In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to cook chicken soft?”, discuss answers to other related questions like how can you know if the chicken is cooked, and can you eat undercooked chicken.
How to cook chicken soft?
To cook chicken soft, let it at room temperature for 45 minutes if it was refrigerated, or in the refrigerator, if it was frozen. Next, brine the chicken and cook it on a slow cooker until it reaches the internal temperature of 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. When the chicken is done cooking soft, it will float on the surface of the oil if you are frying it or it will be a fork-tender if you are cooking it.
Make sure that you do not overcook the chicken. Otherwise, it will turn out to be rubbery and chewy.
4 ways to know if the chicken is cooked
Nobody likes to chew through an overcooked and tough piece of chicken and there can be nothing worse than returning your partially cooked steak or chicken on the flames.
So how do you make sure that your meat is done before whisking it off the grill, or worse–overcooking it? While the most reliable way to know if your meat is cooked is to use a thermometer, there are some other trustworthy methods to use:
Use a meat thermometer
When you are using a digital thermometer to check for doneness, insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. The safe internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the recommendations of USDA.
Feel the meat
If you are a master of cooking, feeling the meat can help you know if it is cooked or not. So, to know what raw meat feels like, pinch the flesh of your hand below your thumb, while your hand is relaxed. To know what medium-rare meat feels like, touch your middle finger lightly to your thumb and pinch it. To know what medium-cooked meat feels like, touch your ring finger to your thumb. To know what well-done meat feels like, touch your pinkie and thumb together.
Poke the meat to see if juices are red or clear
For properly cooked chicken, if you cut into it and the juices run clear, then the chicken is fully cooked. If the juices are red or have a pinkish color, your chicken may need to be cooked a bit longer.
Check if the chicken piece shrinks
One thing you can observe when you cook on the grill is the size of your meat. If it looks nice and charred on the outside but hasn’t shrunk at all, it probably needs a longer cooking time. If it starts to look smaller, then chances are it’s close to done. If your meat is quite a bit smaller than when you started, it may be overcooked.
Can you eat undercooked chicken?
Chicken is the most widely used protein in the world because it has lower fat and a higher protein ratio. But if you eat chicken that is undercooked or raw, you can get seriously ill because certain microorganisms can be found on the undercooked chicken that can be potentially pathogenic. So, it is very important to cook and store chicken properly.
Pathogens found in undercooked chicken
The most important pathogens that are found in undercooked or raw are Salmonella and Campylobacter. But certain other bacteria can also be found including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus, and Klebsiella.
Illness after consuming undercooked chicken
As discussed earlier, if the chicken is undercooked or raw, there are sure chances of the presence of Salmonella and Campylobacter or both. Both of these bacteria are known to cause severe foodborne illness.
Symptoms of Salmonella-based food poisoning may appear within 24 to 48 hours after consumption of undercooked chicken and these symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, headache, and muscle pain. These symptoms will last for 2 to 4 days until and unless the immune system becomes able to cope with the pathogen.
Symptoms of Campylobacter-based food poisoning appear within 2 to 10 days after the consumption of undercooked chicken and the symptoms are somewhat the same as those for Salmonella-based food poisoning but the difference is that there is bloody diarrhea in case of Campylobacter-based food poisoning. These symptoms last for up to 4 days but if the condition is getting more severe, you may also need to take some prescribed antibiotics.
Much care is needed, as these bacteria, if get into the blood of the patient, can also cause bacteremia.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to cook chicken soft?”, discussed answers to other related questions like how can you know if the chicken is cooked, and can you eat undercooked chicken.