Imagine, there’s a roasted chicken thigh in your hand, and you can’t chew it. Undercooked chicken is not tasty to masticate. So, you need to know how to tell if chicken is undercooked before biting on it.
As you know, the easiest yet accurate way to tell it is with an instant read thermometer. Expert chefs can make it sure by relying on appearance, color, texture, firmness and cooking time.
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Not an expert at cooking? No worries! I’m going to show you 6 exclusive cooking hacks which are very effective to help you identify if your chicken is undercooked or perfectly cooked.
How to Tell If Chicken Is Undercooked – 6 Signs
Texture is the first thing to know if your chicken is undercooked. If your chicken looks a bit pinkish, if it doesn’t smell and if the size of your chicken pieces is not a bit smaller than raw, then I’m sure that your chicken is not evenly cooked.
Anyway, I’m going to discuss six attributes in detail that will help you to make sure your favorite chicken is ready to eat or not. So let’s get to the point.
Moisture Test – Undercooked Chicken Texture
You can check the moisture of the chicken to understand if it is undercooked. The texture of the raw or slightly raw chicken is most dense. You will see that uncooked chicken looks so shiny and watery. It also makes you feel rubbery.
When you see the chicken is turning a bit drier during cooking time, you can identify it as a cooked chicken. To check moisture, you have to be experienced well; you may not understand it at the first experiment.
This trick may not work for a new cook, as there is a chance of getting confused. Consequently, you have to eat or serve undercooked chicken.
Color Test – Undercooked Chicken Color
Checking the color is a clear ethic to recognize the undercooked chicken. If The chicken is white is it cooked or not? You see, the undercooked chicken looks a bit pinkish. When you notice, the chicken color turns white; you can understand the chicken is perfectly cooked. Cut a slice of a thick part of the chicken and look at the color.
Moreover, in some cases, you should pay attention to juices that come from the chicken. Press the chicken with a fork and look at the juices. In the beginning, the fluid may be pink or even bloody, but when it is fully cooked, the broth will become clear.
Because there is a possibility of turning the outer skin of the chicken to white or brown color, but the inside may remain slightly undercooked. To overcome this confusion, check the juices.
So in a sentence, if the chicken meat and juice remain pinkish or peachy, it means undercooked. So you have to wait until it becomes cooked. And if the flesh and juice become white and run clear, it means well-done cooking.
Look At The Size
When you think your chicken is cooked based on counting time, have a look at the Chicken size. Is there any shrinkage?
Notice it first. If you can recognize the chicken has become shrunk in size, it means it is fully cooked. But if you notice the chicken has no change in size, it means it is undercooked. So let it cook for a further while.
The reason behind the shrinkage of the chicken is when we cook chicken; it evaporates the fat and liquids in the tissues of the muscles. So, it changes the texture of meat and reduces the meat’s overall size.
So, shrinkage of the chicken size is a noticeable sign of recognizing the doneness of the chicken. Whereas, if that does not happen, It means undercooked chicken.
When you are confused about whether to stop frying or cooking on the stove or in the oven, you can use your meat thermometer to check your chicken if it is undercooked.
Typically, after a particular cooking time, the chicken or any meat item gets an inner temperature, and expert cooks calculate the temperature to restrain heating or cooking.
However, concerning chicken, it must be the internal temperature of 165°f. to become cooked. So you have a pretty good option to insert your meat thermometer to the thickest part of the chicken to calculate the temperature. Then, let the thermometer observe your chicken how the temperature is.
But remember, do not push the thermometer in the lowest part of the cooking pot or dish because you may get a wrong calculation.
So, if you see the temperature is less than 165°, it means the chicken is undercooked. Cook for a further while. After a few minutes, recheck it, and when the temperature fulfills your requirement, you can turn off your stove or oven with confidence.
The Time Test
You can explore your cooking item between time and temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius, whichever is at your convenience. Here I am mentioning the Fahrenheit unit with the cooking time of a chicken.
You can cook your chicken at 350°f. for at least 30 to 40 minutes. But, here is a distinction. If you cook boneless chicken, you need at least 25 to 30 minutes to allow heating. On the other hand, if you choose to cook bone-in chicken, you need to cook it for 30 to 40 minutes.
The time can vary based on your cooking temperature. But if you cook less than that time span, the chicken might remain undercooked. So pay attention to the time of cooking.
But do not allow too much time cooking at a particular temperature; otherwise, the chicken will be overcooked. Then it would not be nice and tasty.
Firmness Test or Finger Test
Here is an exciting testing system I am going to share. It is quite interesting to me. You can check your cooking chicken with your finger as an alternative to a meat thermometer.
- First, you have to pick a chicken piece on a plate and let it become a bit cooler so that you can touch it.
- Touch and push to your left hand’s fleshy area between the palm and thumb with your right hand’s index finger.
- Now feel the fleshy area, and then press your same finger to the chicken piece.
- If you think the same as your palm, it means the chicken is raw meat.
- That means it needs more time to cook.
After a while, you can try it again. Push the tip of your ring finger and thumb together, then feel the palm’s fleshy area by pressing with the other hand’s index finger. It would feel like medium doneness.
Again, when you press the tip of pinky and thumb together and feel the fleshy area between the palm and thumb. That feeling is like well-done meat. So you can check the chicken with these tricks.
These are the six instances that help you to realize the undercooked chickens.
How To Fix Undercooked Chicken
You know undercooked meat is dangerous, as there exists an enormous number of bacteria. But when the meat has become cooked, the bacteria will vanish. So, if you undercook your chicken and then realize it, you can fix whether it is turkey or chicken.
Moreover, when you serve the meal, it is a very awkward feeling, if the meat is opened as undercooked. So what you can do is-
- Cut the undercooked chicken into slices.
- Then, place the slices on a roasting pan. The pan must be oiled first.
- Then, drizzle it with some sauce or water as you like.
- Now cover the pan with aluminum foil and let it bake at 400°f. for a couple of minutes.
- It may not take a long time to cook further.
- So use your meat thermometer and check the internal temperature.
- If the internal temperature is 165°f, then you can eat the chicken.
How To Tell If Chicken Is Overcooked
Telling if the chicken is overcooked or not is very simple. The first thing you can apply is checking the internal temperature of the chicken. If the internal temperature is over 149°F then the chicken is overcooked.
When the meat hits 150°F, the proteins of the meat start shrinking and getting tight. Also, the texture looks dry and stringy to the mouth.
What you should do in such cases? Drying out the meat is very irritating for everyone. So, avoiding overcooking chicken is a must. You can do one thing is stop the cooking when the chicken’s temperature hits 140°F and you see a wonderful, moist texture.
What Does Undercooked Chicken Looks Like
If you inspect the six signs mentioned above while you are cooking, you can easily notice the doneness of a chicken. To make you more precise, I must say, the undercooked chicken looks a bit thick compared to fully cooked chicken.
In addition, you can notice that when a chicken remains undercooked, its outer skin shines. What is more, if you push the undercooked chicken with the tip of your index finger, you will find it floppy and rubbery.
Moreover, the raw chicken meat looks pink or slightly pink when it remains undercooked. Sometimes slightly undercooked chicken looks a bit pinkish tint. That time it needs to cook until the pink color turns to white.
What Does Undercooked Chicken Taste Like
Undercooked chicken likely has no virtual taste to utilize. You can simply identify if the chicken is undercooked by watching it once. However, I think it would be like chewing when the meat is undercooked.
But, experts say undercooked meat tastes like the maillard reaction, which is a chemical reaction. You can observe this chemical reaction while cooking food.
The main concept of this reaction is, they coincide with the action of protein molecules and sugar. And this reaction contributes to the taste of steamed and roasted meats.
As you know, raw chicken has no taste, and I think nobody might test the raw meat’s flavor. And it could have an unappealing texture. But slightly undercooked chicken can be a little bit different from cooked chicken.
Can Chicken Be Undercooked If It’s White
Yes. In some cases, chicken can be undercooked even if it is white. But, as I previously mentioned, you can check the chicken color to conclude the cooking doneness. And the perfect cooked chicken color was white.
But the matter is, still, there is a chance to remain the chicken uncooked even after becoming white in outside skin color.
The reason is, if you cook your chicken at your home at high heat for a couple of minutes, the outer part may become cooked, and the color may turn according to your choice, but the inside of the meat can be uncooked.
To avoid this, you have to cook slowly for a particular time. And it should be according to the temperature as I mentioned before.
Let the chicken be cooked properly from the inside at a perfect temperature. Then, to become sure enough, cut a slice of your thickest chicken piece, look inside of the meat.
If the chicken inside looks white, you are sure about it; it is fully cooked. However, if you see the outer skin of the chicken is white but inside is a bit pink, it means the chicken is undercooked from the inside.
Is Always Pink Chicken Means As Undercooked
There is a diplomatic way to find out the precise doneness of the chicken. Regarding all the symbols that make you sure about the doneness of chicken, the temperature test is the main to recognize cooked chicken.
Sometimes, it is safe to eat light pink meat, only when it gets at least 165° F. temperature throughout the inside of the chicken. Otherwise, the pink meat will be a reason for any hassle.
However, The USDA anticipates the only temperature is the actual indicator of a fully cooked chicken. And all the parts of the chicken as soon as have reached a minimum heat of 165°f. It is okay to eat.
So, to conclude, if the chicken looks a bit pinkish tint but gets the desired temperature internally, it is safe to eat.
What Will Happen If One Eats Slightly Cooked Chicken
Slightly undercooked chicken is not secure to eat than undercooked chicken. It is still unhygienic until it becomes fully cooked. You may get in touch with Lethal bacteria.
Moreover, there is a chance of getting invaded by Campylobacter if you eat undercooked chicken. WebMD, the symptom checker, claims that if one eats undercooked poultry food, it causes vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools, and bloating.
So, you can see how measurable the problem will be because of eating undercooked poultry food. Try not to eat even slightly undercooked chicken or any kind of poultry food. And get rid of these kinds of diseases.
Eating something undercooked, especially meat items such as chicken, beef or any other meat, always leads us to suffering. It is because of health issues. So, you have to make sure your cooked food is not undercooked.
And I hope my discussion will make you understand how to tell if chicken is undercooked. Beside those six signs, you have to apply some hypotheses in some cases. So that your cooking will never disappoint your friends and family.