the air out of your food, it lasts longer in the fridge or anywhere else, you choose to store it.
You see, vacuum sealing maintains the freshness of food by impeding the growth of bacteria, fungus, and mold. This works great for foods such as meats and vegetables that tend to go bad rapidly.
Things like berries and tomatoes are seasonal but you do not have to do without them whenever they are out of season.
You want to vacuum seal such foods when they are in season to use when they are out of season. This method of packaging also keeps them tasting fresh.
Saves on Space
You may want to store many things but lack the space to do it. Vacuum sealing saves on space and allows you to store more whether it is in your fridge, freezer, or pantry.
Maintains Food Texture and Taste
One of the greatest benefits of vacuum sealing is that it works well in marinating and seasoning food. If you want to add taste to your chicken, just add your marinade, seal the chicken, and wait for the magic to happen.
Even if you buy in bulk to save, sometimes the food ends up with freezer burn or simply forgotten in the fridge. Vacuum sealing food leftovers not only helps you save money, it also reduces food wastage.
Moreover, vacuum sealing bags are reusable so you do not have to keep buying new ones whenever you need to store your food.
Elimination of Chemical Preservation
With vacuum sealing, you can buy fresh chicken and pick what marinades you want to use. Remember we said that these bags are able to marinate food? Therefore, you will be able to avoid putting preservatives and chemicals in your food.
Efficient and Fast
You can always vacuum seal food in portions that you will want to eat later. This saves you money, time and even contributes to a healthier body.
As you can see, vacuum sealing comes with a host of benefits and is arguably one of the best ways to store food.
Whether you are looking for an effective and safe way to marinate your chicken, save on storage space, or even maintain the freshness of your food, vacuum sealing is the way to go.
Ultimately, refrigeration is a great way to store food but when you add vacuum sealing to the mix, you are able to make the most out of your fridge.
Of course, with this guide, you now know how long you can keep your cooked chicken in the fridge while it is vacuum-sealed.