When it comes to cooking, there are a lot more things that go into it than just the preparation and cooking processes.
Food safety is also something you need to be aware of so you do not end up getting ill. This is especially true for meat, which you can check with a meat thermometer.
One food people might check the temperature of is the popular meat known as chicken.
In this article, you will find out how to properly probe a chicken, what a chicken’s internal temperature should be, and finally, what happens if you eat an undercooked chicken.
What Should a Chicken’s Internal Temperature Be?
When you are trying to find the internal temperature of an animal, you are doing it because you want to make sure it is cooked thoroughly.
Foods have different temperatures that have to be cooked, too as well. For meats, it depends on if it’s red meat or white meat.
Red meat is meat that comes from a four-legged animal and is red in its red form.
Now white meat is usually meat that comes from poultry such as turkey, duck, and chicken, of course. So, given this is the case, chicken is considered to be poultry.
Chicken needs to be cooked to the internal temperature needs to be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
As long as the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees, then you are safe enough to eat it. If it doesn’t read 165, just cook it until it reads that particular temperature. Trust us when we say that it’s well worth the wait.
How Do You Probe Chicken?
There are certain steps you can take to probe your chicken. It seems easy on the surface; just take the meat thermometer and then push it into the chicken.
Wait a couple of seconds, and then you’ll find out the temperature. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
To be able to properly probe a chicken and check its internal temperature, you need to follow these steps.
- The first thing you want to do is figure out where to put the probe in the first place. It’s best to insert it into the breast of the chicken, especially if it’s a whole chicken. Make sure to avoid hitting any bones inside the chicken because this will give you an inaccurate temperature read.
- Push the probe inside and then leave it there. You just have to wait for it to calculate the final temperature, which won’t take long. If you happen to have another meat thermometer on hand, you can also insert it into the thigh to check the temperature from there. The reason this can help is that it helps you get a second read of the chicken’s internal temperature. Not necessary, but it can give you more information.
- The final temperature the chicken should read is 165 degrees lenient. This is the recommended internal temperature white meat should read. If it is any lower, then it is considered undercooked, which can cause some health issues if you were to move forward and eat it.
It is easy to probe a chicken. Just remember you don’t want to hit bone, fat, or anything like that.
You just want to push the probe into the deepest part of the chicken without touching anything to get the most accurate temperature.
In the next section, we will cover what happens if you end up eating undercooked chicken.
What Happens if You Eat Undercooked Chicken?
If you end up eating undercooked chicken, then you want to know what diseases or bacteria you could be infected with.
While not all of them are fatal, some are particularly unpleasant, and the last thing you want to do is be stuck dealing with them.
- One well-known bacteria you could end up infected with is salmonella. Common symptoms include diarrhea, cramps, nausea/vomiting, and fever. Most of the time, it isn’t fatal, but if it gets worse, than you do want to seek out medical attention.
- Another issue that can come about is a bacteria that goes by the name of Clostridium perfringens. Symptoms of this disease include a lot of GI issues like diarrhea, nausea, cramps/gas/bloating, loss of appetite and weight, and muscle aches. Most of the time, this is not fatal.
- Thirdly, you could end up getting Campylobacter bacteria, which can be an issue for some people. Common symptoms include diarrhea, cramps, and fever. Usually, it’s not fatal, but if you are an elderly person, have children, or have a compromised immune system, you could be at risk of serious consequences. If you don’t fall into this category, then chances are you are going to be perfectly fine.
- Finally, the last thing you can end up with is called food poisoning.While food poisoning isn’t fatal, it will end up with you feeling very uncomfortable because of gastrointestinal symptoms. Luckily, in a few days, it usually clears up on its own. If it doesn’t, then you really should consider seeking some medical attention. Chances are everything is going to be okay, but it doesn’t hurt to get it checked out.
Chicken has a lot of bacteria. A lot of this has to do with the way chickens are raised, and like pigs, they will eat almost anything if they can.
So, if it isn’t cooked properly, you can end up getting whatever they have in their system into yours!
And there you go, all you chicken lovers out there! We first covered how to properly probe a chicken and check its temperature before diving into the recommended temperature.
Last but not least, we had to cover what can happen if you end up eating raw chicken.
Eventually, you will figure out the best way to probe chicken, and it doesn’t take you more than one or two tries to do it.
Once that happens, you will greatly lessen your chances of falling ill from chicken that hasn’t been cooked thoroughly and is still considered undercooked.
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I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.