Chicken thigh is a great delicacy that can become a food safety hazard if undercooked.
Even if you are just cooking for yourself, it’s still important to cook chicken thigh until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Undercooking meat can lead to foodborne illness and even death in some cases.
In this article, you’ll learn how to tell if your chicken thigh is undercooked. I’ll also explain why it’s important to do this and how to make sure your chicken thigh is ready to eat.
How to tell if chicken thigh is undercooked
If you’ve undercooked your chicken thigh, it will be pale and pink on the inside. The meat will also be very soft and spongy when you press on it with your finger.
Another way to tell if you’ve undercooked your chicken thigh is to check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the internal temperature of the meat has to be around 165°F to be safe for consumption. If your chicken thigh is not up to that temperature, then it’s not ready yet.
Wait for some minutes before checking the temperature again. If the chicken thigh is ready by then, you can serve it right away.
SEE: Here’s How to Recook Your Undercooked Chicken
Can undercooked chicken thigh make you sick?
The answer is yes. Undercooked chicken thigh contains two main types of bacteria: Campylobacter and Salmonella.
Campylobacter can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping in people. It can also cause Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare disorder in which the immune system attacks nerves.
Salmonella can cause symptoms such as nausea, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting if you ingest it. It can also cause dehydration, bloody stool, and even death in some groups of people.
If you’re having any of the above symptoms after eating undercooked chicken thighs, consult your doctor immediately. You may need to take antibiotics and other medications if your symptoms are severe enough.
SEE: How Common Is Salmonella In Chicken?
Will you be okay after eating slightly undercooked chicken thigh?
It depends. If the chicken thigh you ate doesn’t have bacteria in it, then you’ll be okay. But if the piece of chicken thigh you ate has bacteria in it, then that would be a problem.
The point is that since there’s no way of knowing if the chicken thigh contains bacteria or not, it’s best to avoid eating it altogether.
What should you do if you ate undercooked chicken?
If you ate undercooked chicken thigh, the first thing to do is to stop eating it. The more you eat it, the more likely it is to get sick.
The next thing to do is to discard the chicken or cook it further if you want. After that, take an over-the-counter antibiotic to kill any bacteria you may have ingested.
Finally, if you think you aren’t feeling okay, call your doctor for medical advice. You may have to go to the hospital for proper assessment if your symptoms are severe enough.
SEE: Food Poisoning Signs You Don’t Know
How to tell if chicken thigh is cooked
Check the texture
The meat should be opaque and no longer feel soft and spongy when you press on it with your finger. If it’s still soft and spongy, then it’s not ready yet.
Use an instant-read thermometer
If you want to go a step further, you can use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature. You can find these at local food stores or online retailers like Amazon.
Just place the probe in the thickest part of the chicken thigh and check to see if it has reached 165°F (74°C). If it registers less than 165°F, let it cook for a few more minutes.
Stick a fork into it
If you don’t want to use a thermometer, then you can check if your chicken thigh is ready by sticking a fork into it. If it’s still soft in the middle, then it’s not ready yet. The meat should be firm enough that your fork can easily pick it up without it falling.
Look at the juices
You can also check for doneness when cooking chicken thigh by looking at the juices that run out from inside it when you cut into it with a knife.
If the juices run clear, then your chicken is probably ready; if the juices are still pink, then your chicken thigh needs more time.
Are chicken thighs supposed to be chewy?
In general, yes. The reason why chicken thighs are so chewy is that they contain a lot of muscle fibers. If you want your chicken thighs to be tender, pound them with a meat mallet before cooking them.
Another great way to make your chicken thighs tender is to marinate them in butter and lemon juice for at least an hour before cooking them. This will also help make them extra juicy and flavorful.
SEE: Can You Cook Chicken In The Marinade Or Not?
How to tell if chicken thigh is bad
It smells like ammonia
Ammonia smells like rotten eggs; it’s one of the worst smells in the world. If your chicken has an ammonia smell, you should throw it out immediately and get a fresh one.
It has a yellowish or greenish tinge
The chicken thigh should have no signs of discoloration. If it has a yellowish or greenish tinge, then it’s bad. This means there are some bacteria present in the meat that could cause health problems for you and others around you.
It has a coarse texture
Another way to check if your chicken thigh is bad is by examining its texture. If it has a coarse texture or if the skin is peeling off, then throw it away immediately.
SEE: How Long Does Raw Chicken Last in the Fridge Before It Goes Bad?
At what temperature is chicken safe to eat?
The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165°F (74°C) for it to be safe to eat. If you put your thermometer in the thickest part of your chicken and it registers less than 165°F, it’s not safe to eat yet.
Do chicken thighs have more fat than breasts?
Yes, they do. Chicken thighs have a lot more fat than chicken breasts, which makes them juicier and better at holding their shape when you cook them. This also means that they’re less likely to dry out or burn during cooking.
Can you grill chicken thighs?
Yes, you can. Chicken thighs are a great cut of meat for grilling. They’re more tender and juicy than chicken breasts, making them easy to grill. They’re also perfect for frying or braising in soups and stews.
Undercooked chicken thigh is a serious health concern as it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and other symptoms.
The best way to tell if you’ve fully cooked your chicken thigh is to use an instant-read thermometer to check if the chicken’s temperature is at least 165°F.
You can also try other methods such as checking the appearance of the chicken, sticking a fork through it, and looking at its juices.
If it turns out that you’ve undercooked your chicken thigh, throw it away or cook it again.
Thanks for reading.
Visit Cheffist to know more about cooking chicken and other kinds of poultry.