Cooking Meat And Poultry
Different meats require different cooking temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria.
For example, a steak need only be seared on the outside and can be rare inside, while minced meat must be carefully cooked to destroy bacteria. Thats because minced meat has far greater surface area than steak and the inside has been exposed to the atmosphere, and is therefore at greater risk of bacterial contamination.
One way is to simply cook minced meat, sausages and poultry right through to the centre. No pink should be visible and juices should run clear.
Using this method should ensure your meat and poultry is free from harmful bacteria, although what constitutes “pink” and “clear running juices” might differ from person to person, and colour is not always a reliable indicator. Its a good idea to invest in a food thermometer and use it.
How To Cook Stuffed Chicken
The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline does not recommend buying a whole, uncooked stuffed chicken at the grocery store as it is highly perishable. It is also not recommended to pre-stuff whole chicken to cook at a later time.
According to the USDAs Food Safety and Inspection Service, if you choose to stuff chicken, do so immediately before cooking. If you do choose to stuff your chicken, cook any raw, perishable ingredients for the stuffing to decrease the risk of foodborne illness. The wet ingredients for the stuffing can be prepared ahead of time and kept refrigerated until used. But do not mix the wet and dry ingredients just until you are ready to spoon the stuffing mixture into the chicken cavity. Immediately cook the stuffed, raw chicken in an over that is set no lower than 325 degrees F.
Chicken Doneness Is A Temperature Not A Color
Chicken meat cooks to a creamy-white colorunlike the more robust hues of cooked beef, pork, or lamb. This white color provides a much starker contrast to the occasional pink tones that can naturally occur in any meat.
Dr. O. Peter Snyder, Jr., Ph.D. of the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management says, If consumers were taught to eat safely prepared, bloody chicken, as they want to do with beef, they would be able to enjoy juicier chicken. The trick is to learn how to prepare safe-to-eat chicken and get over our fear of a little blood in our birds.
So, how do you know for sure if your chicken is safe to eat? One word: temperature.
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Chicken Texture At Different Temperatures
Below is a breakdown of what the texture of the breast meat of chicken will be at different pull temperatures:
- 140°F: Pinkish-tinged and almost translucent extremely soft, with the texture of a warm steak fleshy.
- 145°F: Pale, pale pink but completely opaque very juicy, a little soft. This is Kenjis favorite doneness temp.
- 150°F: White and opaque, juicy, and firm.
- 155°F: White and opaque, starting to turn a little bit stringy bordering on dry.
- 160°F and higher: Dry, stringy, and chalky.
As you can see, the breast meat will become dry if taken too far above 150°F , while the leg meat needs to reach the temperature range of 160170°F in order for the connective tissue to dissolve into mouthwateringly rich gelatin. Knowing that salmonella has been scientifically proven to be safely eliminated at temperatures lower than 165°F , we followed Kenjis recipe for Simple Whole Roast Chicken to the finest detail, including the 145°F pull temperature.
Quick Tips For Raw Chicken
- Refrigerate your chicken until you are ready to use it. This will keep your meat too cold for bacteria to multiply.
- Dont rinse your chicken before you cook as you are likely to send contaminated water over your sink and countertops.
- Wash your hands before and after handling raw chicken. Be sure to use soap and warm water for the best sanitation.
- Be aware of your utensils dont use the same equipment for cooked chicken as you used for raw without washing first. Failure to do so will result in cross-contamination and render the whole dish unsafe.
- Use a thermometer. This is the quickest and easiest way to make sure that your chicken is at the correct temperature, and has been at the right temperature for the correct period of time.
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Advanced Thermal Thinking: Carryover Cooking In Chicken
If youre concerned about holding it at 157°F for 31 seconds, you certainly neednt be: carryover cooking will make sure your meat is safe!
Most people dont realize that when you take a chicken breast off of the heat, the residual heat in the outermost layers of the chicken will cause the internal temperature to keep rising, creating a temperature equilibrium in the whole piece.
This is advanced thermal thinking because it requires more judgmentit entails a dynamic target with two variables: the temperature of the cooking environment and the mass of the meat being cooked.
Meat cooked in a hotter environment will have more carryover because there will be more thermal energy in the outer layers that will be pumped into the center. Hotter cooking means more carryover cooking: chicken cooked in a smoker at 250°F will have much less carryover than a spatchcocked chicken roasted at 425°F .
A large piece of chicken, say a whole bird, will have a lot more thermal mass that can move heat into the center, meaning the internal temperature will rise more than on a small piece of chicken. A breast experiences less carryover than a whole bird does, and a wing even less.
Plus The Best Way To Tell When It’s Reached That Temperature
Its a message that you see in everything from cooking classes to TV commercials: Raw chicken = bad! So its pretty common knowledge that not cooking chicken enough is one of the cooking mistakes that can make your food toxic. Unfortunately, though, the temperature that actually constitutes cooked, safe-to-eat chicken is less common knowledge. What should the temperature of cooked chicken actually be so that its safe to eat?
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What Is The Safe Temperature For Beef
The minimum safe cooking temperature for beef is 145°F for fresh beef, veal, and lamb. However, the safe cooking temperature for ground meat is slightly higher, including ground beef. Ground meat and meat mixtures should be cooked to 160°F to be considered safe. The safe cooking temperature for pork and ham is also 145°F. For all of these meats, it is important to let the meat rest three minutes before testing the temperature.
Should I Cook Chicken After 145
Generally, it is recommended that chicken is cooked until it is 165° in the middle. This is best for chicken breasts as this cut of meat tends to dry out easily, but you may prefer to cook chicken thighs for a little bit longer.
However, it is not just temperature that is important for making chicken safe to eat. You need to make sure that it is kept at a safe temperature for a specific number of minutes.
At 145° , salmonella cannot survive. However, this temperature is on the threshold of survivability for this bacteria so it will take around 9 minutes before all of the salmonella microbes have been killed.
Theoretically, you can kill off all of the salmonella bacteria at much lower temperatures, as long as you keep that temperature constant for the appropriate period. Cooking your chicken to 136° , for example, is perfectly safe as long as this temperature is held for over an hour. That said, this style of cooking is impractical for many home cooks so it is far more common to cook for less time at higher temperatures.
At 165° , all of the salmonella bacteria in the chicken will be killed in under 20 seconds. This is far more practical and easy to work out you do not need to keep your eye on a timer or the clock for extended periods, and you dont need to constantly stare at the thermometer. You just cook, count to 20, then leave it aside to rest.
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Temperature Tip: The Usda
Whether you are cooking on the stove top, grill, or oven, use an instant-read thermometer, like the Thermapen, to check the internal temperature. To do this: Insert the tip of your Thermapen probe into the thermal center of the chicken. The chicken will be safe to eat at 165ºF. If your piece of chicken hasnt reached that temperature yet, continue to cook it and check again regularly until its done. Learn more about getting an accurate temperature reading in chicken, here.
Safe Minimum Cooking Temperature Chart For Meat Poultry Eggs And More
Cooking at home has been increasing in popularity over the years, thanks in part to the pandemic encouraging people to adapt to new ways of life, discover safe and fulfilling hobbies, and spend more time with family. Cooking and baking unite all of these aspects, plus they are practical and economical. How many households cook? Its estimated that approximately 70% of Americans prepare the majority of their meals at home. The Institute of Food Technologists found that the most popular recipes during quarantine based on search results included banana bread, pancakes, chicken, pizza dough, brownies, crepes, French toast, meatloaf, lasagna, and cheesecake. Millennials and Gen Z in particular are delving into the world of cooking and baking, experimenting with seasonings and slow cookers. With this newfound passion for cooking sprouting up around the globe, its important to highlight food safety. This helpful, easy reference infographic from the How to Cook Recipes team shows the safe minimum cooking temperatures for various meats, poultry, and other food:
The four steps of food safety are as follows:
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At What Temperature Do I Bake Chicken
no matter what the recipe says, you have to consider the temperature of the room where the cooking takes place. For instance, in the oven, the temperature needs to be kept at the correct temperature so the food is cooked evenly. Depending on the shape, size, and ingredients of the food, the correct temperature may vary. If you are baking a big chicken, then the temperature of the oven must be kept at a medium heat.
Chicken Is Safe To Eat At What Temperature
chicken is probably the most popular protein source on the planet. Its inexpensive and easy to make and it has very little calories. Many people eat it with rice, making it a hearty and nutritious meal. However, most people are still unaware of how safe chicken really is to eat. Most people assume that chicken is safe to eat because its being cooked in water. However, this is not the only way that chicken is prepared. Although most people dont have to worry about getting sick from eating chicken in the traditional way, it is still important to make sure that the chicken is as safe as possible.
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Roasting A Perfect Chicken
The following steps for roasting a whole chicken will yield white and dark meat that is tender, succulent, and properly cooked.
What’s The Temperature Of Cooked Chicken
If youve heard it once, youve heard it a thousand times: you dont want to mess around with undercooked chicken. Cook it to at least 165° F to kill harmful bacteria, including salmonella.
But if you dont have a thermometer handy, cant you just look for juice that runs clear?
Lets talk about how to know when chicken is cooked and debunk a few myths while were at it.
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What Is The Correct Temperature Of Cooked Chicken
According to Australian Chicken Meat Federation , all parts of the chicken meat must be cooked to a temperature of no less than 75°C.
The high temperatures reached in roasting, baking, frying and boiling kill food poisoning bacteria as long as all internal and external parts of the chicken reach the right temperature .
What is the correct internal temperature of cooked chicken?
All parts of the chicken need to reach a steady temperature of 75°C to be eaten safely. This also includes any stuffing, wings, and legs.
How to know the temperature of cooked chicken
There are several ways to test the internal and external temperature of cooked chicken.
Use these methods for roast chicken, poached chicken, BBQ chicken or any other cooking method.
1 Use a meat thermometer this is the most reliable method. Insert the thermometer at the centre of the thickest part of the piece being cooked. When the temperature has reached 75°C the meat is fully cooked.
2 Use a skewer pierce into the thickest part of the chicken and remove the skewer. If the juice that comes out is pink it is not cooked . If the juice is clear, it is cooked.
3 Cutting the meat cut into the meat and check that it is white, not pink. .
Other tips for cooking chicken safely:
- Reheat leftovers to at least 70°C for a minimum of 2 minutes
- Stuffing should be treated carefully. Do not overstuff the cavity and remove stuffing immediately after cooking.
- If you want to keep cooked chicken hot, keep above 60ºC
Chicken Temperature For Dark Meat
When working with dark meat , the temperature rules change a bit. Fattier dark meat can stand a higher temperature than lean white meat. While its safe to eat dark meat cooked to 165°, youll get a bouncier bite. Allowing thigh meat and the like to reach somewhere between 175° and 190° will give you more tender meat because the connective tissues have longer to break down. The actual level of doneness comes down a bit to personal preference. Morocco says his ultimate chicken thighs are slow-roasted or braised at a low cooking temperature in plenty of olive oil until theyre full of flavor and have a fall-apart texture.
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What Temperature Should I Bake A Chicken
The following chart shows the ideal internal temperatures of different types of meat for different cooking times. Please note that this information is general, and may vary depending on the chickens size. The chart was compiled using information from the USDA. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the internal temperature, the faster the cooking time. If you follow these guidelines, you should be able to ensure that your chicken is cooked to a safe temperature.
Ways To Make Sure You Cook Chicken To The Right Temperature
Achieving the perfect internal temperature depends on more than just the cooking time and cooking temperature. There are a number of ways you can ensure you cook chicken properly, including:
- 1.Temper your meat. Bring meat to room temperature throughout before cooking. Individual cuts should sit out for about 20 minutes while a whole bird may need up to an hour. Tempering helps with even cooking because if the center of the piece of meat is at room temperature rather than fridge temperature when youre ready to cook, it will take less time for the center to reach the desired internal temperature.
- 2.Make sure your oven is fully preheated before you start. If you place the whole bird in the oven before its fully ready, cooking time may vary and could be more difficult to track. Your chicken may also cook unevenly and will potentially be dry in some areas, while undercooked in others.
- 3.Confirm that your oven is calibrated. Put an oven thermometer in the oven, turn the oven on, and check that the reading on your thermometer is the same as the reading on your oven dial. If its not, you might need to get your oven serviced or adjust your cooking times accordingly.
- 4.Learn the approximate cooking times for different cuts of chicken. Follow the USDA guidelines listed above for a good estimate.
- 5.Use a meat thermometer. An instant-read thermometer will tell you right away whether your chicken has reached 165ºF.
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What Do I Do When I Want To Know How To Cook Chicken
Cooking chicken is a great way to make a meal more delicious. It can be a delicious entree, a snack, or a starter for a larger meal. However, you must follow certain rules to make sure youre cooking your chicken correctly. First, use the correct temperature for your cooking method. Different types of food cook at different temperatures. For example, the USDA suggests 165 degrees for frying and 170 degrees for grilling. However, it is important to note that the USDA doesnt recommend cooking chicken at high temperatures, which can actually make it dry and tough. So, it is important to use the correct cooking method for the correct temperature.