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How Long Can I Keep Costco’s Rotisserie Chicken In The Refrigerator?

Costco’s rotisserie chicken is incredibly popular – and for good reason! The chicken is incredibly simple to prepare, is large enough to serve a big group of people, and is delicious. If that wasn’t enough, it is also budget-friendly.

Next time you are in Costco you definitely should pick one up and give it a go! 

Even the most delicious chicken can be dangerous to eat if not stored the correct way at home. To avoid any potential hazards – and to keep your rotisserie chicken delicious for longer – use this quick guide for more information.

How Long Can I Keep Costco’s Rotisserie Chicken In The Refrigerator

Costco Rotisserie Chicken

Generally, Costco Rotisserie Chicken is safe to store in the refrigerator for four days. This can be extended up to five days if you are careful.

To keep the chicken safe and delicious, you need to refrigerate it in airtight containers that are shallow or wrapped tightly in strong cling film or aluminum foil.

Make sure this chicken is kept in the fridge above raw meats as any liquid dripping onto the cooked chicken will make it unsafe to consume.

You need to make sure that the chicken is refrigerated no more than two hours after cooking and that your refrigerator temperature is between 30-40°F (0-5°C).

By doing both of these things you will keep the bacterial growth at a minimum which will keep your chicken edible for longer and preserve much of the quality.

Quick Tips For Ultimate Rotisserie Chicken Freshness

  • Make sure you cook your chicken properly – it needs to be cooked throughout but try to avoid overcooking as it will become dry and lose flavor.
  • Once prepared, refrigerate the chicken immediately or let it come to room temperature and then chill. If you go for option two, make sure that it is put in the refrigerator within two hours.
  • Keep your chicken well covered to stop cross-contamination from other foods in the refrigerator, and to prevent the air from drying it out. Do not keep chicken in the door as this part of the refrigerator experiences too many temperature fluctuations and is not cool enough.
  • You can always freeze your chicken. Frozen chicken can be kept in the freezer for around four months before its quality deteriorates.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know When My Chicken Has Spoiled?

The most obvious signs that your chicken needs to be discarded are the smell and texture. If you notice that your chicken smells like sulfur or rotting eggs it needs to be thrown away.

Chicken that has gone moldy certainly needs to be disposed of, as does chicken that feels slimy to the touch.

To avoid food waste, cook or eat the chicken as soon as possible after purchase as the quality of the meat will deteriorate quickly as it gets closer to its expiry date.

Keeping the meat at room temperature for long periods will allow any bacteria to grow quickly, hastening the speed at which your meat will go off and increasing the risk of someone contracting food poisoning.

To prevent this, do not keep your chicken at room temperature for more than two hours. The cold conditions in the fridge stop bacterial growth and will be safer to eat for longer. 

What Bacteria Is Affecting My Chicken?

There are two types of bacteria that affect chicken – spoilage bacteria and pathogenic bacteria. Spoilage bacteria will make the chicken deteriorate, often causing the meat to change color and a layer of slime to develop and the colonies grow.

Usually, these species of bacteria do not cause sickness and are dealt with at the initial stages of production.

Pathogenic bacteria are microbes that make people ill when they are consumed and are most commonly associated with raw poultry.

The CDC believes that Salmonella is the most common cause of foodborne illnesses and is present on 4% of all chicken packages in America. Fortunately, all pathogenic bacteria are killed when the meat is cooked, making the chicken safe for consumption.

In short, bacteria will be present on your chicken but it is perfectly safe to consume as long as it is handled correctly. 

How Can I Stay Safe When Cooking Chicken?

You should not wash raw chicken before cooking as you are very likely to splash raw chicken juice around to food preparation areas, allowing cross-contamination and creating an unsafe cooking environment.

The techniques used for chicken processing are efficient, meaning chicken that ends up in your kitchen will have very little bacteria – there really is no need to wash it!

Make sure you thoroughly clean any surface that the raw chicken touched, especially your hands, after cooking. This will stop cross-contamination and keep all your foods safe to costume.

You should also keep your raw meat away from other foods in the fridge as this too will encourage cross-contamination. 

How Do I Know If My Chicken Is Cooked?

Cooking chicken properly is the only way to guarantee safe consumption. It is a good idea to invest in a meat thermometer so you can be certain that the meat is fully cooked throughout.

To check the cooking has been done properly, the thickest or deepest part of the meat should be probed with the thermometer and it should read 170°F (75°C). 

If you do not have a thermometer you can still make sure the meat is cooked by checking the juices, color, and texture of the meat at the thickest point. When pierced, the chicken juices will be clear when fully cooked and not pink.

Similarly, cooked chicken meat will not be pink but white and uniform in texture when cut. 

How Do I Freeze Chicken?

Raw chicken can be frozen at any point before its expiry date. All you need to do is put it in an airtight container, or wrap it up in cling film and freezer bags before putting it in the freezer.

It is important to make sure the chicken is well sealed before freezing it so the cold air does not dry out the meat which will harm the meat’s quality.

How Do I Defrost Chicken Safely?

Chicken can be safely defrosted by thawing it at temperatures below 40°F (5°C). This can be done in either the fridge for the best results or in the microwave.

Defrosting in the microwave can have a negative impact on the quality of the meat and its textures so do bear this in mind rather than opting for the quickest option. 

Jess Smith