How Does Bad Chicken Taste Like?

Everyone loves chicken meat; it’s an easy-to-eat and delicious protein. Most people haven’t tried every chicken recipe out there.

Whether you cook homemade chicken or enjoy a fine meal at a restaurant, chicken meat can never disappoint you.

But have you ever imagined eating bad chicken? What does bad chicken taste like? And is it dangerous to eat spoiled chicken?

If you wonder about these questions, our short guide has useful information about the topic!

Let’s get started.

What Does Bad Chicken Taste Like?

Bad raw chicken has a sour taste and smells like ammonia. The sour taste of bad chicken meat is easy to detect, so you can instantly notice the difference when you accidentally eat bad chicken.

Signs of Bad Chicken


Whether you’ve got raw or cooked chicken, a smell test will indicate if something is amiss. Fresh chicken has minimal aroma, but it may have a slight “funky” odor if it’s been sealed with its juices for a long period. Chicken that has a potent smell should be a warning sign. If the odor is fishy or sulfur-like, it’s no longer safe to eat.


No one wants to touch raw chicken, but it’s a great way to know whether the chicken is fresh. Raw chicken is moist and has a glossy texture. If it’s tacky, slippery, or sticky, toss it in the trash. The same goes for cooked chicken, which must be firm and dry to the touch.


 If the raw or cooked chicken has gone bad, you’ll notice signs of spoilage. Pay attention if your chicken has changed to a yellow, green, or gray color; these are signs your chicken has gone bad. 

Cooked Bad Chicken – Taste Test

If you feel unsure whether the cooked chicken is bad, you can cautiously take a small bite. Instead of chewing and swallowing the cooked chicken immediately, you should pause and analyze the flavor. If cooked chicken tastes like mild sourdough bread, it has gone bad, and you should throw it away.

Bad Fried Chicken – Taste Test

Fried chicken is everyone’s favorite, but have you ever wondered what bad fried chicken tastes like?

Here’s a quick answer:

Bad fried chicken tastes a little ‘off’ and sour. And if the fried chicken has an unpleasant or strong odor, it’s best to discard it.  

Cooked Chicken Tastes Weird After Refrigerating – Is that Bad?

If your cooked chicken tastes bad after refrigerating, it has become rancid. This is commonly known as the “warmed-over” flavor. When cooked chicken tastes bad, it’s caused by the breakdown of fats. Many people describe it as a “cardboard-like” flavor. The breakdown process starts before the chicken is cooked, but cooking accelerates the process.

This also happens in other animal foods. Curing the meats like hot dogs and corned beef with nitrates or nitrites slows down the process and masks these flavors.

Chicken Tastes Like Fish – Is that Bad?

Your cooked chicken may taste like fish for many reasons, but one of the most common is that the chicken has gone bad and isn’t safe to eat. Bad chicken meat can have all kinds of funny tastes, and a fishy flavor is usually a sign that it is no longer fresh to consume. So if your chicken tastes like raw salmon or any other fish, it’s best to throw it away!

However, some farmers will feed chickens fishmeal, resulting in the flesh that tastes rather fishy. While fishmeal-fed chicken is safe to eat, it’s not appealing to many consumers.      

If you notice a fishy taste in your chicken consistently with a particular chicken brand, it’s possible that that chicken is being fed on fishmeal before being slaughtered.

If this is the case, you may wish to switch to another brand.

What Happens if You Eat Bad/Rotten Chicken?

This video shows what happens if you eat bad chicken.

Why is chicken sour after cooking?

If chicken is sour after cooking, it’s spoiled and not suitable for consumption. If your recipe calls for sour ingredients, it’s natural for your chicken to taste sour.

In general, fresh chicken doesn’t taste sour. If it does, your chicken isn’t fresh or healthy, and it’s not something you should eat.

Is Sour Chicken Bad?

Yes, sour chicken is bad. And if the chicken tastes sour without you adding sour ingredients, it means it’s spoiled and not suitable for consumption.

Another thing to note is if the chicken has a sour smell and taste. You should discard sour chicken since it can pose health risks if consumed.

A fresh chicken safe for consumption should not taste bad or sour.

Is it safe to eat sour chicken?

No, we don’t recommend eating chicken that tastes sour because it’s not safe. When a chicken tastes sour, it’s because it has gone bad and is not ideal for consumption.

For this reason, make sure you avoid eating chicken that tastes sour. If you find your chicken with such a bad taste, discard it to avoid health problems that can happen when you consume such.

Learn More: Is it Safe to Eat Chicken Bones? And what do chicken bones taste like?

What happens if I eat chicken that tastes sour?

If you eat a sour-tasting chicken, you may suffer digestive problems such as an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea, negatively impacting your health.

Proper chicken cooking can easily kill the pathogens causing infection, but eating a chicken that tastes sour is a risk you should avoid.

If you want to eat chicken, you should always get fresh ones and avoid eating any sour chicken without any sour ingredients on it.

This way, you won’t need to worry about the sour taste, and you’ll know that it’s safe for you to eat such.

Buyers Guide: How to Check if Chicken Tastes Bad

Check the “Sell By” date.

This isn’t the best good indicator of whether or not the raw chicken is good because the “Sell By” date only dictates when stores can no longer sell chicken to consumers. Instead of relying on this “Sell By” date, we recommend means of confirming whether or not the chicken you’re buying has gone bad. 

If you purchase fresh from a store and freeze it, chicken meat can last up to nine months past this date, as long as it was fresh when purchased.

Look into how the chicken was stored.

Cooked chicken spoils faster if exposed to air, and improperly stored chicken meat is more likely to be bad.

You should store chicken in shallow, airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Also, you can wrap the chicken in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

Example: To remain safe to eat, the whole chicken must be cut into smaller portions, and any stuffing should be removed before refrigeration or freezing.

Check for how long the chicken was stored.

Raw chicken should be stored for a day or two in the refrigerator, while cooked chicken remains good for about three to four days.

The cooked chicken will stay safe to eat in the freezer for up to four months, while raw chicken can remain good for up to a year.

Related Questions

Is It Ok to eat chicken if it has a slight smell?

Eating smelly chicken may or may not be safe. Sometimes, the packaging of store-bought chicken causes the meat to have a slight smell. And even when you cook it, the smell stays there.

However, vacuum-sealed chicken is not bad for health. Factories use gases to vacuum pack the chicken, which causes it to taste and smell like sulfur.

If you have a vacuum-packed chicken, then the smell won’t do any harm to you. You may eat it as you like. However, it would be best if you always get fresh chicken.

Fresh chicken can also have a slightly odd smell because of the dried-out blood.

So, all you have to do is rinse your freshly-bought chicken under running water. Or, soak the chicken meat in vinegar water for some time.

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