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Can Fried Chicken Be Left Out?

Can Fried Chicken Be Left Out?

There aren’t many comfort foods Americans love more than fried chicken. Fried chicken is undoubtedly tasty. Deep-frying, when done correctly, offers a pleasing contrast between the crispy-crunchy coating and delicate chicken. With so many people enjoying chicken frequently, there is the question of whether chicken can be eaten after it’s been left on your kitchen counter. 

Any cooked chicken that has been left at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded. The same is true for cooked chicken eaten outside, such as at a picnic or barbecue. When the temperature inside or outside exceeds 90°F (32.2°C), the cooked chicken becomes unsafe to eat after one hour.

Find out more information about your favorite crispy and crunchy treat below. 

Why Can’t You Leave Fried Chicken Outside? 

Leaving your fried chicken leftovers out is a bad idea. This is because it will get contaminated with bacteria, which can lead to certain diseases, such as food poisoning. Therefore, it is very important not to leave your chicken out for extended amounts of time.

How Long Can You Refrigerate Fried Chicken? 

Refrigerating your leftover fried chicken is actually a good idea, and you can reuse it in the morning with a mixture of other leftovers or fresh food items. You can reheat it in the oven or air fryer and enjoy it the next day. But keep in mind not to let it sit too long in the refrigerator either. 

The USDA recommends that any cooked leftovers, including chicken, be consumed within three to four days if refrigerated at 40°F or less during those days. Bacterial growth is likely if the chicken is kept in the fridge for more than three or four days.

How Long Can You Freeze Fried Chicken? 

If it is appropriately stored in the freezer, the cooked chicken will maintain the best quality for about four months. After that, it may lose its freshness and texture but will still remain safe for consumption for when you can’t be bothered to order out, or cook. 

When you wish to eat it again, just take the chicken out of the freezer and thaw it for a few minutes. Reheat the thawed chicken in a microwave oven or an air fryer

How To Best Store Your Leftover Fried Chicken? 

You don’t need to do anything complicated if you want your fried chicken to stay as fresh as possible. To keep fried chicken fresh, seal it in airtight containers and store it in the refrigerator. That way, the fried chicken will stay in perfect condition for three or even four days.

You can also keep it in the refrigerator for some time, just wrap it in aluminum foil and keep it in a big container. Seal the container tightly. Then you can store the container in the refrigerator and enjoy them later.

Is Fried Chicken Good For You? 

Chicken is a good source of protein and can certainly fit into a healthy diet. It is considered healthier compared to other red meats, such as beef. However, some methods of cooking it are loaded with extra calories, fat, or sodium, which can lead to it negatively affect a person’s health.

Frying chicken is one such method that you should not consume too much of. Because it’s typically deep-fried and breaded, fried chicken is usually high in calories, carbs, and unhealthy fats. Too much fried chicken can cause many health problems including hypertension and obesity. 

During frying, foods can lose water and absorb fat, which may make meals crunchier and more appetizing but also encourage people to eat more than they should. Previous research has linked fried food to an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, but the potential connection to premature death has been unclear.

What Happens If You Eat Left-Out Fried Chicken? 

Foodborne illness can result from consuming food that has been left out at room temperature for more than two hours, so if you eat the left-out fried chicken, it can potentially lead to indigestion, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

The bacteria that grow in food multiply at a very fast rate when it is kept in a warm and humid place, in temperatures ranging from 40° F to 140° F. Symptoms from contaminated food consumption would begin 6 to 24 hours after exposure: Diarrhea, stomach cramps. Usually begins suddenly and lasts for less than 24 hours. Vomiting and fever are not common.

If stored in the refrigerator, however, it will be safe to consume as it has been kept at a lower temperature which would prevent bacteria growth.

How Often Should You Eat Fried Chicken? 

Fried chicken is not the healthiest of food but how much you should consume is primarily determined by your current health, weight, and family history. To summarise, fried foods in general tend to raise cholesterol and contain a lot of calories, which can easily lead to weight gain. 

Although this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t enjoy fried chicken at all, it should just be enjoyed as infrequently as possible and in moderation, like all fried things. 

Having one or more servings of fried chicken every day was linked to a 13 percent higher risk of death from any cause and a 12 percent higher risk of heart-related death. Although frying at home is a healthier way to go, even if you use a healthy oil, deep frying will add a lot of calories to food, so it’s best not to eat it too often.


Fried chicken is no doubt delicious, but it should be consumed with caution. Leaving fried chicken out is not a good idea and can cause contamination that leads to various diseases. You can still enjoy leftovers for three to four days if you store them properly in the refrigerator. If it’s been sitting in your refrigerator for more than four days, it is best to throw it out.