Did you know that chicken that’s not well cooked can cause food poisoning? It’s not unusual to come across people complaining of serious complications due to eating uncooked chicken. Therefore, if you’re planning to make chicken one of these fine days, you surely need to have a good way on how to tell if chicken is done.
Here’s a rundown of methods you can use to check if indeed that lovely chunk of chicken is fully ready for you to indulge in:
How To Tell If Chicken is done
Get yourself a food Thermometer
The most effective way to determine whether the food is cooked is by use of the food thermometer. This device comes in handy as it detects to what extent the chicken is cooked and can completely solve the problem of always having uncooked chicken. After you are done with cooking, look for the thickest part of the chicken and stab it with the thermometer. The right temperature to look for is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are roasting a stuffed chicken then ensure that the temperature is about 170 degrees, place the thermometer in the center of the chicken’s body gravity. Also if you are preparing a whole chicken to ensure that the temperature will be somewhere between 180 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. 170 degrees is ideal temperature if or when you are roasting the chicken breasts.
There are no excuses for having uncooked chicken, even though you do not have the food thermometer or even if you have misplaced it. There are other varies ways to determine if the chicken is fully cooked or not.
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The Chicken shrinks when cooked
You need to be very careful when cooking chicken, there are simple ways to tell whether the chicken is done or not. Check to see if your chicken shrinks when cooked, if not, chances are it’s still not yet cooked so probably wait a few minutes for it to cook, do not be in a hurry to remove it from the pan or oven.
Check if the chicken is pinkish
The color pink is not a good color to see in your chicken. Cut the chicken in half, When you squeeze the chicken, ensure the juice that comes out is not of a pinkish color. The color you should expect when the chicken is cooked should be either clear or white, the color pink is a big no. It is good to note that this only happens for the chicken and not for the other types of meat.
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Ensure you get surgical
The previous methods mentioned above are all determined by cutting the chicken in order to see either the color of the chicken or the color of the fluid coming out. When surgically dealing with the chicken, at least it gives you an option of cutting it in a rather fancy way. You can have the flexibility to pull the flesh aside with both a fork and a knife if you so want, it is easier to see the color of the meat all through and make the right judgment. Make sure you have proper lighting whenever you want to use this method, in order to see clearly the color of the chicken and determine whether it is fully cooked or not.
Make sure you feel the texture
You need to be very careful especially when you are dealing with the restaurant chicken, the texture has an unusual feel, which clearly indicates that the chicken is not cooked yet. A well-cooked poultry has a firm texture, that looks delicious and yummy. However be careful not to overcook it, you will know the chicken is overcooked when it has a tight texture and doesn’t look appealing. The secret is to find a balance so that the poultry might not be overcooked nor undercooked.
Check the chicken bone
Checking the chicken bone is always a tricky one, as it is not obvious that the chicken is undercooked by just looking at the chicken. Mostly the chicken always seems cooked outside and in the middle, but might not be as fully cooked near the bones. To check if the chicken is fully cooked inside, take a fork and insert it into the meat, if it goes in without any difficulty and the chicken fluid runs clear, then count yourself lucky as the chicken is undoubtedly cooked. Also, double check at the bone if the color of the chicken is pinkish, however, if it is, it might not mean the chicken is not well cooked, in tender chicken the flesh close to the bone has hemoglobin, which when cooked it turns a pink color.
Cook the Chicken for a long enough time
To be on the safe side, ensure that the chicken is fully cooked, and to do that you should know for how long and the exact temperature to be used. It is recommended to maintain 75 degrees Celsius as the temperature for a period of time. Note that the temperature varies depending on the size of the chicken.
The higher the temperature is, the faster the killing of the bacteria. For roasted chicken, you might take between 30 minutes to 2 hours to fully cook. 30 minutes would depend on how big the chicken is and the parts to be roasted. With stuffed chicken, you will probably take a lot of time, that’s from an hour plus.
Boneless chicken might take slightly shorter time from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. But still keep a close look at the chicken, as the timings might not be exact.
With grilling it might take a short time when the skin is skinless and boneless, you might take 5 to 10 minutes for the chicken to grill. If you are using breaded chicken that’s adding the nuggets and other spices, expect to take 35 minutes or more for the chicken to be fully cooked.
Ensure you press the meat
We all know that meat is a muscle, meaning that a lot of moisture disappears in the process of cooking, the muscle fiber tightens when cooked. How do you determine how firm the chicken gets, because mostly when you press the meat, it always springs back. Try and press the chicken with the same level as of how you would press your middle finger to your thumb when your hand is relaxed.
Make a smaller cut on the meat, then try and press the chicken meat to ensure the firmness. Ensure there is no skin on the meat where you intend to press the meat. Make sure when you make the cut, you are able to determine the process quickly as the cut makes the chicken go cold quickly.
Undercooked chicken can make you a horrible chef while cooked chicken can make you a great one. No one would wish to be food poisoned by an undercooked chicken. Overcooking is also not an awesome way to present your meals to your loved ones. Determining if the chicken is well done doesn’t have to be so hard when you use the above methods to tell if the chicken is done, then your family and friends can enjoy your well cooked delicious chicken meal. The simple steps will ensure that you will worry less about chicken being overcooked or undercooked.