The Right Internal Temperature for Cooked Chicken
One of the most common food items that people are very fond of is ‘chicken.’ Be it fried, roasted or grilled chicken, people just can’t seem to get enough of it. Chickens are a daily staple food for many households primarily for these three reasons:
- It is relatively cheap if compared to beef, pork or any other poultry item
- It is widely available in the market
- It tastes undeniably delicious!
Not to mention, it is also a very good source of protein!
If chicken is one of those must-have items in your pantry, you are probably quite aware of the numerous dishes that you can make with it. Not only can you use it for your main course, but you can also use it to make salads, wraps, patties and what not! However, since it is a staple food item, it is important to know how to cook it properly keeping the temperature and time in mind.
It isn’t that hard to cook if you have a decent knowledge about the internal chicken temperature while cooking it. If you can manage to nail this particular task of cooking it at the right temperature, you can rest assured that it will taste absolutely delightful and mouthwatering.
So, what is the ideal chicken temp? Let’s find out!
According to the recommendation of the FDA Food Code, the ideal temperature for cooking a boneless or bone-in chicken is 165° F (75° C). However, it has a lot to do with the timing as well. A number of professional cooks also suggest that it is possible to cook chicken at different temperatures if the timing is accurate. For example, it can also be cooked at 145°F (63°C) if cooked for 8.5 minutes.
So, have you ever wondered why it is so important to keep track of the temperature of cooked chicken? Read ahead to find out more!
The main reason behind keeping the right internal temperature for cooked chicken is that most poultry items contain a bacteria named ‘salmonella.’ It is a virus that you can often find in chicken and is still alive within 35-117° F (2-47° C). It is one of the most resilient bacteria’s and there are about a million cases of people getting sick every year.
Studies show that about 99.99999% of the bacteria in chicken are destroyed at about 165° F (24° C). People who suffer from a number of illnesses due to their compromised immune systems should always keep track of the chicken temp while preparing the food. The list especially includes younger children, pregnant women and elderly people.
Texture of Chicken at Rising Temperatures
This is basically an overall impression of the texture of chicken at various temperatures to give you a clearer idea of cooking. You can write it down somewhere and stick it on the refrigerator door so that you can master it the next time you head to the kitchen to make a succulent chicken dish.
- 140°F: At this temperature, the skin is nearly glowing and particularly soft. It is also quite fleshy and has a warm texture. The color of the internal flesh is still quite pink in color.
- 145° F: A lot of chef’s prefer the chicken at this internal temperature due to the juiciness it has to offer. Not to mention, the flesh inside is also very tender and has a pale pink color.
- 150° F: At this temperature, the flesh is all white in color. Moreover, it is perfectly firm and juicy in texture.
- 155° F: This too adds an opaque and white color to the flesh yet it is a bit borderline dry. However, the flesh is now a little fibrous.
- 160° F and higher: The meat is now entirely chewy, chalky and dry. But if you marinate it properly with enough spices, butter or infused oil, it will result in a less dry version of the chicken.
How Will you Know What Temperature is Chicken Done in?
In order to measure the internal temperature of your cooked chicken, you’ll need a digital probe version of a meat thermometer. It is widely available in the markets nowadays and gives you accurate readings. However, you need to make sure you only dip it halfway through the flesh since if the tip touches the bone, it will give out a completely different reading.
Now that you have enough knowledge about the right internal temperature of cooked chicken, you can now give this method a try to create the perfect chicken dish. However, it is utterly important that you take safety precautions while storing or cooking the chicken to kill all the bacteria as mentioned above.