Chicken breast is one of the most popular meats in the world. It is used in many dishes and can be cooked in a variety of ways. After making a meal with chicken breast, you may end up with some leftovers. This will make you wonder if you can freeze cooked chicken breast.
Yes, you can! It is possible to freeze cooked chicken breast in a number of ways. The best way to freeze it is to wrap it in plastic wrap and then put it into a freezer bag. You can also place the chicken breast in a freezer-safe container and freeze it that way. Properly stored, you can freeze cooked chicken breast for up to 4 months.
Does Cooked Chicken Breast Freeze Well?
Cooked chicken breast freezes well because of its high moisture content.
However, you should know that they will not last as long as raw chicken. The reason for this is that the moisture inside the chicken will freeze and make it less pliable. The best time to freeze cooked chicken breasts is within a day of cooking them.
Due to the freezing temperature, it’s important to keep the chicken breast sealed in an airtight container or freezer bag. If there’s a leak, air can leak in and cause freezer burn to the chicken breast.
How To Freeze Cooked Chicken Breast
When it comes to freezing cooked chicken breast, the process is quite simple and doesn’t require a lot of time preparing it.
Below are the steps to freezing cooked chicken breast:
Step 1: Allow to Cool Down
After the chicken breast is cooked, allow it to cool down to room temperature. Never put the chicken in the freezer while it’s still warm. Doing so will cause condensation to form which will create moisture and cause damage to the chicken breast.
Also, the warmth from the chicken could cause other food around it to prematurely melt.
Step 2: Dry the Chicken Breast
Use a paper towel to pat excess moisture off of your chicken breast before freezing it. The less moisture that’s on the meat, the better it will freeze.
Step 3: Wrapping
For extra protection, wrap each piece of chicken breast in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Make sure no part of the meat is exposed.
Step 4: Transfer to Freezer Bag
After the chicken breast is wrapped, place them into the freezer bag. Then press on the bag to remove as much air as possible before sealing.
Step 5: Label and Freeze
With a marker, write the date of freezing on the bag. Then place the chicken breast into the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Chicken Breast?
A cooked chicken breast can be frozen for up to 4 months without changes to the flavor or texture. After that time, you can expect the quality of the meat to deteriorate. The longer that it’s been in the freezer, the more it will lose its quality.
However, the cooked chicken breast will still be safe to eat beyond that point. The only thing though is that it will not taste as good as it should.
How Do You Defrost Cooked Chicken Breast?
To defrost cooked chicken breasts, you can place them in the refrigerator overnight. This is actually the best way since it will help the chicken retain their texture and taste.
The first step is to let the chicken thaw in the fridge. You should leave it in its original packaging and not open it. Once you have thawed the chicken, you can pat it dry with a paper towel. Then, place it on a plate and cover it with foil or plastic wrap. This will help prevent any juices from dripping onto your countertop.
On the other hand, there are other methods to defrost cooked chicken breast, especially if you need it much sooner. You can thaw the meat in a bowl of cold water. You can also use your microwave oven to defrost the meat, but this method will only work if the breast is small enough to fit inside.
Once you have thawed the chicken, lay two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place the defrosted chicken breast on one of them. Place another baking sheet on top of that one and then add about 1/4 cup of water to each tray. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can You Refreeze Cooked Chicken Breast?
It’s not recommended to refreeze cooked chicken breast. The quality of chicken breast starts to decline after it has been frozen. By freezing and thawing it more than once, it becomes dry and loses its juiciness and flavors.
Also, thawing cooked chicken breast increase the chances of bacteria contamination, especially if the meat is thawed completely. By freezing the chicken breast again, you could potentially freeze the bacteria as well, which could cause food poisoning.
Can you freeze cooked breaded chickens?
Yes, you can freeze breaded chicken. You should use a freezer bag and then place the chicken inside of it. The frozen food should be wrapped in a layer of plastic wrap before placing it in the freezer. This is because breaded chickens can get soggy when they are frozen.
If it’s not sealed properly, the moisture in the chicken will cause it to dry out and become hard.