Cooked Chicken Temperature
How to take a cooked chicken temperature with a guide to roasted and the safe internal readings
This cooked chicken temperature guide has been kindly reproduced with kind permission by Molly Stevens from her book All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art. By taking readings you can ensure it is safe to eat and avoid illnesses caused by eating undercooked chicken such as salmonella or campylobacter enteritis (food poisoning). Poultry that has not been refrigerated properly can cause listeria monocytogenes or staphylococcus aureus which causes similar health symptoms. Ensuring that safe levels are reached you can reduce the risk of these illnesses. Please note that the guidelines below are for internal temperatures and are for Celsius.
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Molly advises getting this right not just for safe eating but also for taste. An overcooked one loses much of its flavour and juiciness and will look unappealingly pink and rubbery and possibly even unsafe.
She continues by saying that with practice you can use your senses to tell if a chicken is cooked and that you can then use an instant thermometer like a probe, digital or thermapen to take it internally.
Such sensory clues that indicate the need to take it include the smell of the roast or the sight of pale juices running through a fork when you pierce the underside of a thigh. If there is red from the blood of the cavity then it needs more time to cook.
Oven temperatures and times can vary so these measures and checking are important.
Another way of testing the juices is to insert a meat fork or wooden spoon into the cavity and tilt it forward. If the juices in the cavity are mostly clear with a few darker red streaks then this is an indication that it is ready to have readings taken.
The drumsticks skins in a roasted one should be shrunk back around the knobby ends and the drumstick can be wiggled in its socket and feel loose.
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Roasted Chicken Temperature
Internal thigh roasted chicken temperature should be at 170 degrees Celsius or more if you prefer firmer meat though those who prefer juicy poultry may prefer 165 degrees. Salmonella bacteria does not survive above 160 degrees Celsius. Her book, All About Roasting, discusses the various cuts of white and dark meat and the readings to enjoy the cuts to suit various tastes and how pre-salting can prevent overcooking even at higher settings.
Chicken Internal Temperature
A chicken internal temperature should be done with the cavity facing you. Insert the instant read probe into the inside of the cooked thigh, between the thigh and breast. Do not hit the leg socket but instead aim for the meatiest part of the thigh. Molly Stevens suggests taking two or three readings and taking careful note of the lowest just in case you are taking the reading of the bone or a fat deposit. She also suggests double checking the thicker end of the breast near to the neck opening to ensure it is 170 degrees.
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