Do You Know How to Check if Your Roast Chicken Is Done?
Hint: you need to check it in three places
A roast chicken is one of the easiest main dishes to cook, and it's plenty guest-worthy to boot. But the last thing you want to do during Sunday dinner is get the people gathered 'round the table sick from food poisoning.
You probably already know you can't tell by color alone if the bird has reached the safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a chicken can look done but still contain live bacteria that could make you sick. (Perhaps you also know not to rinse the bird, which just risks spreading salmonella.) But what you may not know is where to insert the food thermometer. (Using one can help you avoid overcooking your chicken as well as undercooking it).
According to the USDA, you should insert in not just one but three places: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost of the thigh and the innermost part of the wing. Be careful to not touch any bone, fat or gristle when you insert it. Allow the temperature to register over the course of 10 seconds.
Don't leave the thermometer in the chicken while it’s cooking. Instead, insert it at least five minutes before the chicken is supposed to be done. Make sure you clean it with hot, soapy water before and after each use to make sure you're not transferring any bacteria to your food.
Related: Food Safety Fails
Before you sit down to enjoy your meal, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds to avoid transferring any bacteria.
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