As you probably know, it’s really important to cook chicken at the right temperature. With that in mind, today we explain how to tell if a chicken thigh is cooked. Follow along to learn this and other interesting facts about chicken.
Why Is Temperature Important When Cooking Chicken?
When it comes to cooking chicken, temperature is not a suggestion, but a food safety requirement.
The reason is that raw chicken can be contaminated with bacteria such as Campylobacter and Salmonella.
The good news is that killing these harmful agents is relatively easy, as long as you cook chicken to a safe internal temperature of 165°F, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How To Tell If a Chicken Thigh Is Cooked?
Now you know that chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F. But how to tell when that happens?
While some people believe that just looking at the chicken meat is enough to tell if it’s cooked, the truth is that the only accurate, reliable way to ensure that chicken has reached a food-safe temperature is by using a food thermometer.
When using a food thermometer, place it in the thickest part of the chicken thigh and make sure it doesn’t touch bone, fat, or gristle.
Other Necessary Precautions When Cooking Chicken
It’s important to note that cooking chicken at the right temperature is only one of the precautions you should take when handling chicken.
Contamination can also occur when chicken juices leak in your fridge and come in contact with food you eat raw, or when those juices get on surfaces such as plates, knives, countertops, or cutting boards.
So in addition to cooking chicken to a safe temperature (165°F), you should also:
- Remember to NOT wash raw chicken; by doing it, you can spread harmful bacteria to kitchen utensils and countertops
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handling chicken
- Wash all the items and surfaces that came in contact with raw chicken or chicken juices after preparing chicken and before preparing the next dish
For more tips on how to safely cook chicken, check out our previous post, “4 Simple Ways To Tell if Chicken Has Gone Raw.”
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