How to know if the chicken is fully cooked.
Never doubt again that your bird is cooked.
Eating raw chicken is very dangerous, so it is important to know how to tell if the chicken is fully cooked. There are many ways to check chicken, and since I know that a meat thermometer is not always available, I will describe the methods I use when I don’t have a thermometer, and also check it with one. Learning how to check chicken without a thermometer is much easier than it sounds, and will come in very handy if you find yourself without one. Caveat: For best results, insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the bird to check that the chicken is 165º F. If you cook the chicken on low heat, the bird will be cooked through.
If you don’t have a thermometer handy, there are other signs that a piece of chicken is cooked:
1. meat reduction.
When the chicken is fully cooked, it will be smaller than when it started. If the chicken looks white on the outside but is the same size, it may not be fully cooked.
2. Check the color of the juice.
If you are working with chicken, you can check to see if the juices are lighter/whiter to determine if it is cooked. This works specifically for chicken, do not apply to other meats. If the juices coming out of the chicken are still pink, your chicken needs more time.
3. Make a small cut in the thickest part of the meat and check the color.
If you do not want to cut the chicken, a small cut will be enough. Simply pull the sides apart with a fork and knife until you can see the color of the meat all the way through. Be sure to use this method in good light to make sure the meat has the color you see. Sometimes the meat will have pinkish tinges on the white, which means it needs to cook a little longer. When the meat is white, it is fully cooked.
With a little practice and time, checking the chicken will become an easier and faster task. When in doubt, stay at the 165ºF temperature. Have fun.
How can I tell if the chicken is cooked without a thermometer?
If you don’t have a thermometer, there are some signs you can use to tell if the chicken is well done. The chicken is done when the juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a fork or when split, and the meat is no longer pink.