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How to Cook Chicken

How to Check If a Chicken Is Done

There are a number of ways to determine if chicken is thoroughly cooked and ready to eat.

  • For whole chickens, a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, but not near bone or fat, should register 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit before removing from the oven.

  • For stuffed whole chicken, insert the thermometer into the center of the body cavity. When the stuffing registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit, the chicken should be done. (Note: Chicken should only be stuffed just before roasting. Never stuff a chicken ahead of time.)

  • For roasted whole chicken breasts, the meat thermometer should register 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • To test bone-in chicken pieces, insert a fork in the chicken. It should go in with ease and the juices should run clear. However, the meat and juices nearest the bones might still be a little pink even though the chicken is cooked thoroughly.

  • Boneless chicken pieces are done when the centers are no longer pink; you can determine this by simply cutting into the chicken with a knife.

Use the tips in this article to expand your horizons and make a different chicken recipe every week -- or every day for that matter!

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Chicken Recipes: Chicken is a very versatile food that can take on a variety of different flavors and be used in all kinds of dishes. Find some suggestions on our Chicken Recipes page.
  • Grilling Chicken: Chicken on the grill is a less-mess and delicious way to prepare poultry. Find helpful tips on grilling chicken in this article.
  • Preparing Chicken: Learn some basic chicken preparation techniques in this article, including how to stuff a chicken, how to marinate chicken, and more.
  • Cooking Chicken: Cooking chicken can be a bit difficult because it's imperative that the meat is cooked all the way through. Gather helpful tips at HowStuffWorks.
  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.