There are more reasons to cook chicken for the correct amount of time than just taste and flavor; there are also safety concerns to consider. Undercooked chicken may contain harmful bacteria that can cause sickness; overcooked chicken also tends to be dry, stringy, and generally unappealing. This is why knowing the right amount of time to dedicate to your chicken-based recipes is of paramount importance and should be paid close attention to.
We’ve highlighted all the tips and instructions you’ll need to get the best out of your chicken recipes. This way, you get really tasty and safe-to-eat chicken that your family can enjoy without any concerns.
Chicken Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Chicken
The following tips outlined below will make sure you always achieve desirable results with chicken-based recipes:
Instructions for different cooking methods – To achieve perfectly cooked chicken, each way of cooking employs distinct strategies
- Grilling chicken: Cutting the chicken into pieces and grilling the pieces immediately over high heat until it sears on all sides is the best way to get the most ideal results. When the skin of the chicken begins to crackle, and the fat begins to render, the chicken is properly seared. The chicken can be moved to a cooler portion of the grill at this point, removed from direct heat, and left to round up cooking. Cook over medium-high indirect heat, or around 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Roasting chicken: Sear the chicken for the first ten minutes at 450°F, reduce the heat to keep the chicken moistened by cooking at a lower temperature. Let the chicken cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rotisserie chicken: Most rotisseries have a single temperature setting. If the temperature settings are flexible, make sure to cook on the highest setting.
- Shallow frying chicken: Fry at 350 degrees for shallow frying.
- Deep frying chicken: Fry at 375 degrees for deep frying.
- Slow cooking chicken: To keep the chicken from drying out in the slow cooker, add about 2 tablespoons of liquid to the pot and flip the chicken in it to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
- Instant Pot chicken: All at once, add the chicken, seasonings, and liquid to the Instant Pot.
Factors that determine the ideal cooking time – To eradicate food-borne bacteria, chicken must be cooked long enough. Chicken, unlike other meats, cannot be cooked to medium-rare or medium; it must be cooked to well-done. The amount of time it takes to cook anything at all (not just chicken) depends on a number of factors, including:
- The sizes of the pieces you’re working with
- If you’re cooking the chicken with the bones in,
- If the chicken hasn’t been skinned,
- The cooking technique you’re employing
- Whether you’re cooking white meat, dark meat, or a combination of the two,
Take care to avoid cross-contamination – The following are some of the recommended practices for avoiding cross-contamination when cooking chicken-based recipes:
- If the chicken spills in your refrigerator, destroy any bacteria by applying a bleach-water solution.
- Have a separate, sterilizable meat cutting board on hand. Never mix meat and produce on the same cutting board. Sterilize the cutting board after you’ve finished cutting the chicken on it by washing it in hot soapy water and then rinsing it in a bleach solution. You may also sterilize the cutting board in the dishwasher if it is dishwasher-friendly.
- Any cooking tools that come into contact with the raw chicken should also be disinfected in the same way. Utensils can be sterilized in the dishwasher.
- Any marinades that have had raw chicken in them should be discarded immediately and not reused.
How to test for doneness – According to the FDA, all chicken should be cooked to a safe internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. There are two signs that will let you know when your chicken is ready.
- The juices from the chicken parts will flow freely. This is usually a useful indicator, but it’s not advisable to rely on it as your primary means of determining when the chicken is done.
- Take the internal temperature of the chicken with an instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest area of the thigh, making sure it does not come into contact with bone (the bone will give you a false high reading). The ideal temperature that white meat should cook is 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and Cook dark meat to an internal temperature of 180 degrees.
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Cooking Time for Chicken
There are different factors that determine the cooking time for chicken. Check out the table below carefully, then follow the timing guidelines to get the best results:
|Cooking method||Chicken parts and appropriate cooking times|
|Roasting chicken||For a whole chicken: cook for 10 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, then 20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
For chicken pieces: roast them all for 20 to 30 minutes
|Grilling chicken||For chicken breasts: grill for 10 minutes
For chicken thighs and drumsticks: grill for 12 to 20 minutes
For a whole chicken: grill for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes
|Rotisserie chicken||For a whole chicken: cook for about 22 minutes per pound|
|Shallow frying chicken||For chicken parts: fry all parts for 45 minutes to one hour|
|Deep frying chicken||For chicken breasts, thighs, and legs: deep-fry for 10 to 17 minutes
For chicken wings: deep-fry for 7 to 10 minutes
|Cooking chicken in an instant pot||For frozen chicken breasts: Cook on High for 10 minutes, then natural release for 5 minutes
For fresh chicken breasts: Cook on High for 6 minutes, then natural release for 5 minutes
For frozen chicken thighs and wings: Cook on High for 20 minutes, then natural release for 5 minutes
For fresh chicken thighs and wings: Cook on High for 10 minutes, then natural release for 5 minutes
|Cooking chicken in a Slow cooker||For chicken breasts, thighs, and wings: Cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours; cook on high for 3 to 5 hours.|
The results you’ll get from your chicken-based recipes largely depend on the steps you choose to follow during the cooking process. Timing is particularly important because it determines if you’ll be eating unsafe, unpleasant-tasting, or really delicious chicken.
The tips and suggestions contained in this article are provided for one sole purpose: to make sure you end up with delicious chicken every time. You can be sure that those are the results you’ll get if you pay close attention.