Tenderly cooked chicken breasts seasoned with sauces and a glass of beer is a perfect dinner. Chicken is packed with proteins and therefore many people around the world try their hands on making tasty dishes with it. You may think about cooking the perfect recipe you love for all time. The day comes and you start cooking the chicken, but still there is confusion in your mind. After you’ve cooked many recipes so many times you don’t even remember, still you have a question in your mind. This question has to do with cooking the chicken breasts. Every time you ask what temperature should I cook chicken breasts and you don’t have the right answer.
Cooking chicken at the right temperature makes it juicy and those succulent flavours remains for a long time. But that’s not all there are many other reasons to cook chicken at the right temperature. Let’s see them first and then we will discuss about the temperature we should cook the chicken breasts.
Why is it Important to Cook Chicken at the Right Temperature
- As far as our health and hygiene is concerned, certain kinds of foods can transmit bacteria into our body. There is always a risk of catching some kind of infection or disease from food. It is more important when we are eating meat. To kill those bacteria you need to cook the raw meat at the proper temperature. You should take care of cooking at right temperature especially for pork, beef, seafood and chicken. Certain bacteria like Salmonella are not killed unless you cook the chicken at the right temperature. If not destroyed these bacteria cause serious illness.
- Keeping the health factor aside there is another reason to cook the chicken at the right temperature. If undercooked chicken breasts do not give the right kind of flavor and taste. What else they becomes rubbery, hard to chew. This could spoil your whole recipe. Overcooked chicken gets dry and does not taste the way you want it.
- Some people rely on the color of chicken to determine whether it’s cooked or not. Keep in mind that white meat is not necessarily means to have killed all the bacteria in it. Likewise, you must not conclude that the chicken is undercooked just because it is pink in colour.
The Right Temperature to Cook Chicken Breasts
- Now we can speak about the right temperature for cooking chicken breasts. When you are cooking a recipe exclusively make up of chicken breasts then, you should not cook it above 170°F. According to the regulatory guidelines issued by the FDA it is important that the chicken breasts should be cooked for at least 165°F. This eliminates the risk of Salmonella and ensures that you eat a safe meat. You’ll need a remote thermometer to monitor the exact temperature while cooking chicken breasts. Insert this thermometer and let the chicken cook until it reaches the ideal temperature.
- If you’re using an oven to cook chicken breasts then, you need to heat the oven somewhere between 325 to 350 degrees F. At this temperature the chicken will not get burned or too much crunchy from outside. So, you get your chicken breasts thoroughly cooked from inside while their external part is perfectly crispy. So, no matter what recipes of chicken breast you make at your home you need to keep in mind one thing. This is the perfect temperature.
- Let me tell you something about the oven temperature. If you are habitual of roasting chicken breasts for 425 degree will make the skin brown and cracky but the meat will be dry. So, lowering it to 350°F would cook it thoroughly from all the sides.
- If you are still using the conventional oven from a long time you may need an oven thermometer. Why? I know that your oven is having one of its own but with time these thermostats lose their accuracy. So, there could be the difference between the displayed temperature and the actual temperature.
- An interesting fact about cooking chicken breasts is that if you take out chicken breasts at the temperature of 165°F reading on the remote thermometer it reaches to 170°F. This helps you to find the perfect balance of cooking.
- To keep your chicken juicy from inside and crispy from the inside you could use the reverse-sear technique. Cook the meat for the time until it reaches the desired temperature. With the help of a hot skillet sear it on a stovetop. Using this technique you can minimize the chance of overcooking the meat.
- You need the right timing with right temperature to get your chicken dropping with flavour and taste. Speaking about time, you need to cook chicken for 40 minutes to get a juicy flavour retaining a perfect taste. Poking hole inside the chicken breasts ensures it’s through cooking.
- You may be habitual to prepare recipes by directly taking out frozen chicken from the freezer. In this case, you need to know that when you use frozen chicken you would require 50% extra time than usual.
Some more details about Cooking Chicken Breasts
- Chicken breasts are packed with proteins and preferred all over the world by many people. If not cooked properly chicken breasts could become rubbery hard to chew. Your whole recipe could be affected by the temperature you choose to cook the chicken. Many people rely on their own instincts which are sometimes right. But to cook a perfect recipe you need to give attention to details. Hence, it would be wise if you keep a thermometer at your home. This will help you to be sure about the cooking temperature and you can avoid undercooking and overcooking.
- Marinating chicken breasts can also make a difference while cooking them. When you marinate chicken breasts for a recipe before cooking or baking them it becomes more easy for flavors to penetrate inside giving you the best taste every time.