The mushroom can be prepared in most ways that one can prepare chicken meat. It can also be used as a substitute for chicken in a vegetarian diet. Additionally, it can be frozen for long periods of time and retain its edibility. In certain parts of Germany and North America, it is considered a delicacy.
In some cases eating the mushroom "causes mild reactions . . . for example, swollen lips" or in rare cases "nausea, vomiting, dizziness and disorientation" to those who are sensitive. This is believed to be due to a number of factors that range from very bad allergies to the mushroom's protein, to toxins absorbed by the mushroom from the wood it grows on (for example, eucalyptus or cedar or yew) to simply eating specimens that have decayed past their prime. As such, many field guides request that those who eat Laetiporus exercise caution by only eating fresh, young brackets and begin with small quantities to see how well it sits in their stomach.
Laetiporus sulphureus has potent ability to inhibit staph bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus), as well as moderate ability to inhibit the growth of Bacillus subtilis.
Some species, especially Laetiporus sulphureus, are commonly known as crab of the woods, sulphur shelf, chicken of the woods, the chicken mushroom, or the chicken fungus because many think they taste like chicken.