How to tell if the chicken is undercooked may be a difficult question for most experienced home cooks. If you have not got the answer, keep reading.
This article will show ways to identify undercooked chicken and how to fix your chicken meat to create many yummy summer treats with chicken.
And even if you are not a home cook, I think you should also follow this post for your future needs. So stay right there; your concern is going to be resolved.
5 Prominent Features Of Undercooked Chicken You Must Know
Telling the differences between fully cooked and undercooked chickens seems to be a challenge to some people. So how can you determine whether the chicken is properly cooked, exactly? Keep on reading to find out the answers.
Based on the chicken’s color, you can tell if it is undercooked or cooked. Although white meat and dark meat chicken have distinct aspects, you can use color to determine the doneness level of both.
Undercooked or fresh meat would have a light pink, while properly cooked chicken has a whiter color.
By finding the thickest part of the chicken and cutting through the meat, you could determine if it is properly cooked or not.
Though most cooked chicken meat is pale, there are still cases where your fully cooked chicken is a little pink inside. However, it is absolutely fine and safe to eat.
How about spotting undercooked fried or boiled chicken from its color? For boiled chickens, if their skin becomes whiter, it is ready to eat. Undercooked chicken still has a pinker color beneath its skin.
And can you tell the differences between cooked or undercooked fried chicken? Fried chicken that is evenly cooked has a beautiful golden color on the skin surface, whereas the undercooked one has a pale yellow.
For baked chicken meat, the skin would get a darker yellow when it is fully baked; however, the undercooked one has a light yellow.
Before being placed on the pan or cooking pot, your chicken contains an amount of water. Once cooked, the chicken meat tends to shrink into a smaller size. Therefore, you can check the chicken’s size to evaluate its doneness.
Once the chickens are cooked to the point of perfection, they would have a lighter weight compared to the undercooked ones. Since half-cooked or nearly-cooked chicken doesn’t have all the water or blood inside squeezed out, they seem larger than their counterparts.
One effective way of pointing out undercooked chickens would be the degree of tenderness. Remember that different cooking methods lead to various results: fully cooked chickens will turn out to be either firmer or more tender.
For the boiling method, the undercooked chickens will be slightly soft and sometimes feel pasty and slippery; meanwhile, their properly cooked counterparts would have firm meat and skin.
How about baking chicken? For instance, do you know how long to bake chicken breast at 350 degrees so it comes out perfectly cooked? While fully-baked chicken is more tender and has harder skin, undercooked baked chicken is less firm.
You can detect the improperly cooked chicken by its high level of springiness and thickness. It is somewhat rubbery or sometimes slippery when you touch its outer skin; meanwhile, you will feel it firm and inflexible when pulling fully cooked chicken meat.
In the baking technique, chicken is undercooked when its texture doesn’t firm up. Also, the skin of the undercooked meat does not reach the expected level of crunchiness.
The ideal internal temperature of perfectly cooked chicken is 165ºF, while the half-cooked chicken temperature is much lower. There are two common ways to identify undercooked chicken by measuring its temperature.
The first one is to use a meat thermometer stick. This device cuts through the meat to evaluate the internal temperature of your chicken.
The second option that I highly recommend is quality wireless meat thermometers. One of the pros of this device is that you would know whether the meat is fully cooked without reaching for it.
Discover how to use a food thermometer to identify half-cooked chicken here.
Harmful Effects Of Eating Undercooked Chicken
Many people know that consuming raw chicken meat would lead to mild to severe symptoms of food poisoning. But what are they? Follow through the sections below to find out the answers.
The most typical symptom is diarrhea. Diarrhea is loose or watery bowel movements. You know you are in danger when diarrhea happens more than three times a day.
These symptoms cause dehydration and can have harmful effects on children and old people with weakened immune systems. Make sure you know how to get to the nearest hospital once the symptoms get worse.
After eating undercooked chicken meat within 8 to 72 hours, one of the symptoms signifying food poisoning is stomach pain, also called abdominal pain.
The bacteria living inside half-cooked meat is the cause of abdominal pain. They can make your stomach hurt and cause discomfort in your abdomen (3).
One of the prominent signs that you are infected by half-cooked chicken meat is fever. After consuming chicken meat contaminated with bacteria, you may feel a bit tired.
Your body temperature gets higher and finally reaches 100ºF. You will also experience some illnesses such as cough or sore throat.
Vomiting also happens when you eat undercooked meat. It occurs when you feel sick to your stomach and want to throw up everything you have just eaten.
The symptom would start after several hours after you consume unhealthy chicken meat. You can stop vomiting by drinking water or eating bread. However, you need to see the doctor if the symptom does not stop.
Find out what happens if you eat chicken that isn’t cooked properly.
Facts About Undercooked Chicken That You May Be Unaware Of
Eating undercooked chicken causes health-related trouble. The information below will show the four truths about partially cooked meat, including one surprising fact that you may not know. These are necessary to know, so please keep following.
Undercooked Chicken Contains Bacteria
Like any undercooked meat, chickens contain bacteria. The most common bacteria that lives in chicken meat is Salmonella. It is the most common bacterial cause of food-related diseases in the United States (1).
Another type of bacteria that lives in the chicken meat is Campylobacter. While most Campylobacter infections are minor, they may be deadly in young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems (2).
You’ll Get Sick If Eating Undercooked Chicken
Since the improperly cooked chicken contains bacteria, consuming it causes lots of health-related problems. The very first symptoms that occur are cramps. This signifies your bowel is trying to clear out germs that are hazardous to your body.
Another symptom is diarrhea. When you eat half-cooked chicken, the bacteria will attack your immune system. Your body then reacts to diarrheas, wiping out what you have just eaten.
The Internal Temp Of Undercooked Chicken Is Below 165ºF
All the chicken will reach 165ºF once it is perfectly cooked. The internal temperature of undercooked chickens below 165ºF indicates that your chicken still has more time for getting ready.
Depending on the sizes and shapes, the duration for each part of the chicken to achieve the 165ºF may vary. For example, while chicken breasts require around 25 to 30 minutes to be fully cooked, it takes 35 to 40 minutes for chicken wings to achieve the ideal temperature.
Therefore, you should check out your chicken frequently while cooking or cutting it into pieces to ensure that each chicken part is cooked evenly.
Learn more about the internal temperature of a fully cooked chicken.
Do Not Worry If Your Chicken Is A Little Pink
Most fully-cooked chicken meat usually becomes whiter. No matter how whiter the chicken meat is, it does not necessarily suggest the chicken is safe to eat. By contrast, slightly pink in the flesh is common and still occurs in some perfectly cooked chicken.
You can check whether the chicken is finished by checking its internal temperature. As long as the meat thermometer shows 165ºF, you do not need to worry about eating chicken pieces with a pink color.
How To Avoid Undercooking Chicken?
After you know the five features to spot half-cooked chickens, you may ask yourself how to avoid undercooking chicken meat. You will find it much easier to avoid undercooking chicken once you check the information below.
Use A Food Thermometer
Measuring the chicken’s internal temperature is the traditional way to identify cooked chicken. The meat thermometer helps you tell precisely whether your chicken needs more time to reach the ideal heat.
The average internal temperature indicating cooked chicken meat is 165ºF. It will be best if you put the food thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken to get the best reading.
Remember To Flip Your Chicken
Chicken pieces would have a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, there are certain dissimilarities between chicken tenderloin and breast. While you boil or fry meat, there will be some parts of the chicken that have little contact with the heat.
Therefore, if you want to cook chicken meat evenly, you should flip the chicken several times, allowing the heat to be distributed thoroughly.
Cut Your Chicken Into Pieces
Some people tend to avoid chicken with blood inside the bone even though the chicken meat outside is undoubtedly well-cooked. These cases often occur when you fry or boil the whole chicken, which may prevent the chicken bones from being cooked properly.
To avoid this, you can chop chicken into smaller portions. Then, every part of the chicken would be heated equally. In doing so, you would have perfectly cooked chicken meat.
Don’t Be Hasty!
I know that you are a busy bee and want to make everything as fast as possible. However, you should not shorten the cooking process but stick to the given instructions.
Generally, broiling a chicken breast needs around 6 to 8 minutes at 500ºF while a baked chicken takes 35 to 40 minutes at 450ºF. Frying chicken consumes about 14 minutes at 350ºF.
Take these numbers into consideration if you are planning on cooking your meat. This will provide you with a good meal and prevent your health from food poisoning.
How Can I Fix Undercooked Chicken?
Fixing undercooked chicken does not require you to have specific skills; however, you would need to be detail-oriented when checking the chicken meat once it is recooked.
Use The Oven
One of the most effective ways for fixing undercooked chickens is to put them in the oven. As soon as you discover some chicken parts have not been cooked well, you should make one of the two choices below.
Firstly, if you are baking your chicken, you should carry on cooking it in the oven. Remember that your chicken can be evenly cooked when you locate it at the center of the oven. This allows all parts of the chicken to receive the heat equally.
Secondly, you can cut the chicken into smaller sizes. These chicken pieces enable you to quickly and easily check whether they are well-cooked or not.
Discover this step-by-step guide on how to fix your undercooked chicken quickly.
Use Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is one of the effective ways for recooking chicken. Chicken baked in aluminum foil usually has golden yellow and is tastier. Also, the chicken will be a lot crispier without being burnt. Using aluminum foil helps contain the juice, protecting your chicken from drying out.
Firstly, you need to cut your chicken into pieces, ensuring each part is heated equally. Then, you prepare an oil roasting pan or an oven. Is it possible to place aluminum foil in the oven? Yes, you can. And aluminum foil is a perfect conductor of heat.
Then, you will reheat the oven to 400ºF. The process takes around 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken pieces are fully cooked. After that, you can be confident that your chicken is ready to eat.
Re-frying your chicken meat is an excellent way to fix your half-cooked chicken. There are some ways that you can remedy your failed chicken.
If your fried chicken is undercooked, continue to cook it in that way. You should not worry about changing the method. However, it would be best if you use the thermometer to recheck the chicken’s internal temperature.
However, in case the chicken skin has crisped up, you should stop frying. More time spent on frying would burn the outer layer of the chicken skin. The best approach that you can take is to place it at the center of the oven and recheck the internal temperature until it is done.
Five Common Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make When Handling Undercooked Chicken
Though it may be easy to follow through with the cooking instruction above, many people usually repeat their mistakes. The five common errors in cooking chicken are presented below.
1. Place Cooked And Undercooked Chicken In The Same Container
Since undercooked chicken contains bacteria that can lead to food poisoning, mixing the two could lead to an increased risk of the bacteria growth.
Furthermore, once placing them together, you may have no idea which one is edible and which one is not. Therefore, you can possibly choose the undercooked chicken, causing vomiting or diarrhea as a result.
2. Recook Undercooked Chicken The Next Day
You can recook chicken; however, it does not mean that you can fix undercooked chicken any time you want. When you cook it again the next day, your chicken meat would have a rather bad taste and an unpleasant smell. Then eating them may become a big challenge for you.
Secondly, if you plan on recooking your chicken the next day, you need to store them carefully. In case your undercooked chicken is not covered or stored properly, it can make way for bacteria to proliferate, giving rise to food poisoning. And all your effort would become vain.
3. Refrigerate Undercooked Chicken
Refrigerating is a great way of storing food, but it is certainly not for your improperly cooked chicken.
Once you cool your undercooked chicken, you allow bacteria to grow on your food. The temperature of the refrigerator provides an ideal environment where bacteria proliferate quickly.
One way of storing the undercooked chicken is to place it in a freezer instead. The low temperature in the freezer would decrease the proliferation rate of the bacteria. Besides, freezing is the most effective method for keeping your chicken healthy for a long time.
4. Leave Undercooked Chicken Uncovered
Can cooked chicken sit out overnight? Unfortunately, it can’t, and so are uncooked ones. Leaving your undercooked chicken uncovered and at room temperature will cause you lots of trouble.
Firstly, the bacteria or virus living in the atmosphere could attack your meat and start to reproduce on it. Secondly, when you leave your chicken uncovered at a hot temperature, oxidation takes place rapidly, changing your chicken’s smell and taste.
5. Use The Same Utensils When Recooking
Many people like to use the same knife for cutting both cooked and undercooked meat. However, you should not use the same utensils without washing them thoroughly. Cleaning or washing utensils will prevent the bacteria from spreading to the well-cooked chicken parts.
I know how irritating it is if you can not identify which chicken is well-cooked and which is not and have no ideas to fix your partially cooked chicken. The section below can provide you with more information about the undercooked chicken that I believe you should discover as well.
Say Goodbye To Undercooked Chicken
Eating undercooked chicken could cause mild symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, stomach pain, etc. It can even lead to severe ones like dehydration. Hence, recook your chicken if it has some features of undercooked chicken.
Do not forget to avoid common mistakes in cooking and recooking chicken meat. Also, avoiding eating half-cooked chicken or undercooking chicken meat is of importance.
Lastly, if you think these provided answers to your question are helpful. Please send the information to help your friends and family be aware of how to identify undercooked chicken and how to avoid it.
- webmd.com. 2022. Salmonella (Salmonellosis).
- who.int. 2020. Campylobacter.
- healthline.com. 2017. 10 Signs And Symptoms Of Food Poisoning.
Table of Contents
- 5 Prominent Features Of Undercooked Chicken You Must Know
- Harmful Effects Of Eating Undercooked Chicken
- Facts About Undercooked Chicken That You May Be Unaware Of
- How To Avoid Undercooking Chicken?
- How Can I Fix Undercooked Chicken?
- Five Common Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make When Handling Undercooked Chicken
- Say Goodbye To Undercooked Chicken
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