One of the best parts about ordering food from KFC is that you can buy enough to feed a family. KFC’s buckets of chicken, for example, are a popular menu item.
But what if you can’t finish all of the KFC chicken? “Can you freeze KFC chicken?” you may be wondering. Keep reading to find out!
Preparing KFC chicken for freezing
The main rule for freezing KFC chicken is the same as it is for freezing any other cooked product: make sure whatever you’re freezing is completely cool.
Aside from that, you have little to worry about, but if you want to increase the chances of the chicken retaining its full flavor profile, you can go one step further:
Allow the chicken to cool completely;
Place the chicken on a freezer or fridge-safe tray lined with parchment paper; the chicken should remain uncovered.
Place the tray in the fridge or freezer for the chicken temperature to drop as low as it can without freezing. This should take a couple of hours in the fridge, but much less in the freezer. In any case, every fridge is different, so check on the chicken a couple of times.
When the chicken is cold and hardened, place it in an airtight container of your choice and forget about it until it’s time to reheat and enjoy it again.
When the temperature is lower, allow the chicken to cool at room temperature before placing it in the container and storing it until further notice.
However, leaving the chicken out in the heat exposes it to contamination because bacteria love warmth.
*** Read more: Can You Freeze Cooked Hamburgers? The Best Way To Do It!
KFC chicken freezing instructions
As previously stated, preparing the chicken for freezing is simple, albeit time-consuming.
Fortunately, freezing it is much simpler. All you need is an airtight container, which can be rigid (glass or plastic Tupperware) or flexible (bags and wrapping).
A plastic sealable bag, which can change shape and easily accommodate multiple chicken pieces, is probably your best bet. Because silicone can be a little rigid, it may be difficult to fit many chicken pieces inside, but it may work just as well.
When it comes to rigid containers, glass is preferable to plastic because it does not absorb odors or bacteria. But make sure there’s plenty of space between the chicken and the lid, because a glass container may shut in the freezer if there’s not enough air.
If you’re using a plastic container, make sure it’s labeled #4 or #5, as these are the “safe plastics” to use with food.
Useful tips for freezing KFC
Now that you know how to freeze it, here are our three top tips for getting the best results when freezing KFC:
Freeze as soon as possible – It’s critical that you don’t leave your KFC on the counter before putting it in the freezer. When storing meat, make sure it’s as fresh as possible before putting it in the freezer. Because you don’t know when your KFC was prepared, you should put it in the freezer as soon as possible.
Keep it in the Fridge Instead – If you plan on reheating and eating your KFC the next day, you don’t need to freeze it. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours if properly covered.
*** Read more: How To Reheat Burger In Air Fryer: Additional Safety Tips!
How long can you keep KFC chicken in the freezer?
When it comes to freezing KFC chicken, this is probably the most difficult question. There appears to be no agreement on the subject.
The recommendations vary greatly, with some advising against freezing cooked chicken of any kind (not just KFC) for more than a few weeks. While others assure you that you can keep the KFC chicken in your freezer for up to 3 months, and it will be outstanding for consumption in the end.
Does it have an effect on the flavor?
Regrettably, yes. The taste of KFC chicken is affected by freezing.
This does not mean the chicken will not be tasty; it simply will not be as tasty as it is when freshly cooked. When you reheat frozen KFC chicken, the spices appear to be dull and the meat itself tastes blander. This is typically true of any cooked meat. However, because the KFC chicken flavor is heavily reliant on its signature spice mix, being frozen and then reheated can have a more noticeable impact on its flavor profile.
By adding some extra spices while reheating the chicken, you can significantly improve the flavor. Especially if you Google some KFC spice mix knockoff.
Defrosting KFC chicken
The only way to defrost KFC chicken is to leave it in the fridge overnight to thaw.
You should never defrost KFC chicken, or any cooked meat, at room temperature, especially in hot weather.
This is due to the meat’s susceptibility to the aforementioned bacteria. If your meat becomes contaminated, the only way to make it safe to eat is to reheat it until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, which is the temperature at which bacteria begin to die.
Warmth, on the other hand, promotes their survival.
While cold does not kill bacteria, it does slow their growth. So, defrosting the chicken in the fridge ensures that it does not become contaminated, or that the bacteria that is already present does not grow further.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator just before reheating, not earlier.
*** Read more: Do Frozen Waffles Go Bad? Ways To Properly Store Waffles
The best way to reheat KFC chicken
You can reheat KFC chicken in a variety of ways after it has been adequately thawed, but not all of them will produce the best results. If possible, refrying the chicken is probably the best option, but if you prefer a hands-off approach, you can use the oven. Simply avoid using a microwave; it may not be safe.
Air fryer heating:
An air-fryer is your best bet if you want to avoid using too much oil while still keeping the chicken crisp. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F, place the chicken in the fryer basket (in one layer and preferably not touching each other), and cook for 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway.
In an oven, reheat:
Preheat the oven to 375°F, arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on a tray covered with parchment paper, sprinkle with a little bit of oil, spray would work best for even coverage, and bake for 10 minutes.
You already know how to check the chicken.
Probably your best bet: heat any neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point in the fryer (no olive oil), add the chicken pieces, and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Take one of the pieces out and use a thermometer to check the internal temperature, or cut it open to see if it’s been warmed through. If so, remove the remaining pieces from the fryer.
Cooking on the stove:
The procedure is similar to that of a deep fryer, except that instead of immersing the chicken in the oil, you must constantly turn it. Pour in enough neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point to completely cover the bottom of the pan (a cast iron skillet is ideal, but any pan will do) and heat over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces to the pan and heat them through. Then turn them over every 30 seconds or so. Overall, 2 minutes should suffice for each side – but check the temperature with a thermometer or by cutting a piece.
If that isn’t enough, return the chicken to the air fryer for another 2 minutes.
Microwave heating: Do not use a microwave to reheat the defrosted chicken. It will most likely struggle to raise the chicken’s internal temperature to 165°F (without rendering it inedible in the process), so your chicken may not be safe to eat.
Reheat with an air fryer: There are several ways to reheat the defrosted fried chicken, but air frying it is the best way to ensure it is crispy and delicious.
*** Read more: What To Eat With Chicken Nuggets? [The 6 Ideal Options]
- KFC freezes well?
KFC freezes exceptionally well. To many people’s surprise, previously frozen KFC can taste almost as good as it does fresh out of the fryer if properly reheated!
So, if you’ve indulged in a delicious KFC takeaway, you don’t have to worry about wasting the leftovers.
- Is it possible to refreeze KFC?
Fried chicken can only be reheated once after it has been cooked. Don’t return it to the freezer if you’ve cooked it again and still have leftovers.
It’s far better to treat your dog to popcorn chicken than to risk food poisoning by freezing it a second time. By individually wrapping your KFC pieces, you can only take out what you need from the freezer at a time.
- Is it possible to freeze KFC gravy?
Because KFC gravy is made fresh every day, it can be safely frozen. Pour your KFC gravy into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Place the pot in the freezer to easily freeze the KFC gravy.
- Does KFC leave the skin on the chicken?
For many, the crispy, crunchy coating is the most popular part of a KFC treat, so fast-food executives in Indonesia decided to eliminate the rest and only sell fried skin. Customers can forego the drumsticks, thighs, and breasts in favor of the spice-coated skin.
- Can you keep KFC in the refrigerator?
Good news: you can store KFC in the refrigerator. If you realize you have far too much chicken in your bucket, simply place it in a container and place it in the refrigerator. It is safe to reheat KFC the next day as long as it is stored properly. However, we do not recommend reheating your KFC in the microwave.
In a nutshell, this post has addressed the following query: “Can you freeze KFC chicken?”
All you need to freeze KFC chicken is a Ziploc bag or a freezer-safe airtight container. You can reheat the chicken in an air fryer or oven, you can also use the stove.
However, once you’ve reheated KFC chicken, you must eat it or throw it away because repeated reheating can cause food poisoning.