In this post, we will tell you how to know if the chicken is cooked without a thermometer. So if you are eager to know how it’s done, you should give this article a read.
Many people, including professional chefs, use a thermometer while making chicken know if the meat is ready. But what about people who don’t have or use a thermometer?
Fortunately, some ways can help you know if your chicken is done even without a thermometer.
Eating improperly cooked chicken not only tastes bad, but it can also lead to food poisoning and other illnesses. So, it’s very important to know if the chicken is cooked without a thermometer. Whether cooking or grilling the chicken, it’s your responsibility to check if it’s properly cooked before serving.
How to Know If the Chicken is Cooked Without a Thermometer
There’s no denying that a meat thermometer is a handy tool. You can use it to check any kind of meat you are cooking. But when you don’t have a meat thermometer, you should try the following ways to tell if your chicken is cooked.
Observe the color change
It is possible to tell if your chicken is cooked or not by just observing the color changes. When the chicken is raw, it looks peachy or pinkish. But when it is properly cooked, it turns white.
However, this method cannot be 100% trusted as different chicken parts show different colors when fully cooked. For example, meat attached to the bones will appear pink in certain spots even after perfectly cooked. This happens due to the presence of hemoglobin.
It is impossible to get rid of it no matter how long you cook the chicken. As long as it is not overly pink, you can eat it. Compared to other body parts of a chicken, thigh and leg areas take longer to cook. You must cook these chicken parts at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check the texture
Like the color, the texture of the chicken will also change as it gets cooked. You will have to touch and feel the meat to understand the texture.
Undercooked chicken feels flexible and rubber, while overcooked chicken feels dense and rigid. To understand the texture change, you should check the leg or thigh pieces of the chicken.
To check the doneness level of the meat, you should use the finger test method. To get the raw meat feeling, press it with your thumb. For a medium-rare feeling, touch the thumb with the tip of your middle finger.
For medium cooked feeling, press your thumb and ring finger together. For a well-done meat feel, touch the palm of your hand with your index finger while pressing the thumb and pink fingers together.
Check the juice color
This is another effective way of checking if your chicken is done. Cut the thickest part of the meat and observe the color of the juice coming out.
If the juice color is clear, your chicken is fully cooked. However, if the liquid appears pinkish, it means the meat is undercooked. You should continue cooking the meat until the juice turns clear.
But remember to cut the chicken at the thickest point. Otherwise, the method may not prove effective. The thickest body part of the chicken is usually the thighs.
Perform the joint test
If you are cooking a whole chicken, this method can be very effective. It helps you check the doneness level.
In this method, you need to check whether the leg of the meat can be separated easily from the breast of the chicken. If your chicken is fully cooked, the meat will fall off the bones the right way.
However, if the chicken is undercooked, you will have difficulty separating the chicken from the bones. This method is effective if you are roasting a whole chicken.
For those unversed, sous vide is a type of machine that is used to seal food in an airtight box and then cook it with water. This particular method helps you to maintain a constant temperature. However, it is a very slow cooking process.
With the help of this technique, you can get perfectly cooked chicken. Not just that, but it also enhances the flavor and taste of the chicken. This method is usually used by restaurants, but you can try it at home as well.
To try this method, you need sous to vide device, a water container, and re-sealable food bags. It is a very straightforward method and helps you to cook meat with minimum effort.
Go for the shrink test.
The shrink test method is most effective when you are grilling the chicken. When the chicken exterior turns crispy and brown, you might think it’s ready to eat. But in some cases, it is not. The inside can still be cold and hard.
In this method, you will have to observe the size change of the chicken. If the chicken pieces look a bit smaller than what you started with, it means it is properly cooked. The color of the chicken will also change to a golden brown.
However, if the chicken pieces shrink too much, it means it is overcooked. You should shrink the chicken only about 10-25% of its original size. This indicates a well-done chicken.
Mistakes to Avoid While Cooking Chicken
To make a nice, well-cooked chicken dish, it is important to avoid these mistakes.
- When frying or cooking the chicken, you should use the right type of oil.
- To get the best results, you must maintain proper heat when cooking chicken.
- Before cooking, you must pound the chicken nicely, especially if you are making boneless chicken.
- You must also use the right seasoning to marinate your chicken.
Checking the chicken is properly cooked or not is very important. After all, no one likes the taste of raw or semi-cooked chicken. Plus, it is harmful to your health.