When you think chicken can’t get any better, enter canned chicken. Nothing but a chicken breast in oil in a can; canned chicken is delicious and practical. There are many great things about canned chicken, but the best is its duration. So, how long does canned chicken last?
Unopened, canned chicken is excellent and safe for about three to five years if properly stored. Unopened, it stays good for five to seven days in the fridge. However, an opened and refrigerated canned chicken remains safe for up to a week but is not as delicious. Therefore, it is best for up to three or four days in the fridge.
Canned chicken has many uses, from salads to sandwiches, to pasta and much more; it is always a good idea to have some info on its shelf-life and storage. It is genuinely a shame to let the canned chicken go to waste just because you didn’t know a few little things you could have learned in a minute. So, in the following paragraphs, I will give some helpful information on canned chicken storage, shelf-life, and what to be careful about.
How Long Does Opened Canned Chicken Last?
Opened canned chicken is excellent and safe for about three to four days in the fridge. It will stay safe for up to a week but lose flavor and juiciness. If you want to keep your refrigerated canned chicken safe and delicious for the longest possible period, cover it properly, so it doesn’t dry out.
An open can of chicken be good and safe for up to two hours at room temperature. Even though the chicken may not show any signs of spoilage and may not change its smell, you shouldn’t eat it if it has been sitting out for more than two hours.
How Long Is Canned Chicken Good Past the Expiration Date?
Canned food doesn’t have an expiration date, as it won’t technically expire if left unopened in the can. However, it does have a best-before date. This means that even though canned food has a ridiculously long shelf life, it does decrease in quality after a while.
Canned chicken is considered good for three to five years if left intact and properly stored. Canned chicken can last for two-three years after the best-before date. You will notice slight flavor changes, but nothing so significant as to make the chicken taste bad.
Canned chicken is no different than other canned meat, such as tuna for example. So, treat it exactly like tuna in terms of storage and shelf life.
How Do You Know If Canned Chicken Is Bad?
If spoiled, a canned chicken will show clear signs of spoilage. When in doubt, you should look for three things: smell, appearance, and texture. If your canned chicken has gone bad, there will be changes in all three aspects, but they might not develop simultaneously.
The first sign of spoilage is usually the smell. Spoiled canned chicken develops a pungent, unpleasant odor similar to rotten eggs. It is very distinct and impossible to miss or confuse.
Granted, canned chicken has an intense aroma when good too, but the spoiled canned chicken smell is much more intense. So, always check the smell first and discard the canned chicken if it smells funny.
If the canned chicken is spoiled, there will be visual signs too. Depending on the spoilage stage, it may develop slight crust and darkening or mold. It may also change color, so be on the lookout for slightly greenish shades too.
The texture of a spoiled canned chicken starts getting rough and grainy on the surface.
You don’t have to notice changes in all three aspects, but usually, they appear together. Nevertheless, if you see or smell anything unusual, don’t risk it and discard the canned chicken immediately. Eating even slightly spoiled meat could be very harmful with long-lasting effects.
How to Store Opened Canned Chicken?
Storing opened canned chicken is no different than storing any type of opened canned food. Since canned chicken is marinated in oil, you should leave it in the can and store it in the fridge covered with plastic wrap, tin foil, or a silicon lid.
You can also transfer it to an airtight container, but make sure you transfer the oil, so the taste and texture will remain unchanged for the longest possible time, for up to a week.
Freezing canned chicken is also an option. You can freeze canned chicken the same way you freeze any cooked meat. It will be good for up to three months in the freezer.
Make sure no air penetrates the canned chicken while in the freezer, so use airtight containers to preserve your canned chicken, and make sure it is as good as freshly opened when you defrost it.