Say for example I had some marinated cooked chicken that I put in the freezer. Would it be safe to defrost this cooked chicken and put it in a sandwich without reheating it through first?

I know it's safe to eat cake out of the freezer, but I was wondering whether meat was different.

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    My question to you is: Why? Why would you want to do such a thing? Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 22:27

6 Answers 6


There is no mention on the fact sheet of needing to recook previously cooked, frozen chicken. However, be mindful of proper defrosting techniques, as not doing so may open the food up to contamination.


Iceland sell frozen pre-cooked chicken drumsticks that you just defrost and eat and do NOT require cooking according to their instructions. They wouldn't be allowed to do that if it wasn't safe.


It's safer than eating cooked meat than has been stored in the refrigerator. More bacteria grows in the refrigerator than the freezer.


You can eat it without any food safety concern with proper defrosting/thawing of course.

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    – Cindy
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 19:10

I wouldn't. Freezing does not kill everything that lives on food and cooking food to a minimum internal temperature kills most microbes (but not all).

You're better off keeping raw chicken and marinade separate then combining as and when you require it.

Taken from US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service fact sheet:

Is Frozen Food Safe?

...Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage...

...Once thawed, however, these microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to foodborne illness.

Taken from FoodSafety.gov Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures:

Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature.

Poultry: 165F / 74C

  • 6
    I never thought I'd find myself saying this here, but this is actually going too far in terms of food safety. Cooked food will be safer having been frozen and properly defrosted than just sitting in the fridge - and refrigerated cooked meat is also considered safe. The USDA warning simply states that frozen food is not sterilized and that leaving it in the temperature danger zone for > 2 hours (cumulative from when cooking stopped to when the temperature went above 4° C) is just as unsafe for previously-frozen foods as it is for refrigerated.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 13:10

research shows that it is safe to eat cold chicken if it is cooked and stored in the freezer and then defrosted

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    What research in particular?
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 9:48

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