How do you know when chicken is done? Just as cooking any other types of meat, you need to know when chicken is fully cooked so that you can have both a safe and delicious meal. Why did I say “safe?” The reason behind it is that it could be dangerous to have chicken meat undercooked, just like risotto.

Bacteria can thrive in the food and may cause an upset stomach. Specifically for chicken, you need to make sure that its meat is 100% cooked to prevent any bacteria, like salmonella, on your food.

So if you’re a new homemaker and if you wanted to ensure that your husband wouldn’t be eating raw chicken meat, you have to see to it that you know when to tell your meat is done or cooked, and it’s the same reason I’m writing this guide. As you know, you shouldn’t only learn how to store food, such as peppers, properly, as in a vacuum sealer, but you also have to learn proper techniques on how to cook meat properly.

Poke Test

According to, test your chicken by using a skewer to poke the chicken’s thickest part, and then taking it out to find out if the juice is dripping out. if it does, it should be clear enough, without any blood showing.

But aside from poking chicken meat, you may also want to check the meat’s color. It should not be pink anymore.

This method of checking isn’t always accurate, however.

There are some portions of the chicken meat that stays pink even when it’s cooked. So to double check and make sure it is cooked, you may want to make use of a meat thermometer, which can be used to measure the thickest part’s temperature and find out if it’s cooked. And according to the experts, by the time that it reached 75 degrees Celsius, you can be certain that chicken is done.

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Feel Test

See if the meat is firm by checking on its firmness; it should not be rubbery (undercooked) and not tight (overcooked). When you’re looking into the juice coming out the inner thigh, you should also check on the meat.

For Stuffed Whole Chicken

If you’re cooking stuffed whole chicken in cookware, you can simply use a meat thermometer and get it to the center of the body’s cavity, specifically in the stuffing. And when it reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit, your dish must be done. Take note that whole you should only stuff the chicken before roasting it, and never do it ahead of time, says Recipes.

For Roasted Chicken

According to Food and Wine, while roasted chicken might look great on the outside, it might not still be cooked, especially on the inner thigh—because it’s the last part of the meat that’s reached by the heat of the oven.

Use a thermometer to tell when meat is done. All you need to do is to insert it near the inner thigh. And then the temperature reads 160 degrees or 165 degrees Fahrenheit. But then if the temperature is lower than that, you should not take it out the fire but keep on cooking it.

Check on the juice and see if it’s clear, not blooded. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, and you don’t want to trust your instincts to find out if it is cooked or not, then you can just check on its juice. If it is already clear, it is more likely than not done. But if the meat is still slightly pink, then it might need more time for cooking.

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For Boneless Chicken

You would know that it’s done when you no longer see any pinkish meat in its centers. You can check on this by cutting into your meat. Still just as said earlier, you should be able to use a meat thermometer for a backup if you don’t trust your instincts.If you’re using an oven to cook boneless chicken meat, you should be able to get between 180-185 degrees Fahrenheit before taking out the bird from your oven.

For White And Red Meat

According to Reluctant Gourmet, you can tell the doneness of the bird by using a thermometer. Just pierce the thickest part of the meat but do not hit its bone (**it is hotter than the meat). See to it that you are targeting the center of the chicken, but make sure you are doing it all the way through if you’re cooking boneless meat.

Check its temperature, which should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit (white meat) and then 180 degrees Fahrenheit (dark meat) with an instant-read thermometer. While they may sound too high, these are from USDA for the people’s safety.


There you have the proper ways to cook chicken meat. The next time you’re cooking the bird, you may want to use this tutorial for reference. No matter how you’re cooking your chicken, always see to it that you are keeping within the safe boundaries when it comes to temperature for your family’s safety. You will need an instant read thermometer or meat thermometer for accurate temperature checking.

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About the Author

Austin Sims

Currently Executive Chef at famous NY restaurant, Austin began his tenure with as Chef de Partie. He has over eight years of experience, including tenures at two- and three-Michelin star restaurants. Austin is passionate about all things cooking – products, supply chain, management, menu design, and budgeting.

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