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HOW TO: Freezing and Thawing

Keep Your Chicken Fresh, Flavorful, and Safe

  • Refrigerate or freeze poultry quickly after purchase, ideally within a half hour.
  • In the freezer, pack foods tightly so items can keep each other cold.
  • Seal packages well before freezing. After sealing, clearly identify them and mark with a date
  • Keep your freezer at 0°F and the refrigerator at 36°F. Check temperatures regularly with a thermometer.
  • You can thaw by immersing packaged poultry in cold water, making sure to change the water every half hour.
  • Defrost in the refrigerator, not on the counter, allowing a few hours to a full day, depending on size. A safe guideline is to allow five hours per pound.
  • When defrosting chicken or turkey in the refrigerator, make sure to put it on the bottom shelf in the back of the fridge.
  • Always cook poultry the day it completely thaws. Never re-freeze thawed poultry. Use it or throw it out.
  • You don’t need to defrost poultry before cooking. Just multiply the recommended cooking time by 1½.
How Long Will it Last in the Freezer?
Fully Cooked Products
Breaded nuggets, tenderloins, strips, bites, and cutlets Up to 6 months
PERDUE® SHORT CUTS® carved chicken or Turkey breast strips Up to 6 months
Turkey meatballs Up to 6 months
Ready-to-Cook Products
Whole Chicken and Turkey or parts 9 months
PERDUE® OVEN STUFFER® Roaster 9 months
PERDUE® OVEN READY Roaster 6 months
Liver or other giblets 2-3 months
PERDUE® FIT & EASY® 9 months
PERDUE® TENDER & TASTY™ Chicken 6 months
Ground Chicken, Turkey & Sausage 2-3 months


Ensure doneness with a meat thermometer.

Refrigerate any leftover chicken immediately & use within 3-5 days.