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How long will KFC chicken last in the fridge?

KFC chicken can last 3-4 days in the fridge if stored properly. The shelf life depends on a few factors like the temperature of the fridge, how it was stored, and the type of KFC chicken. With optimal storage, Original Recipe and Extra Crispy chicken can stay fresh for up to 4 days, while grilled chicken may only last 3 days.

Quick Answers

Here are quick answers to common questions about KFC chicken in the fridge:

  • At 40°F or below, KFC chicken lasts 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • Keep it sealed in the original packaging or an airtight container.
  • Store chicken pieces separately or they will spoil faster.
  • Look for changes in color, smell, or texture to tell if it’s gone bad.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Don’t risk getting sick from spoiled chicken.

How Many Days Does KFC Last in the Fridge?

Properly stored KFC chicken will keep for:

  • Original Recipe chicken: 3-4 days
  • Extra Crispy chicken: 3-4 days
  • Grilled chicken: 2-3 days

These timelines are for chicken stored at 40°F or colder. Higher temperatures will shorten the shelf life. Here are some estimates for how long KFC will last refrigerated:

Fridge Temperature KFC Shelf Life
40°F or below 3-4 days
41°F – 50°F 2-3 days
51°F – 60°F 1-2 days

As you can see, colder fridge temperatures help extend the shelf life. Keep your fridge below 40°F if possible.

How to Store KFC Chicken in the Fridge

To get the full 3-4 days of freshness, store KFC chicken properly:

  • Leave it sealed: Keep leftovers in the original foil packaging or put in an airtight container. This prevents drying out.
  • Use shallow containers: Avoid stuffing chicken in deep containers. Shallow is better for quicker cooling.
  • Separate pieces: Chicken pieces or parts shouldn’t touch each other. This slows spoilage.
  • Place on a lower shelf: Colder air sinks, so use a bottom shelf. Keep raw meats on the bottom too.
  • Don’t overcrowd: Too much food makes the fridge work harder. Leave space for air circulation.

With the right technique, you can make KFC chicken last the full 3-4 days until you’re ready to finish it up.

Should You Remove Skin and Bones?

For better fridge life, some say removing the skin and bones is best. The skin, breading and bones can go bad before the actual chicken meat. However, the skin and crust are the tastiest parts of KFC chicken! Keeping it intact preserves texture and flavor.

Since KFC chicken has a short fridge life anyway, it’s fine to leave it whole. Just be diligent about checking for spoiled signs. You can always remove the skin and bones once reheating if you’re worried about lingering bacteria.

How to Tell if KFC Chicken has Gone Bad

Check your KFC leftovers daily for these signs of spoilage:

  • Slimy texture – Fresh chicken feels firm and dry to the touch.
  • Gray color – The meat lightens from its original color when spoiled.
  • Dull or soggy skin – The crispy coating softens and loses crunch.
  • Off smell – Rotten chicken gives off an unpleasant, sour odor.
  • Mold – Fuzzy white or green spots indicate mold growth.

If you notice any of these changes, throw the chicken away even if it’s before the 3-4 day mark. Don’t taste, cook or eat spoiled chicken.

When in Doubt, Throw it Out

With perishable foods like chicken, it’s not worth getting sick over. If you can’t remember when you ordered takeout or if your chicken looks even a little questionable, play it safe and toss it.

KFC chicken doesn’t cost much to replace. It’s better to pitch it if you’re unsure and order more fresh chicken.

How to Make KFC Chicken Last Longer

To maximize your leftovers, here are some storage tips:

  • Portion into smaller containers – Divide up the chicken so you’re only thawing what you’ll eat.
  • Freeze immediately – For best quality, freeze chicken within 1-2 days.
  • Use freezer bags – Squeeze out air and seal bags tightly to prevent freezer burn.
  • Reheat fully – Heat chicken pieces to 165°F. Check with a food thermometer.
  • Avoid the microwave – Microwaving makes chicken rubbery. Oven or stovetop heating is best.

Proper freezing lets you safely store KFC chicken for 2-6 months. And reheating to 165°F kills any bacteria for safer leftovers. Follow these steps and you’ll get more mileage from your chicken.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat expired KFC chicken?

It’s risky to eat KFC chicken after it’s expired. Even if it looks or smells normal, bacteria like salmonella can still be present. Stick to the 3-4 day timeline for safety.

How can you tell if thawed KFC chicken is bad?

Check thawed chicken for an off odor, slimy texture, or dull color. If it smells bad, throws it out. Thawed chicken only lasts 1-2 days in the fridge.

Can you freeze leftover KFC chicken?

Yes, freezing is ideal for storing KFC chicken long-term. Break down the chicken into smaller portions before freezing. KFC chicken stays good frozen for 2-6 months.

Is it OK to microwave KFC chicken?

Microwaving is not recommended. It makes the chicken rubbery and soggy. For food safety and taste, reheat KFC chicken in the oven or on the stovetop until 165°F.

Can you get sick from eating spoiled KFC chicken?

Yes, you risk food poisoning if you eat chicken that has spoiled. Contaminants like salmonella, listeria, or E. coli can grow on old chicken and make you sick. When in doubt, throw it out.


KFC chicken leftovers are convenient, but have a short fridge life. Keep them sealed, refrigerated at 40°F, and eat within 3-4 days. Check for any slimy texture, color changes, or sour smell before eating. With proper storage, freezing, and reheating to 165°F, you can safely enjoy KFC chicken even past the expiration date printed on the packaging.