Vacuum packing is a packaging technique that drains air from a package before sealing it. The vacuum-sealed packaging’s serve as storage for different kinds of items, put inside the pack before the vacuuming and sealing process begins. Therefore, the term Vacuum Sealed Chicken refers to the whole package when chicken, in any form, is the item stored inside. It is, in simple terms, chicken stored in a vacuum. The main goal of vacuum packing/sealing is to extend the shelf life of the foods stored, in this case, chicken. But do you know how long does vacuum sealed chicken last in the fridge?
Vacuum Sealed Chicken: The Story Behind
The story of vacuum sealing began in the 1940s when the first food vacuum packs were invented for the first time. The seals were too small, the vacuum pumps too large, and the process was so inconvenient. But that was not until the year 1963 when Karl Busch, a German inventor, made a breakthrough in the industry. He invented the first domestic vacuum sealers and developed the first vacuum pump for vacuum packaging food. The vacuum pump was called Huckepack, and it was for packaging meat. That is how the Busch Company began and carried on with the development of vacuum sealing, bringing us to where we are now.
How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Chicken Last in the Fridge?
Chicken is highly perishable in general. Raw chicken only needs 2-4 hours to spoil, depending on the surrounding environment. Cooked chicken, on the other hand, will last longer but not for more than 24 hours. You need to implement the right storage practices to increase the shelf life of your chicken meat.
The need to extend the shelf life of foods, most especially the highly perishable, was the force behind the invention of vacuum sealing. The idea was to drain oxygen, which is necessary for bacteria to thrive, from the food package to slow down its growth process. Vacuum sealing extends the shelf life by at least 3-5 times.
Make no mistake; vacuum packaging is not a substitute for your storage. No. The technique can only compliment your storage practice to make it more effective. The shelf life of your vacuum-sealed chicken will depend on the storage method you use.
Shelf Life of a Vacuum Sealed Chicken at Room Temperature
A vacuum-sealed chicken under room temperature can only last for 2-4 hours depending on the heat and other relevant factors. High temperatures will encourage the bacteria to grow faster, and lower temperatures will discourage it. Remember, bacteria will continue to grow even after you vacuum the package but will do so at a slower rate. It only needs minimum conditions to thrive, and room temperature is way more than that.
Under no circumstance should you ever allow your vacuum-sealed chicken to sit at room temperature.
Shelf Life of a Vacuum Sealed Chicken in a Fridge
Refrigeration is one of the most effective ways that can improve the shelf life of your vacuum-sealed chicken. It gives you at least 3-10 days before your chicken deteriorates. Refrigeration is the perfect solution for your short-term storage needs.
Shelf Life of a Vacuum Sealed Chicken in a Freezer
In general, freezing provides the highest shelf for all types of foods. As for your vacuum-sealed chicken, you have at least 9-12 months, depending on the size. A whole chicken will last longer than when it's cut into pieces. Freezing is the perfect solution to your long-term storage needs.
Shelf Life of a Smoked Vacuum Sealed Chicken at Room Temperature
Left at room temperature, a smoked vacuum-sealed chicken will last for at least 24-48 hours .
Shelf Life of a Smoked Vacuum Sealed Chicken in the Fridge
A refrigerated smoked vacuum-sealed chicken can only last for one week before it goes bad.
Shelf Life of a Smoked Sealed Chicken in the Freezer
If you decide to freeze your smoked vacuum-sealed chicken, you can only wait for one month to eat it.
Shelf Life of a Marinated Chicken
The shelf life of a marinated chicken varies depending on
- The type of marinade you use; ingredients you will use to marinate
- The method you will use to store the marinated chicken.
- Whether it's raw or cooked
- The temperature
A Hawaiian marinade that consists of pineapple juice, vinegar, soy, brown sugar, etc., can only last for a maximum of 24 hours, mostly less. Anything acid will disintegrate within a short period reducing the shelf life of your marinated chicken. But you can include some oils in your mixture to extend the shelf life just a little.
Raw marinated chicken can last up to 36 hours if you intend to put it on a dehydrator to make chicken jerky. But if you plan to use it to prepare an ordinary meal, don’t let it sit for that long.
That said, the shelf life of your marinated chicken can be as short as 30 minutes and as long as 1-Week, but the average time is 24 hours.
Discerning whether your stored chicken is fit for consumption will help avoid consumption of compromised meat. Here are several different ways you can use to confirm whether your chicken is spoiled or not.
- If your chicken is stinking
- If you check the package and find that it has exceeded the expiry date
- If it's grey instead of its pink natural color
- If you touch it and feel that it is slimy
- If it smells like rotten eggs
- If you notice mold growing on it: you will see some green or black spots on the meat.
- If you notice any discoloration; Cooked chicken is usually white.
- If it tastes bad