While taking meat off the grill, have you ever wondered how to know if chicken is cooked? Consuming raw chicken can be dangerous as it can make you very sick. Chicken is an easy dish that can be paired with almost everything! It is very important to know whether your food is well-cooked and safe to eat. In today’s post, I will help you to understand how to know if chicken is cooked fully. There are five simple ways to make sure that you are consuming safe, healthy, and delicious chicken. Let us now find out how to know if chicken is cooked in more detail.
How To Know If Chicken Is Cooked?
Using the following methods, you can learn how to know if chicken is cooked.
- By Using Meat Thermometer
- By Observing The Texture
- By Observing The Juice
- By Observing The Color
- By Checking The Size
Using a meat thermometer and inspecting your chicken can help you to determine whether the meat is cooked or undercooked. You can even use a fork or knife to check the texture of the meat. You can now keep on reading to learn how to tell if chicken is done with a thermometer.
5 Different Ways To Check If Chicken Is Cooked
In this section, I will explain each of the above-listed methods to learn how to know if chicken is cooked when frying.
Use A Meat Thermometer
Choosing the right thermometer for cooking will make your cooking process much easier! You can either use a digital or analog meat thermometer to get the most accurate reading. Now, identify the thickest part of the meat and insert your thermometer into it. Wait for about 30 seconds till your thermometer reading becomes stray. Your chicken should be cooked if the temperature reading reaches 165 °F (74 °C). During this process, make sure the thermometer is not touching the bone, or else you could get a false reading.
Not everybody owns a meat thermometer. So, how to know if chicken is cooked without thermometer? Keep on reading to know other tricks to tell if chicken meat is fully cooked.
Observe The Meat Texture
We all know raw, uncooked chicken meat is rubbery and light in texture. On the other hand, cooked chicken is firm and won’t feel as rubbery and stretchy compared to raw chicken. But it can become too rigid if it’s overcooked. So, your task is to look for a fairly good amount of firmness in your chicken.
This method works the best with individual cuts of chicken as it can be easy to feel the meat texture. If you’re using this method on a whole chicken, it’s best to go for the thighs. These are always the last part of the chicken to become fully cooked.
You can keep on reading to learn how to tell when chicken is done without a thermometer using other tricks.
Observe The Meat Juice
The simplest way to learn how to know if chicken breast is cooked is by observing the color of the meat juice. When you cut the meat and the juices run clear or white, then your chicken is cooked properly. But if you observe the juices are red or pink in color, then it may need more time to be cooked. This method only works for chicken and not other meats. Also, you’ve to pierce the chicken at its thickest point exactly where you can insert a cooking thermometer.
Observe The Meat Color
If the chicken is white, is it cooked? Before cooking, the color of the chicken is pink or peachy. But after cooking the chicken, it should look white or brown throughout. For this method, you’ve to cut the thickest part of the meat and check if it’s solid white in color. It can be a bit tricky to tell if the chicken is done by just looking a the color. This is because chicken meats are not always totally uniform in color once they are fully cooked. Even after cooking, some meat will still be pink.
You might see a few pink spots on the bones. You can ignore them as they are natural and are caused by hemoglobin.
Observe The Meat Size
The overall size of the chicken meat reduces after cooking. One thing you can do is observe the size of your meat before and after cooking it. If it looks nice and blackens on the outside but hasn’t shrunk at all, it’s probably uncooked. But if it looks smaller from the outside, then it is close to done! Uncooked chicken holds lots of moisture which is expelled during cooking. The muscle fibers contract and tends to shrink while cooking. So, your cooked chicken will be slightly smaller than the uncooked chicken.
But remember that if your meat is very small when you started, it may be overcooked. This change is very subtle!
Signs Of Undercooked Chicken
In the above section, I’ve explained how to know if chicken is cooked in brief. Sometimes, a roasted chicken can turn out to be raw from the inside. If you’ve experienced this before, I will help you to learn how to know if chicken is undercooked while cooking.
- Check the color of the chicken whether it is white on the surface or underneath the topmost layer of the meat.
- When the chicken feels bouncy while cooking, then it is still uncooked on the side.
- You can check for the level of doneness of the chicken by cutting it in half. If it’s hard to slice and has a pinkish color on the inside, it’s uncooked.
How To Know If Chicken Is Bad?
Chicken is a nutritious food but it can go bad in some cases. It is very important to know whether you’re eating healthy chicken. Here, I’ve given certain signs that you help you to determine if your chicken is safe to consume.
- If you notice mild color changes in the chicken’s flesh (grey/green/yellow), it is a sign of spoilage.
- When you see visible signs of mold growth or color change on a cooked chicken, it can be dangerous.
- Spoiled chicken has a foul smell. If your chicken has a very sour or sulfur-like smell similar to rotten eggs, throw it away.
- It’s no longer safer to eat if you see changes in texture such as increased softness, sliminess, stickiness, or residue.
- Make sure you look at the expiry date before purchasing packed chicken. The expiry date refers to the date the chicken is safe to consume.
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How Can You Tell If Chicken Is Undercooked?
Texture: Undercooked chicken is jiggly and dense. It has a slightly rubbery and even shiny appearance. Practice looking at the chicken you eat out so that you can identify perfectly-cooked chicken every time. Overcooked chicken will be very dense and even hard, with a stringy, unappealing texture.
Can You Visually Tell If Chicken Is Cooked?
Look for a white meat color to see if your chicken is cooked. Raw or undercooked chicken has a pink tone to it. By cutting open the thickest part of your chicken and looking at the color, you can identify whether your chicken needs more cook time or not.
Is Chicken Cooked If Its White?
Many people, including Solveig Langsrud, a scientist at the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, assume chicken follows a simple rule-of-thumb: Pink chicken turned white means “done.” It’s similar to how we cook other meats.
How Do I Know If My Chicken Is Fully Cooked Without A Thermometer?
One of the simplest ways to tell if chicken meat is fully cooked is to judge the color of the juice that comes out of it. To do this, simply pierce the meat at the thickest point and watch the color of the juice as it pours out of the cut. If the juice is clear, that means that the chicken meat is done.
How Long Does Chicken Take To Cook?
How to cook chicken. Roast at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 (whole chicken: 25 mins per 500g, plus an extra 25 mins; breasts, 15 mins; thighs and wings, 40 mins). Grill or barbecue (breast, 7-10 mins; cubes or strips, 5-7 mins; drumsticks and thighs, 25-30 mins; wings, 40 mins).
Is It OK For Chicken To Be Slightly Pink?
The USDA says that as long as all parts of the chicken have reached a minimum internal temperature of 165°, it is safe to eat. Color does not indicate doneness. The USDA further explains that even fully cooked poultry can sometimes show a pinkish tinge in the meat and juices.
By reading the above post, you’ve learned how to know if your chicken cutlets are cooked in detail. A meat thermometer is a useful tool for cooking chicken. Simply stab the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and read the temperature. If the temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is perfectly cooked! You can determine the doneness of chicken without using a thermometer with the methods discussed above. Chicken should never be chewy, that’s the golden rule! If you feel that your cooked chicken is chewy, cook it again. I hope learning how to know if chicken is cooked will surely help you while cooking chicken!
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