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How to Freeze Chicken

The EASIEST, FASTEST and BEST way to freeze chicken is right here in how to freeze chicken. Save money and TIME!

Bag of frozen chicken on a marble background

Why This Recipe Works? 

  • Fast
  • Easy
  • Saves Money!

How It’s Done

STEP 1. Label the freezer bag with today’s date, how many and what is in the bag. You may also want to put a “USE BY” date that is 6 months to 1 year from now. 

hand writing on a plastic bag with a sharpie marker


STEP 2. Place the chicken Into the Freezer Bag

hands placing chicken into bag

STEP 3. Close the freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as you can.

hands squeezing the air out and sealing the bag

How To Freeze Chicken

To freeze chicken,  place the chicken into a freezer bag and lay as flat as possible. Squeeze out as much air from the bag as you can. Label with today’s date, how many and what is in the bag. You may want to put a “USE BY” date of 6 months to 1 year. 

Freezing Chicken How Long?

Freeze whole cuts of chicken like breasts, thighs, legs  etc.,, wrapped well with no air in the package (as described below), kept at zero degrees for up to 1 year. Ground chicken for 6 months. 

What Goes With Chicken? 

We always love a baked potato or microwave sweet potato with our chicken. Green Beans with New Potatoes is another good choice as is Death by Mac and Cheese! Round out your dinner with Sweet Tea and Pretzel Salad (it’s really a dessert) and you’ll have a perfect meal! 

cast iron frying pan of chicken thighs

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Freeze Cooked Chicken? 

Yes! Absolutely you can freeze a cooked Chicken. It is the same procedure as the raw chicken. Make sure to label your package and use it in the next 4 months or so.

Cooked Chicken doesn’t keep nearly as long as raw chicken, so take that into consideration in your dinner plans. Use it pretty quickly. 

How To Freeze Cooked Chicken

Use the same procedure as freezing raw chicken, put the chicken in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and label the bag. Freeze for up to 4 months. 

Can You Freeze Raw Chicken? 

Yes! It only takes a few minutes to do! So, the next time you find chicken on sale or you are not going to be able to eat the meat you bought! Simply put it in a freezer bag, label it and put it in the freezer!

How Long Can You Keep Chicken in the Freezer? 

It is generally good for 4 months – 1 year, however, according to the USDA, meat kept at 0 degrees is good indefinitely. To be safe though, I don’t keep meat for more than a year and I check it for freezer burn before using if I know its been in there for a while! 

Is It Safe To Eat Two Year Old Frozen Chicken?

That really depends on how well the meat has been wrapped, how much air is in the package and how steady the temp has been in the freezer. If the meat has been kept solidly at 0 degrees, then it should be fine. If you notice many ice crystals, it is probably time to throw it out. 

Do I Salt Chicken Before Freezing? 

You do NOT need to salt chicken before freezing. When you thaw the chicken, then you will want to salt it or marinate it or do whatever preparations you usually do to your chicken before cooking it. 

Does Freezing Chicken Make It Tough? 

It does not make your chicken tough. Freezing it does not tenderize it either though so, whatever quality of chicken you start with is the quality of chicken that you will end up with. 

How Long Can You Freeze Chicken

You can, if handled properly and kept at the right temperature for a year. 

silver pan on a wooden background filled with spinach covered meat

How To Thaw Chicken

To thaw chicken, Fill a large bowl or a clean kitchen sink with tepid (room temperature) water. Place in a sealable plastic bag bag. Place the chicken filled bag into the water. Turn the chicken over every 10 minutes and replace the water if it becomes cold. The chicken will thaw in about 20-40 minutes depending on how thick the package is. 

Does Freezing Affect the Taste? 

Freezing chicken does not affect its taste as long as it has not been burnt. Freezer burnt meat does not taste good. 

How To Freeze Chicken to Avoid Freezer Burn.

The main points is to avoid freezer burn …

  • Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag. 
  • Make sure there are no holes in your freezer bag.
  • Keep  at a steady temp as close to 0 as possible. 

Is It Safe to Refreeze Thawed Chicken That Has Already Been Frozen?

According to the USDA, it is safe as long as the meat has been handled properly. That said, my mother always taught me to NEVER do this. It is BEST to cook the meat and then freeze it if you are needing to store it for a while. 

Meat that has been refrozen after being thawed without being cooked first will lose some of its textural qualities and may have a slightly funny taste. Here is a great reference on freezing and refrigerating foods of various types. 

How To Know If Frozen Meat Is Bad

Do you see ice c? Does the meat appear white and dry? How long has it been in the freezer?

If you notice….

  • The meat appears encased in ice crystals or frost
  • Meat appears dry.
  • The meat has been in the freezer longer than 6 months.
  • There was a lot of air in the package.

Then, the meat might be bad and you should throw it out. 

A photo of the rotisserie chicken, purple grapes and a celery stalk for easy rotisserie chicken salad

If You Enjoyed this Chicken Recipe, You Might Also Enjoy…

Easy Chicken Pie

How to Season Chicken

Basil Pesto Chicken

Pinto Beans

If You Want To Know More About Freezing Other Foods, Check Out….

How to Freeze Steak

 Freeze Raw Beef

How to Freeze Bacon

Hey, Ya’ll, Help Me Out, OK? 

Leave me a 5 STAR comment in the comment section below. This helps other people to find recipes on Loaves and Dishes! 

Bag of frozen chicken on a marble background

How to Freeze Chicken

Save money and ALWAYS have what you need ready to use!  These quick instructions for HOW TO FREEZE CHICKEN are the BEST and EASIEST to follow.  Learn how!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to Freeze Chicken, Frozen Chicken, Freezing Chicken
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 331kcal


  • 2 lb Chicken Thighs


  • Label the freezer bag with a sharpie marker to indicate what will be in the bag and how many. Label with today's date and a "USE BY" date (6 months to 1 year from now).
  • Place the chicken into the freezer bag and lay flat
  • Squeeze as much air as possible from the bag.
  • Seal the bag.
  • Place the bag of chicken into the freezer and lay flat so that they will freeze flat.


  • Use good quality freezer bags (this doesn't necessarily mean name brand).  Just check to make sure that the bag feels heavy and thick in your hand and that the seal works very well.
  • It's so easy to use the type of bag with the zippers, but I've had more bag failures with the zipper bags than with the press and seal type bags. 
  • Buy yourself a sharpie marker to keep in the kitchen in your "junk" drawer OR tape it to the front of your freezer bag box.  Then you'll always have one. 
  • The flater that you can make the bag, the better for saving space in your freezer. 
  • When putting things in the freezer, put the newer things on the bottom of the stack so that the older things are near the top and you'll use those first. 
  • Squeeze air out of the bag after you put the meat into the bag by rolling it up. Air in the bag will equal freezer burn later. 
PRO TIP:  Label the bag BEFORE you put the food in the bag.  It's so much easier to write on a bag with nothing in it BEFORE it has water or grease on it. 


Nutrition Facts
How to Freeze Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 331 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 148mg49%
Sodium 116mg5%
Potassium 310mg9%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 118IU2%
Calcium 12mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Are you tempted by good stuff? 

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.


Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

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Friday 27th of September 2019


Wendi Spraker

Friday 27th of September 2019



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