The chicken breast is one of the healthiest white meat option in the world. However, when trying different delicacies that feature this cut, you must know if eating it undercooked or raw is healthy.
Eating undercooked chicken breast is not safe. This is because they carry a number of bacteria, such as salmonella and campylobacter. These bacteria can cause food poisoning and may carry many symptoms.
If you want to know the side effects of eating undercooked chicken breast, its symptoms, how to cook chicken breast, and how to tell if they are properly cooked, then read on.
Can you eat undercooked chicken breast?
Although there are some cuisines that feature raw chicken breast, it is not advisable to do so. There are different bacterial infections present in it and are considered harmful to humans.
Some of these bacteria include; campylobacter bacteria, E. coil salmonella, listeria monocytogenes, and clostridium perfringens.
The Center for Disease Control states that over one million cases of food poisoning are recorded yearly. It only takes one or two bites to be exposed, and symptoms may arise between 12 to 24 hours of consumption.
What are the symptoms of food poisoning?
Some of the symptoms of food poisoning include;
- Stomach pain or abdominal cramps
- Bloody stool
What do you do if you have been exposed to food poisoning?
Well, there is no specific treatment for this illness, but you have nothing to worry about. Symptoms usually disappear after 4 or 5 days; however, if symptoms persist for up to a week or seem severe, then it is best to consult your doctor.
Aside from that, the best practice would be to change diet, and try to avoid the dish that placed you in this predicament in the first place.
How can you make sure your chicken breast is cooked properly?
There are a number of ways you can confirm that your chicken breast is properly cooked. Some of them include;
1. Check the temperature of the chicken
If you are doubtful about the doneness level of your chicken, the meat read thermometer is a way of confirming. This can be done by inserting it into a thick part of the chicken breast.
The US Department of Agriculture states that all chicken breast be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, all harmful bacteria in the chicken are dead.
Be sure you don’t push the temperature read in too far, so you don’t take the temperature of your cooking source by mistake.
2. Check the size
Chicken breast and other poultry are prone to shrinkage when they are cooked. If the chicken breast does not look smaller in the oven, pan, or fryer, then there is a probability that it is still undercooked.
3. Check the color
Raw chicken breast has a peachy or pink color, and when it is cooked, it has a white color. If you find a cooked chicken breast that looks pink or peachy, be careful as it may still be undercooked and contains bacteria.
Also, the color of the juice from the chicken breast is another way of checking the doneness level. If the juice runs clear, you’re good to go, but if it appears red or bloody, it is probably still undercooked.
4. Check the texture
Undercooked chicken breast has a jiggly, dense, rubbery, and even shiny feel to it. Properly or well-cooked chicken should have a firm but not too strong texture to it.
How can you cook chicken breast?
There are various ways to cook chicken breast, but I will cover baking as it is one of the most simple steps.
Ingredients needed include;
- Chicken breast
- Kosher salt
- Olive oil or butter
- Seasoning (black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt)
- Instant-read cooking thermometer
- Aluminum foil.
Step 1: Brine the chicken breast
Brining is a very effective step in making the chicken very juicy, and it is also pretty easy to do. Firstly fill a bowl with look-warm water, add a hand full of salt and stir until it dissolves completely.
Next, add the chicken breast into the brine solution and allow it to sit for around 15 to 20 minutes. If you wish to brine in advance you can store the bowl in the refrigerator, but not for more than 6 hours overall.
When you are set to continue, take the chicken breast out of the brine solution and rinse under running water. Afterward, pat dry with a paper towel, and you are all set, your chicken breast is fully brined.
Note: If the chicken breast you purchase is already brined, don’t fear, you can simply skip this step.
Step 2: Brush the chicken with butter
Brush with melted butter, this step helps give the chicken a golden-crusted color, but you can also use olive oil or avocado oil for this step.
The butter or oil prevents the chicken from sticking to the pan, also ensuring the seasoning sticks. Afterward, place the chicken breast in a roasting pan or a large baking dish.
Step 3: Rub the chicken with seasoning
If you wish to keep things simple, you can just sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken. However, to get the best taste, use black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt. Also, ensure you rub on both sides of the chicken breast.
Step 4: Roast the chicken
This is where mistakes are made, which cause the chicken breast to be under or over cooked. While I have tried both high and low heat at different intervals, I found out that the best way to roast chicken is on high heat.
This should help create a nice crispy crust on the outside of the chicken. It also ensures that the juices are kept in, keeping the chicken perfectly tender.
Depending on the thickness of your chicken breast, it should take around 15 to 20 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This would also ensure it reaches the safe eating temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
For a more accurate reading, you should use the instant-read thermometer.
Step 5: Allow to rest
This is a key step in getting your chicken breast to taste as delicious as it is supposed to be. Use the aluminum foil to cover the entire chicken breast and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes.
This step ensures that the juices circulate around the chicken while the heat remains trapped inside. Afterward, you can serve and enjoy this delicacy.
What does undercooked chicken breast look like?
It has a unique pink shade and a slippery or elastic texture to it.
How can you fix undercooked chicken breast?
The best way to fix undercooked chicken breast is to cook it further in an oiled roasting pan. Cook it at high heat till it reaches a safe eating temperature.
Is chicken breast good for weight loss?
Yes, it is. Chicken breast is one of the best lean meat options you can add to your weight loss diet.
Can you get sick from eating overcooked chicken breast?
No, you can’t. But the taste of your chicken will suffer a bit, and it might be a bit dry.
Is salmonella from chicken airborne?
No, it is not. It is only passed when you come in contact with the bacteria itself.
Conclusion: Is it safe to eat undercooked chicken breast?
It is not safe. Undercooked chicken breast has been associated with a number of bacterium infections. Some of the symptoms include vomiting, nausea, fever, and abdominal cramp.
You can also follow the recipe in this article to make the best-tasting and properly cooked chicken breast.
I hope you enjoyed this article, if you did, you should also see how to identify undercooked chicken thigh.
Thank you for reading this article.