How to Tell If Fried Chicken Is Done?

Learn how to define it without a meat thermometer!

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on How to Tell If Fried Chicken Is Done

To get properly cooked meat, we need to know exactly when it is ready and thus when it is time to switch the oven or the stove off. And things become way simpler if we have a special cooking thermometer. But what if we don’t?

If we want to fry chicken, how do we know when it is ready and when we can stop frying it? How not to end up with either an overfried or not thoroughly fried piece of poultry? Today you will learn a few secrets that will help you cook like a true chef! And in addition, we will tell you how many minutes it is best to fry chicken so that the meat is juicy and tender inside and crispy outside.

Stay with us, it’s going to be yummy!

How to Tell If Fried Chicken Is Done

Generally speaking, there are a few ways we can use for knowing for sure our chicken is fully cooked and can be enjoyed. You can either use a meat thermometer, or choose one of the less quick and effortless methods. For instance, check the juices or give a check to the color of your dish. Also, if you are curious about how to know when fried chicken is done, you can check whether your chicken is properly and thoroughly cooked by calculating how much time it spent in a frying pan.

Of course, the fastest and the simplest way of defining whether your poultry is already cooked and it is cooked as it should be, is to make use of a special meat thermometer. This handy device will help you to figure out the fried chicken done temperature easily. You just need to put it into the chicken and wait until it shows you the result!

As you probably know, the optimal temperature for frying chicken is 75 degrees Celsius and higher. So to get the most precise temperature, we recommend you stick the thermometer right into the thigh, under the big thigh bone where the drumstick and thigh meet to be clear.

If the temperature in this place has already reached 75 degrees, the rest of the bird is surely cooked enough!

By the way, this method works especially effectively if you are cooking a whole bird.

But what if you don’t cook meat so often, or you simply have no meat thermometer at home and it is impossible to go and buy it right now? Well, in such a situation, you can opt for one of the alternative ways of checking whether your chicken is ready.

However, we do recommend you buy that thermometer! It is pretty cheap and it doesn’t take much space in your kitchen drawer, but the benefit it brings is for sure significant for cooking!

How to Tell If Fried Chicken Is Done (2)
Credits: PeteerS, via

How To Tell If Chicken Is Cooked Without A Thermometer?

Of course, using a meat thermometer is the easiest and fastest way to check your fried chicken temp. The alternative methods usually take a bit more time and they are definitely more effort-consuming.

So if using a meat thermometer is not an option for you for some reason, feel free to choose one of the following methods:

  • check the juices run clear
  • check the color of your chicken meat
  • ensure the chicken is being cooked long enough

And now let us explain to you what each of these approaches is about in detail.

How To Tell If Chicken Is Cooked Without A Thermometer
Credits: Ken Cave, via

Juices Must Run Clear

So first let us start with the meaty juices. This is actually one of the simplest no-thermometer methods of checking whether your chicken is already cooked.

What you need to do to check its state this way is to pierce the meat. Yes, that’s so simple! And when the liquid starts coming out of the bird, you need to see what color that liquid is. If it is clear, you have pretty good chances that the chicken is already cooked.

Sшnce this method requires no specific tools or skills, it is often used as a substitute for using a thermometer.

Consider the Color Of the Meat

Before you decide to make use of this approach, we need to warn you. First of all, to check the color of your chicken, you will anyway have to cut it. And if you are cooking the bird for a party or making a roast, a cut piece of meat will not look nice on the table, let’s confess.

Second, there is quite a tricky moment about that meat color that not everyone takes into consideration when cooking chicken. You see, in general, when the bird is fully cooked, its meat becomes white all the way through.

Nevertheless, in some cases, it can still remain pink closer to the bone, but that does not mean your chicken is undercooked! Yep, that’s the thing. Things are not so simple with poultry.

If the chicken meat remains pinkish on the bone, it simply means that the poultry has not reached the level of 82 to 85 degrees when the blood on the bone is cooked, making the meat white. Your chicken is still safe to each in this case, it is just about the color of its meat that may look slightly underfried.

Consider the Color Of the Meat
Credits: vinicef, via

Cooking Time Matters!

One more way of checking whether your chicken meat is already cooked is to give a check to its cooking time. To be precise, the trick is to hold the fried-chicken-done temp of 75 degrees Celsius for a certain period of time.

Why shall we do that, you may ask? See, as you surely know, chicken meat must be properly and thoroughly cooked so that all the bacteria is killed in it. To do this, it is important to keep the meat heated for enough time.

This is why the common recommendation is to heat the chicken up to 75 degrees and keep it at that temperature level for five minutes or so. It will allow the heat to destroy the harmful bacteria and thus make your food safe to consume.

So now you have learned several useful methods of checking whether your chicken is fully fried. Of course, you need to take certain nuances into consideration (for instance, the one that meat can still remain pink on the bone), but in general, with these tips, frying chicken will surely become easier for you from now on!

How To Tell If Fried Chicken Is Cooked Properly?

If you don’t cook chicken often enough, figuring out whether it is cooked or not, and if cooked then how well might be a challenge for you! However, we can assure you that everything is not so complicated at all.

So you decided to fry some chicken. You prepared it for the cooking process, and now it is in a pan being fried. But how do you know when fried chicken is done by just taking a look at it?

The most common and the most well-working method is to check the color of the meat. The chicken you are frying must be deep golden brown. And crispy at the same time. This is why it is always recommended to turn it over occasionally when frying, as well as not to cook for more than fifteen minutes. Otherwise, you will get a piece of coal in your frying pan!

If you are frying the whole bird, there is another way of checking it for doneness. Simply take one of its legs (or better both) and move them! That may sound and look funny but you should know that, when the chicken is fried properly, its legs will start to move more freely in their joints.

You've Been Making Fried Chicken Wrong This Whole TimeYou’ve Been Making Fried Chicken Wrong This Whole Time

How Do You Tell If Boiled Chicken Is Done?

All right, we have already figured out how to tell if fried chicken is done without a thermometer, and you even learned a few alternative ways of checking its doneness. But what about the boiled bird? How do we check it?

Of course, the recommendations we gave you for the fried chicken will not work for the boiled one. However, it is still possible to define when a piece of boiled chicken meat is ready to be taken out of the broth.

Since it is important to not overcook the meat to avoid it turning rubbery, you must be sure that it has reached the temperature level of 160 degrees. Only when poultry reaches this temp, can it be considered thoroughly boiled.

How Do You Tell If Boiled Chicken Is Done
Credits: Timolina, via

How to Boil Chicken Breast Correctly

It may seem simple to boil chicken: just prep the meat, put into a casserole with water, add salt, and wait until it is ready to eat! Nevertheless, such a seemingly easy process still requires certain skills and knowledge to have your chicken properly cooked.

So if you want to have juicy, tender, and delicious chicken meal for dinner, we suggest you take into account the following tips:

  • use a large pot
  • pour broth into it and place chicken inside. Note that broth must cover the chicken
  • bring meat to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-high. Continue cooking until ready
  • leave your chicken to simmer for no longer than ten minutes, and then switch the heat off

Before serving, shred the bird with two forks and use as you wish.

How Long Does It Take to Fry Chicken?

When it comes to cooking chicken, most of us stumble upon fried chicken cooking times. You definitely know how essential it is to not overfry it! If your chicken spends too much time in a pan, it can come out being excessively dry, resembling wood splinters rather than food.

On the other hand, underfried meat will also not taste quite good. Besides, not thoroughly fried chicken can be hazardous for your health.

So how to figure out where that perfect golden mean is? Well, simply remember the following common frying rules:

  1. wings are best to be fried no longer than ten minutes
  2. fry thighs, legs, and breasts for twelve minutes
  3. always turn your chicken every 1-2 minutes so that it can get fried through properly

And remember that sometimes, chicken meat can still remain slightly pink close to the bone. It does not mean it is unsafe to eat! It just indicates that your chicken did not reach the temperature needed for the blood to be cooked on the bone.

How Long Does It Take to Fry Chicken
Credits: vikki_wild, via

Why Is My Fried Chicken Not Crispy?

What is the tastiest part of a fried chicken? Right, its crispy crust! But you probably noticed that sometimes we can’t get that crispness no matter how we try. What could be the reason?

In most cases, our fried chicken ends up being too dense or oily without that magical crispy crust simply because we don’t heat it enough. If the heat we set for frying the meat is too low, the chicken will become leaden. And of course, no crust!

One more cause that results in a no-crust fried chicken is…paper towels. To be precise, the fact that we blot our freshly fried poultry with them to delete the excessive fat! Never do this if you want to enjoy that crispness since when we blot chicken with paper towels, it creates steam. Steam and moisture it develops, in their turn, will ruin the crispness on the surface of meat.

But what shall we do to banish the excessive oil and keep the crust? Simply cool your fried chicken on a wire cooling rack! Place some paper towels underneath for the excess fat to drip down on them, and wait.

This is how you can not only tell when your chicken is fully cooked, but you can also avoid rather common mistakes that lead to the improperly fried dish. With the tips we shared, you will easily fry your poultry with a crispy crust on top, and you will also be able to define how long it needs to get thoroughly fried or boiled.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ What happens if I eat slightly undercooked chicken?

It may result in food poisoning since raw and undercooked meat still carries harmful bacteria.

⭐ How long shall I fry chicken on each side?

Approximately for 10-12 min per each side.

⭐ How long must chicken be deep-fried?

It must be cooked for 15 minutes.

⭐ How much time shall chicken be boiled?

A whole bird must be boiled for 90 minutes, and breasts usually boil for 15 minutes.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
How To Make The Best Chicken Stir Fry | Perfect Chicken Stir FryHow To Make The Best Chicken Stir Fry | Perfect Chicken Stir Fry