Food Hygiene and Safety

Can You Freeze Chicken Easily

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

As a protein-rich food, chicken is the ideal ingredient for any home chef who lives for quick, healthy meals. However, there are so many wonderful ways to prepare it, including a quick and instant recipe. The Poultry Site estimates that 60.9 million people, or about 95% of the population, eat chicken at least twice per week in the UK. In homes, schools, hospitals, and restaurants all over the nation, chicken is consumed 6.3 billion times a year.

This data shows how much the British enjoy chicken and why they purchase more of it. So, how do you plan to use this excess? Can you freeze chicken? Yes, definitely. You can easily preserve this for later use.

In this blog, you will learn about whether you can freeze chicken, along with food hygiene rules and many more.

Food Hygiene Rules of Freeze Chicken

Whenever you are dealing with any food, it is important to maintain the food hygiene rules. Considered as a more significant part of preserving food, you have to ensure your food hygiene while freezing chicken. If you’re planning to freeze chicken, there are a few food hygiene rules you need to follow in order to keep your food safe.

  • Make sure that the chicken is fresh. Frozen chicken that has been thawed and then refrozen can harbour bacteria, so it’s important to only freeze chicken that is absolutely fresh.
  • Once you’ve got your fresh chicken, you need to clean it thoroughly. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before handling the chicken, and clean all surfaces that the chicken will come into contact with.
  • Cut the chicken into portions if necessary, and wrap each piece tightly in cling film or freezer bags.
  • Label each bag with the date that you’re freezing the chicken and keep track of how long you freeze it.
  • Remove as much air as you can. Proper wrapping avoids “freezer burn,” which appears as greyish-brown leathery spots and is caused by air reaching the surface of the food.
  • The USDA advises putting the chicken in a refrigerator that keeps things at or below 40°F immediately at home. Use it right away, or freeze it at 

0 °F.  remains safe indefinitely if it is kept frozen. If poultry is frozen for a longer period of time, its quality may suffer.

Following these simple food hygiene rules will help to keep your chicken safe and delicious.

If you’re curious about the right temperature and duration for storing frozen food, including chicken, check out our latest blog, “At What Temperature Should Frozen Food be Stored & How Long?” This article provides valuable tips for keeping frozen food at its best. By grasping these guidelines, you can make informed decisions to ensure food safety, prevent illnesses, and preserve the quality of frozen items.

Baked chicken drumstick in a dish with orange and rosemary

Can You Freeze Chicken?

You pick up the chicken without thinking whenever you’re in a good mood and want to make something special. So you can purchase it in excess and keep it in the refrigerator. But can you freeze chicken? Of course, you can. Freezing is the best way to store chicken for later use. There are a few tips for freezing chicken. 

  • Chicken can be frozen in its original packaging or in new packaging.
  • Overwrap or re-wrap correctly to put it in the freezer.
  • Cut it into small portions or store it whole before wrapping.
  • Cover the porous store plastic packaging with airtight heavy-duty foil, freezer paper or plastic wrap or place it inside a freezer bag. 
  • To freeze chicken from opened packages, use airtight freezer containers or divide family packs of chicken into smaller portions.
  • Before putting chicken in the freezer, it should be tightly wrapped in freezer wrap or placed in a resealable bag. It maintains freshness and stops freezer-burn. 
  • Be sure to label the container with the date so you know when it was frozen.

So go ahead and stock up on your favourite chicken. You can enjoy them at any time with proper freezing!

Not freezing food correctly can lead to more bacteria and ultimately cause foodborne diseases. In the Foodborne Diseases Course – Bacteria and Risky Foods, you’ll learn about different illnesses, what causes them, and how to prevent them. This includes understanding microorganisms and contamination too.
Raw chicken meat slices on a black plate with chopped herbs and black pepper

Can You Freeze Raw Chicken?

You can freeze raw chicken at any time. In fact, freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of chicken and help keep it fresh. The following points work well for freezing raw sausages:

  1. Freeze raw chicken in its original packaging. 
  2. Tightly wrap the chicken in freezer paper or plastic wrap. Put another layer of aluminum foil over it after that. 
  3. Use freezer-safe packaging, zip-lock bags, or vacuum sealed bags for wrapping. 
  4. Place the package in the freezer after properly wrapping.
  5. You can keep it in a freezer bag or container.
  6. Compress as much air as you can.
  7. Keep track of the freeze time and date to ensure the durability of the food. 

So there you have it! It may be cooked whenever you want to eat it by just taking it out of the refrigerator.

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Can You Freeze Cooked Chicken?

You cook a lot of chicken roasts for dinner, and you end up with leftovers. You can immediately store the extras for later. But can you freeze cooked chicken? Don’t worry – you can easily freeze it for later.

Just follow the below rules to store it properly:

  • Cool the cooked chicken before freezing. Once the chicken is cool, it can be transferred to the freezer. 
  • Place the cooked chicken in a clean, airtight container and put it in the refrigerator. 
  • Plastic wrap or aluminum foil should be used to wrap it tightly. This will help to prevent freezer burn and keep the chicken fresh.
  • Remove as much air as possible from the bag or container before sealing, as this will help prevent freezer burn. 
  • When reheating frozen cooked chicken, be sure to cook it until it is piping hot throughout. 

Enjoy your tasty chicken dish by using the above tips.

So, if you’re in charge of food processing, whether it’s for your family or business, a Food Safety Training Course is a must. This course goes beyond just knowing how to store food properly and maintain hygiene. It equips you with the expertise to confidently handle foods, reducing potential risks and ensuring safety.

Can You Freeze Smoked Chicken?

The flavorful smoked chicken is one example of a cooked food that has been infused with smoke. This juicy, tender, smoky item can be made in just a few hours and is incredibly versatile. You can easily freeze the smoked chicken and make your meal prep easier later on. 

Tasty whole chicken grilled served with thyme and carrots in a pan

  • Wait until the chicken has cooled to room temperature before freezing it.
  • Put leftover smoked chicken portions in a food storage container with an air-tight lid in the refrigerator. 
  • Get as much air out of the freezer zip-top bag in which you store the smoked chicken. 
  • Seal and label each bag and place them in the freezer.
  •  Smoked chicken can be frozen for up to three months. 
  • Thaw frozen chicken slowly in the refrigerator. Just take it out of the freezer the day before you need it and put it in the refrigerator.

You are aware of the freezing points now. Never forget to use it in salads, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, or as a simple protein for dinner and barbecue parties.

How Long Can You Freeze Chicken?

Correctly frozen foods are safe to eat for a longer period of time. The flavour and quality will suffer otherwise. Do you have any idea how long can you freeze chicken? Have a look at the below data and enhance your knoweledge-

The USDA recommends the Home Storage of Chicken Products chart  to ensure the quality of every type of chicken dish-

ProductRefrigerator 40 °F or belowFreezer 0 °F or below
Fresh Chicken, whole1-2 days1 year
Fresh Chicken, parts1-2 days9 months
Giblets or Ground Chicken1-2 days3-4 months
Cooked Chicken, Leftover3-4 days4 months
Chicken Gravy or Broth3-4 days2-3 months
Cooked Chicken Casseroles, Dishes/Soup3-4 days4-6 months
Cooked Chicken Pieces, covered with broth/gravy3- 4 days6 months
Cooked Chicken Nuggets, Patties3-4 days1-3 months
Fried Chicken3-4 days4 months
Take-Out Convenience Chicken (Rotisserie, Fried, etc.)3 to 4 days4 months
Restaurant Leftovers, brought immediately home in a "Doggy Bag"3 to 4 days4 months
Store-cooked chicken dinner, including gravy3-4 days2-3 months
Chicken salad3-5 daysDo not freeze if it contains mayonnaise
Deli-sliced Chicken Luncheon Meat3-5 days1 to 2 months
Chicken Luncheon Meat, sealed in package2 weeks, but no more than 1 week, following a "sell-by" date1-2 months
Chicken Luncheon Meat, after opening3-5 days1-2 months
Vacuum-packed Dinners, Commercial brand with USDA sealUnopened 2 weeks; Opened 3-4 days1-2 months
Chicken Hotdogs, unopened2 weeks but no more than 1 week after a "sell-by" date1-2 months
Chicken Hotdogs, after opening1 week1-2 months
Canned Chicken Products2-5 years in pantryDo not freeze in can.

So here you have it! You can maintain your health and eat safe food by following this.

Barbecue chicken wings with barbecue sauce served in a black dish

Is It Safe to Refreeze Chicken?

There are different schools of thought when it comes to refreezing chicken. Some people believe that it is perfectly safe to do so, while others believe that it can cause the chicken to become tough and dry.

Really, is it safe to refreeze chicken?

The truth is that it is safe to refreeze chicken, but there are some things you should keep in mind. 

  • Make sure you properly thaw the chicken before attempting to refreeze it. If the chicken remains frozen in the middle, it will not cook evenly and could potentially become unsafe to eat.
  • Once the raw or cooked chicken is thawed, cook it immediately. Do not let it sit out at room temperature for more than a few minutes, as this can cause bacteria to grow. Once the chicken is cooked, it can be frozen and will be just as safe to eat as it was the first time around. Even for a cooked dish, you have to freeze it immediately after reheating the food. Otherwise, you have the risk of contamination.

Ever had an upset stomach after trying new food? That’s food poisoning – caused by contaminated food. But no worries! Learn prevention through good hygiene and safe cooking practices in this blog.

Discover “What is Food Poisoning? Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment” and keep enjoying your favourite meals safely!


When you freeze chicken, you save it from spoilage. However, freezing food isn’t as easy as it sounds. For this reason, you have to first learn about can you freeze chicken? Hope this blog doesn’t disappoint you. So, simply freeze the extra chicken you recently purchased and get ready to cook. 

Thanks for reading!

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.