Wondering if you can freeze rotisserie chicken? It’s a common question, especially when you have a whole rotisserie chicken you can’t finish in one go. Freezing might be a solution you’re considering to extend its life. Rest assured, whether you have it whole or shredded, storing cooked chicken in the fridge won’t make it last as long as it’s properly frozen.
Can You Freeze Rotisserie Chicken?
If you have a store bought rotisserie chicken and can’t finish it, you might wonder if you can keep it for later.
You sure can! You can place the chicken in the freezer to make it last longer. If you want to freeze it, you’ve got choices. You can freeze the chicken as a whole or divide the chicken into small portions. You can even shred the chicken if you like. Shredded rotisserie chicken also freezes well, and it’s easier to thaw just the amount you need later.
So, whether cooked or raw, you can freeze chicken to enjoy it another time.
Steps To Freeze Rotisserie Chicken
Cleaning and preparing the chicken
First, if you’re asking, “Can you freeze rotisserie chicken?” you should know that preparing the chicken is one of the most important steps. If you bought the chicken from Costco, it’s usually ready. But you’ll still need to allow the chicken to cool. Put the rotisserie chicken in the refrigerator to get it to a safe temperature for freezing.
You have two options for freezing: freeze a whole chicken or chop the chicken into smaller pieces. If you decide to keep the entire rotisserie chicken as one piece, just make sure that the chicken is cooled down first. On the other hand, chop the chicken into smaller portions if you want to divide it. You can even shred the chicken meat if you like.
Packaging tips for the freezer
Packaging is key to making sure to freeze the chicken properly.
- For whole chickens, wrap them tightly in plastic and aluminum foil.
- If you’ve chopped or shredded the chicken, place it in a zip-top bag, pressing out as much air as possible.
- Make sure to label your packaging with the date.
Your cooked chicken can then be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Following these steps, you can safely freeze rotisserie chicken, whole or in pieces. This is a good way to keep chicken meat fresh for later use or make chicken stock in the future. Freezing cooked chicken differs from freezing raw chicken, but both can be done successfully.
Best Way To Freeze
Using foil and plastic wrap
If you’ve got leftover rotisserie chicken, one of the best ways to store it for later is to use foil and plastic wrap. This method works well for both store-bought rotisserie chicken and homemade rotisserie chicken.
- Wrap chicken pieces: Wrap individual chicken pieces tightly in plastic wrap.
- Add foil: Cover the plastic-wrapped chicken with a layer of aluminum foil.
- Label and date: Always put a label with the date on it so you know how much chicken is inside and when it was frozen.
- Place the chicken in the freezer: Finally, place the wrapped chicken pieces in the freezer.
Using foil and plastic wrap helps make sure your cooked rotisserie chicken stays fresh for a good amount of time.
Vacuum sealing for longer storage
If you have a vacuum sealer, this is one of the best ways to freeze your rotisserie chicken for longer.
- Prepare the chicken: Cut or shred the chicken into the portions you’ll use later.
- Vacuum seal: Place chicken pieces into vacuum-sealed bags.
- Seal and label: Use the vacuum sealer to remove air and seal the bag. Don’t forget to label it with the date.
- Place in the freezer: Put the vacuum-sealed bags of rotisserie chicken in the freezer.
Vacuum sealing can be very effective to ensure the chicken stays fresh for a long time without freezer burn, which can cause the chicken to lose its taste and texture.
You can freeze rotisserie chicken for later use by choosing either of these methods. Both methods ensure that rotisserie chicken can be frozen in a way that makes it taste great when you’re ready to use it again.
How Long Will The Chicken Last?
Shelf life in the freezer
So, can you freeze rotisserie chicken? Yes, and once you’ve decided to freeze a rotisserie chicken, the next question is how long it will last. Here’s the scoop:
- Meat From the Bones: If you’ve taken the meat from the bones before freezing, it usually lasts up to 3 months.
- Whole Chicken: If you freeze a whole rotisserie chicken, it can last up to 6 months in the freezer.
- Prepared for Freezing: Remember, how you prepare the chicken for freezing affects how long it will last. So, separating the meat from the bones before freezing the chicken is best if you plan to use it within 3 months.
- Costco Rotisserie Chicken or Other: The rules are pretty much the same whether it’s from Costco or another store.
Signs that it’s time to use or discard It
Knowing when to use or throw out frozen chicken is important. Here are some signs:
- Color Changes: If the meat turns gray, it’s time to use it or lose it.
- Smell: If it starts to smell off, that’s a sign to discard it.
- Freezer Burn: Look for dry spots or ice crystals. A little is okay, and you can cut it off, but too much means it’s time to throw it away.
- Texture: When thawed, if the texture feels slimy or too soft, discard it.
Following these tips, you can use your frozen rotisserie chicken while it’s still good and avoid wasting food.
Safe ways to defrost your frozen rotisserie chicken
After freezing, you’ll eventually want to defrost your rotisserie chicken to use it. Here are safe ways to do that:
- Refrigerator Method: The safest way to defrost rotisserie chicken is in the refrigerator. This can take several hours, so plan ahead.
- Microwave Method: If you’re in a hurry, you can use the defrost function on your microwave. This is good for shredded chicken that you plan to use immediately.
- Cold Water Method: You can also place the chicken in a sealed plastic bag and submerge it in cold water. Make sure to change the water every 30 minutes.
- Cooking Directly: In some recipes, you can cook the frozen chicken directly, especially in soups or chicken broth.
What not to do when defrosting
Avoiding mistakes is crucial when you defrost rotisserie chicken. Here’s what not to do:
- Counter Thawing: Never leave chicken on the counter to thaw. This can cause bacteria to grow.
- Hot Water: Don’t use hot water to speed up the thawing process. This can make the chicken unsafe to eat.
- Re-Freezing: Once you’ve defrosted your leftover chicken, don’t freeze it again unless you’ve cooked it into a new dish like chicken broth or a casserole.
- Ignoring Smell or Texture: If the chicken smells off or has a strange texture after thawing, don’t risk it. It’s better to throw it away.
By following these dos and don’ts, you can safely use leftover rotisserie chicken that you’ve frozen and enjoy it in various dishes.
Above is our knowledge about how to freeze rotisserie chicken. You can see that freezing is an essential part of cooking process for any dishes. In other blog, we also give you informative tips, such as freezing chicken salad which can be useful for you.
What is the best way to freeze rotisserie chicken?
The best way to freeze rotisserie chicken is to let it cool down first. Then, you can either freeze the whole chicken or cut it into smaller pieces. Wrap these well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, or use a vacuum sealer if you have one. This keeps the chicken fresh while it’s in the freezer.
Is it OK to freeze Costco rotisserie chicken?
Yes, it’s OK to freeze Costco rotisserie chicken. Just follow the same steps: let it cool, wrap it tightly, and freeze. Whether from Costco or another store, the basic rules for freezing rotisserie chicken are the same.
Can you freeze a fully cooked rotisserie chicken?
Yes, you can freeze a rotisserie chicken that’s fully cooked. Just wait for it to cool down first. Put it in a container that seals tightly, and you can store it in the freezer for up to three months. While you can keep the cooked chicken in the fridge for a couple of days before freezing, it’s best to freeze it on the day you get it.
Can you freeze a supermarket rotisserie chicken?
Freezing a store-bought rotisserie chicken is a great idea. You could buy multiple chickens at once, have one for your meal today, and then put the other in the freezer for later.
How long can I keep rotisserie chickens in the freezer?
You can keep the chicken in a sealed container or a Zip-loc bag in the freezer. Don’t eat it if it’s been left at room temperature for too long. According to food safety guidelines, you can store the chicken in the freezer for up to four months if it’s sealed well.
So, can you freeze rotisserie chicken? Absolutely! Just let your rotisserie chicken cool first, then wrap it well before freezing. This is a handy way to always have a meal option ready.
Need to make your rotisserie chicken last longer? Just remember to defrost it safely—no thawing on the counter. Following these simple tips will help keep your chicken tasty and safe to eat.
- USDA – How long can you freeze chicken? – https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-long-can-you-freeze-chicken
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