I have an idea to pre-cook chicken, sauces, in spices etc and then freeze in batches. I can then use the precooked chicken to whip up quick dishes for dinner.

My question is: if I have leftovers (after "whipping up dinner") is it safe to re-heat the next day?

I always was told never to heat food twice so in this case, I'd have cooked it, fridgerated or frozen it, and then heated it again and then one more time for leftovers...

would this be dangerous/make me sick?

Also, how long would cooked chicken keep in the fridge?

  • I've marked this as a duplicate; nobody who knows what they're talking about would say that there is anything wrong with [re]heating food twice, however, the more times you reheat, the more difficult it becomes to estimate how much longer it will keep for.
    – Aaronut
    Mar 6, 2014 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can do this.

The controlling principal is that time spent frozen essentially stops the clock on the spoilage. The total time that the chicken or other ingredient spends should not exceed either of:

  • 2 hours at room temperature
  • 2-4 days total at refrigerator temperatures

These times are total for the life cycle of the ingredient, from when you buy it to when you finally eat it (or discard it).

See also:

How dangerous is it to refreeze meat that has been thawed?

  • Thanks for the response! Does that mean say if I cooked it, put it in the fridge for 1 day, froze it, and then cooked it again, i'd have another 2 or so days in the fridge before using it?
    – user31344
    Mar 6, 2014 at 1:38
  • Yes, but you should always apply common sense, and discard if off flavors or odors develop.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Mar 6, 2014 at 1:43
  • thanks! with they way I cook, it's hard to say sometimes ;) ha
    – user31344
    Mar 8, 2014 at 14:22

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