How to Tell if Roast Chicken is Done


Roasting a chicken is a delicious, simple way to cook this kind of poultry. If cooked properly, you'll end up with juicy yet slightly smoky meat. Since it's easy to prepare and relatively inexpensive, chicken is a popular choice for home chefs. Judging a chicken by its golden-brown skin may give you undesired results, especially if you are an inexperienced cook. Serving undercooked chicken could expose your family to dangerous salmonella bacteria. Play it safe and learn how to check if a chicken is done. Never serve pink, red or bleeding chicken again.

Things You'll Need

  • Oven mitts
  • Instant read thermometer
  • Cooking fork
  • Put on oven mitts and remove the roasted chicken from the oven. Place the bird on the stove top.

  • Power up the instant read thermometer and place the end into the thickest part of the chicken meat. Press the "read" button to gauge the temperature. A whole chicken is done when the inner temperature reads 155 to 157 degrees Fahrenheit. The chicken breast is done when the inner temperature reads 162 to 163 degrees.

  • Cover the bird loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. During the resting period, the bird's temperature should rise to 165 F. Slice the bird after it has rested.

Tips & Warnings

  • Tug at the chicken drumstick. If the meat falls off the bone and the bone disengages easily the bird is done.
  • Pierce chicken breasts with a cooking fork. If the juices run clear, the breast is done.
  • Cooking the chicken on a high heat may burn the skin and leave the meat raw.

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