You don’t want to waste your delicious Costco chicken with food prices rising. If you tend to eat alone, the Costco rotisserie chicken can be a mouthful, so how do you prevent the chicken from going bad? Freezing will extend the life of your rotisserie chicken, but it needs to be done correctly.
In this article, we will look at how to freeze a Costco rotisserie chicken to get the most bang for your buck out of the food.
Let’s get into it.
Why should you think about freezing Costco rotisserie chicken?
If you pay close attention to the prices you are paying for food, you will know that chicken has been steadily increasing in price since the pandemic. And there are no signs of prices dropping in the very near future.
Is there a chicken shortage? No, the production is actually 25% higher than the previous year, but that doesn’t stop prices from rising.
The truth is since the pandemic, many things have changed, not to mention the political tides and reliance of other countries for gas which has increased dramatically, and even with a price fall, the cost of gas and diesel is high.
These costs are passed on to consumers through the goods, such as chicken and other groceries.
There has never been a better time to start being thrifty and get the most out of your hard-earned dollars.
Can you freeze Costco-packaged rotisserie chicken?
Yes. Costco rotisserie chickens are perfect for freezing, and the thermal bagh they are supplied in is an excellent thermal barrier that will protect your chicken from freezer burn.
The flavor and texture of a Costco rotisserie chicken will be the same as when you purchased it from the Costco store.
To get the maximum life out of your Costco rotisserie chicken, it should be vacuum sealed for longevity. A vacuum-sealed bird will last for up to four months in a freezer.
How long can you freeze rotisserie chicken?
Four months. You may be surprised to read that storing cooked rotisserie chickens not only provides you with a real option for saving leftovers, but the chicken can last up to 4 months in the freeze without degrading.
Four months is around the same time you would expect raw chicken to last in a freezer, but the good news is that the Costco rotisserie chicken will have its moisture locked into the chicken meat, whereas the raw chicken may start to dry over extended freezing times.
How long does rotisserie chicken last in the fridge?
Cooked chicken tends to last the same time in the fridge, which is 3 to 4 days. Furthermore, the USDA recommends eating cooked chicken from the fridge within 3 to 4 days before bacteria can enter the chicken.
Your fridge temperature is critical to how long your chicken will last before going bad. Your fridge should be around 37℉ and certainly no fighter than 40℉ to ensure your chicken remains free from contamination.
Can you freeze 4-day-old rotisserie chicken?
Costco rotisserie chicken typically weighs in at around 3 lbs, a sizable family meal for the average family. Still, maybe you live alone and enjoy chicken but need to keep the leftovers if possible.
When storing leftovers, remove the chicken meat from the bone is best. It cuts down on the space needed in the freezer and prevents that tainted smell that cooked chicken bones can leave on stored chicken.
Once the chicken is removed from the carcass, store it in zip lock bags and an airtight container. This will prevent freezer burn, and you can easily remove a portion size for a sandwich or some other recipe.
The total, like if your chicken is frozen, is extended from a few days to four months making your Costco rotisserie chicken the bargain you were looking for.
Can you freeze rotisserie chicken after three days?
Yes, according to the trusted USDA, a rotisserie chicken will last in the fridge for four days. After that, the chicken should be thrown away. But, if it smells and tastes okay, why not place it in the freezer?
When you remove the chicken from the freezer, be mindful that you did push the limits of time and check the chicken is still in good condition and doubts about the color and texture combined with a funky smell means you need to throw it immediately.
Does cooked Costco rotisserie chicken freeze well?
It freezes exceptionally well. You can freeze the chicken whole and thaw it anytime within four months for a perfect succulent chicken. Or you can use what you want from the chicken and freeze it after your meal.
If you eat smaller portions, it is recommended to remove the chicken from the carcass and make a portion size that you are likely to eat all of.
Do this by using zip lock bags for the portion size and then store the portions in an airtight container, something like Tupperware, with a positive sealing lid. This will prevent freezer burn.
Costco rotisserie chicken will store for up to four months in the freezer, so if Costco has a special offer, take advantage and use your freezer.
Why is my rotisserie chicken pink?
There is pink, and then there is pink! Even cooked chickens that have measured up to the internal temperature requirements can still show pink meat, which is harmless.
The USDA has explained that young chickens are more susceptible to showing pink in the flesh. This is because an immature chicken still has permeable bones meaning the bone marrow can leach through the bone structure. It doesn’t sound nice, but it is safe.
You may also notice the bones take on a very dark color. This is also normal for a young chicken.
It is pretty easy to notice that if a chicken is not cooked through, there will be blood in the meat, and the meat will have a raw look. Don’t eat this type of chicken. You could place it in the oven to reheat and cook if you wish.
Can cooked chicken be frozen and reheated?
Yes, it can, but here’s the rub, you can only do it once. When you thaw your Costco rotisserie chicken, you can expect after reheating the chicken to be as fresh and tasty as the day you bought the chicken.
If you have leftovers, you may make a curry or stew, but refreezing is not an option. Refreezing continuously allows the bacteria to take a foothold in the chicken. If you didn’t know, freezing keeps the bacteria dormant but does not kill it like cooking.
How long is thawed rotisserie chicken good for?
Suppose your Costco rotisserie chicken was fresh when it was frozen. In that case, you can reasonably expect the chicken to last 3 to 4 days in the fridge after being thawed completely, which is precisely the same as when you purchased the chicken.
If you use hot water to speed the thawing process, you will be forced to eat the chicken within a day or throw it away. The same goes for microwave thawing.
Can you refreeze cooked chicken that was previously frozen?
This one is a little controversial, but the answer is yes but with a caveat if you have allowed your cooked chicken to thaw naturally as in the fridge overnight.
If you have left the chicken on the countertop at room temperature for two hours, you are out of luck and cannot refreeze the chicken. Bacteria will have already started to grow. So reheat the chicken and enjoy.
If you manage your food on a frugal budget, Costco rotisserie chicken can be excellent value for money if you think ahead. If you know you cannot eat the whole chicken in four days, make portion size packers and freeze, remove the portion size you wish within four months, and have cooked chicken ready to be reheated and enjoyed as good as the day you bought it.
Is frozen cooked chicken healthy?
Have you heard that cooked frozen chicken is unhealthy? Well, consider the myth debunked. Cooked frozen chicken has the precise same nutritional value as fresh-cooked chicken, and nothing degrades in the freezing process.
How do you thaw frozen chicken?
It is a simple process, but the time will vary depending on the size of the chicken.
Here are some tips for thawing a chicken from frozen thoroughly:
- Remove the chicken from the freezer compartment for at least 24 hours before you intend to cook and reheat the chicken.
- Place it on a large platter containing juices and water from the thawing chicken.
- Place the chicken on a low shelf in the fridge.
- Consider that each pound of chicken will take 5 hours to thaw or 10 hours per kg.
Costco rotisserie chickens are great value for money. When you consider that they can be frozen for up to four months without losing flavor and texture, they become an even better proposition for the family or individual who wants more bang for the buck.
The key to successful freezing could be summed up in two ways, portion control, and temperature control.
If you are a lone eater, make use of portions that will allow your chicken to thaw quickly.
If you have left your chicken exposed to room temperature for two hours or more, discard the chicken.
If a chicken smells funky after thawing, it’s gone bad, so discard the chicken immediately.