Why do instructions to reheat already properly cooked and stored chicken say to check internal temperature to 165 if you want to warm it up? The logic escapes me here, does anyone have a clue they can share with me?

The chicken has been already cooked. And is loveingly know as "leftovers". Good in the fridge for 4-5 days and in the freezer much longer. I was looking for a way to keep it moist while wanting to heat it and did not expect this other issue to develop in the process. All the directions on the internet say to check internal temperature for 165 degrees for an already cooked chicken. My logic tells me I don't have to heat it at all, it's already cooked I can just as easily make a cold chicken sandwhich with it. According to google if I choose to have it warm instead of cold then all of a sudden it decides to grow bacteria. Maybe take google with a grain of salt?

1 Answer 1


Fist, what do you mean by "proper?" If your chicken was correctly cooked, then chilled to refrigeration temperatures within the window for food safety, and stored within the window of safety, you can obviously eat it directly from the refrigerator...or warm it and eat it. No significant bacteria are going to grow, for example, if you remove it from the fridge, stick it in the microwave (or in pan on a stove) and warm it for a few minutes, and eat it. There is just not enough time for anything to incubate. Again, the preceding assumes that you've followed general food safety protocols for your raw product, preparation, cooking, and storage...and you are consuming within the storage life of your food.

Now, if you've got some time, and your goal is to reheat to have an experience as close to the original cooking as possible, the then best tool is to use a sous vide device. It is the most gentle and thorough tool for this job. This is a good explanation. All you have to do is set the device to a degree or two under the original doneness temperature, bag it, and put it in the bath. It's the path toward moist leftover chicken...among other things.

  • Thank you for pointing that out. I reworded it improved. The use of the word "proper" was indeed confusing.
    – Sedumjoy
    Nov 29, 2020 at 3:18

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