You Don’t Have To Overcook Your Chicken Before It’s Safe To Eat, Experts Say

It is commonly thought that Chicken is only safe for consumption after it has been thoroughly cooked. This also contributes to the belief that eating chicken with pink stains poses danger to human health. However, experts have come forward to disprove such claims regarding the doneness of chicken, reiterating that this "pinkness" commonly seen is not a sign of rawness.

By Cookist
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Chicken must be thoroughly cooked to prevent the transmission of food-borne illnesses. However, overcooking them does not suit everyone's palate which creates a widespread debate about eating pink chicken.

It may be hard to believe but oink chicken is actually safe to eat. Experts also proclaim that no matter how long your chicken spends cooking, this pinkness may never disappear.

HERE'S WHY YOUR COOKED CHICKEN IS PINK

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Dr. Greg Blonder, a physicist and co-author of "Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling," explains that the appearance of this pinkness is determined by the age of the chicken.

He said:

“The majority of chickens sold in stores today are between six to eight weeks old. Young chickens have hollow bones that are thinner and more porous than their older brethren. When cooked, the purple marrow—so colored due to the presence of myoglobin, a protein responsible for storing oxygen—leaks into the meat.”

This reaction results in a staining of the bone, which spreads to the meat adjacent to it. Blonder discloses that this staining remains regardless of the temperature to which the chicken is cooked.

As for the pink flesh you spot as soon as you bite into your chicken, experts report that it may be due to a cooking method like smoking which is known to exacerbate the pink meat reaction.

THE PROPER WAY TO CHECK FOR YOUR CHICKEN'S DONENESS

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Therefore the proper way to check the doneness of your chicken is to check its temperature. The ideal measure is between 160ºF to 165ºF. For just the perfect amount of doneness, pro chefs recommend considering that the chicken will continue to cook even after you turn off the heat. Thus, the ideal value to check for is between 150ºF to 155ºF. 

HOW TO PREVENT YOUR CHICKEN FROM TURNING PINK

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Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you just can't stand the sight of pink chicken.

  • Debone the chicken before cooking. This way, there won't be any bone around to release myoglobin into the flesh.
  • Change the pH. You want your chicken to be slightly acidic so that even if there are pink stains, they'll disappear quickly with cooking. To achieve such a pH level, try marinating the meat with a lot of citrus or vinegar.

Domt forget to enjoy!

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