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Can You Eat Trader Joe’s Buffalo Chicken Dip Cold? (Explained)

can you eat trader joes buffalo chicken dip cold

Trader Joe’s, an American chain of quality grocery stores, sells some of the most delicious, spicy Buffalo Chicken Dip around. Made with cayenne pepper, shredded white chicken, Jack cheese and both sour cream and cream cheese, this dip is perfect for snacking on with chips. However, the question at hand is: can you eat Trader Joe’s Buffalo Chicken Dip cold?

The answer is yes. You can eat Trader Joe’s Buffalo Chicken Dip cold, however it should be kept at a minimum of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder in order to stay safe to eat. This is mainly due to the dairy in this product such as the cream cheese and Monterey jack cheese.

In this article we will be looking at the potential benefits or drawbacks of eating it cold. By the end it will be clear whether or not this dip should be heated before eating!

Understanding Buffalo Chicken Dip

Trader Joe’s Chicken Dip boasts a full profile of flavorful ingredients. Some of these are best eaten warm for flavor and preservation, but others do just fine in the cold. Let’s examine the ingredients.

  1. Shredded Chicken – Typically, chicken should be eaten at a temperature that is less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit on the cold end, and more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit on the warm end to avoid harmful bacteria. However, it tastes delicious and is commonly eaten both hot and cold.
  2. Cream Cheese – Cream Cheese is a dairy-based product that should be eaten at temperatures colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or warmer than 140 degrees Fahrenheit, as well. It adds a tang to the flavor profile of the Buffalo Chicken Dip, and tastes great warm or cold.
  3. Hot Sauce – Hot sauce is safe to consume at any temperature, hot or cold. Do keep in mind that the spiciness of hot sauce may change depending on whether or not you heat it up.
  4. Cheese, Cayenne, Vinegar and Savory Garlic Flavor – The Monterey Jack cheese that Trader Joe’s uses should not stray out of the temperatures listed above for safe chicken consumption, for the same question of safety. However, the flavorings and cheese do not lose their flavor, whether eaten warmed up or cold.

Typical Serving Methods of Buffalo Chicken Dip

Trader Joe’s Buffalo Chicken Dip is a popular item, and on their website the grocery store recommends serving the dip heated. This can be warmed in a microwave, in a pot over the stove, or even baked in the oven.

When the dip is the desired temperature, it works best as a flavor additive to snack foods. These can be chips or salty crackers, but sometimes the best accompaniment for the meaty, spicy dip are cool, crisp vegetables.

Factors to Consider When Eating Buffalo Chicken Dip

Let’s look at some important factors about this dip.

Texture and Taste

  1. Texture Change When Cold – Trader Joe’s Buffalo Chicken Dip has a texture which is mostly smooth, with some pleasing chewiness provided by the bits of white chicken meat inside. However, without the melting of the cheese element in the dip, it can become a little tougher to spread, and lumpy, when cold.
  2. Potential Impact on Flavor Profile –  It has a meaty, tangy flavor spiked with spiciness from hot sauce and cayenne pepper. The tanginess can become faded while the heat from the spice feels more pronounced while eaten cold.

Food Safety and Health Considerations

  1. Spoiled Cooked Chicken can Cause Food Poisoning – As previously mentioned, when chicken like the bits in the dip is heated or cooled within the danger zone of 40F to 140F, it can grow harmful bacteria and even cause food poisoning if consumed.
  2. Maintain Proper Temperature – As long as you use a thermometer to check that your dip has not reached into the danger zone, which will feel a bit like room temperature, the ingredients will stay safe to eat.

Potential Benefits of Eating Cold Buffalo Chicken Dip

Let’s talk about everything great about the cold Trader Joe’s Buffalo Chicken Dip option!

  1. Convenience and Quick Consumption – Eating the dip cold straight out of the package will save you a lot of time as well as convenience since you won’t need an appliance to heat it. Simply rip open the package and eat it with your preferred choice of snack.
  2. Great for On-the-Go Snacking – Packing this dip into a lunch bag, backpack, or cooler is a great way to bring a snack with you that’s both high in protein and filling. This makes a great snack for hiking, camping, going to a picnic, and even a quick lunch.
  3. Experimenting With Flavor Variations – Mix in some of your favorite dip ingredients to spice up the taste of the dip. Eating the dip cold rather than hot can also help change the flavor profile of the dip to help keep you from getting bored with the same taste over and over again.

Potential Drawbacks of Eating Cold Buffalo Chicken Dip

It isn’t all good news: let’s talk about the potential drawbacks to keeping your Trader Joe’s Buffalo Chicken Dip cold.

  1. Cheese Becomes Firmer – When your cream cheese and Monterey Jack Cheese aren’t heated, they maintain a more rigid texture. They’ll be harder to spread, and even harder to dip into if your chip choice is particularly fragile.
  2. Potential Impact on Overall Feel and Taste – Some people may enjoy the smooth warmth of the dip more than the firmer lump of flavor that cold Buffalo Chicken Dip creates.
  3. Food Safety Concerns – As mentioned above, it is far easier for chicken to become spoiled and become dangerous to eat when the dip is eaten cold than it might be heated in the oven.

Recommended Safety Tips

In order to keep yourself safe and eat the dip the way you prefer, you’ll need to follow our tips below.

  • If the dip is eaten cold, make sure the chicken has been cooked fully. Sometimes it’s worth it to bake the dip in the oven at least once to ensure this.
  • Store Dip at the proper cold temperatures. Remember, this is below 40F, or 4C.
  • Use within a safe timeframe to prevent spoilage. Buffalo Chicken Dip from Trader Joe’s can last, in a sealed, airtight container, for up to three days if refrigerated after being opened. It should not be consumed if left to the open air for more than two hours.
  • Be aware of personal preferences and comfort level with consuming cold chicken-based dishes. Even if the chicken is safe to eat, anxiety about food poisoning can lead to an upset stomach anyway!

Final Thoughts

To sum it all up, the pros of consuming Trader Joe’s Buffalo Chicken Dip cold are that you’ll experience the texture and flavor of the dip in a new way, and it will usually be quicker and more convenient.

However, the cons are that the texture and flavor changes may not be to your liking, and there is a greater risk for food safety being compromised.

When all is said and done, the answer to the question “Can you eat Trader Joe’s Buffalo Chicken Dip Cold?” is, yes, it is possible. Remember, however, that your safety and personal taste preferences should always be considered before trying the dip, whether hot or cold!


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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