What Temperature Are Chicken Thighs Done – Chicken Thigh Internal Temp
When we would like to cook chicken, there is a lot to think about various temperatures in mind. The temperature you set to the oven usually be around 350 to 375 F.
When considering chicken temperature especially whether it is bone-in or whole, it is a little tricky to cook as it is shaped oddly.
Chicken is not like any other meat like beef or lamb which can be consumed rarely but wanted to cook thoroughly to prevent anyone from getting sick of eating it.
While cooking the chicken, there is an actual temperature of it to be cooked in this is known as internal temperature.
This temperature will determine its tenderness and cooked consistency which is doneness of the chicken. This temperature of cooking can be measured using an instant-read thermometer.
This instant-read thermometer is a probe which is available in both digital and analog format that helps you to take the instant cooking temperature of the food.
The thermometer is great for checking the temperature of the food while it is cooks, but not meant for left in.
This is simple like just inserting the probe into the food, check the cooking temperature and then removes it.
Coming back to the chicken cooking temperature, there is a minimum safe internal temperature which is necessary to consider, in other words, the temperature which is necessary for the chicken to be cooked to ensure that there are no harmful bacteria that harbors the food such as E.coli or salmonella are killed at this temperature.
To give good quality to the chicken, it has to be cooked at the right temperature so that the breast meat is firm and white without getting charred. It should not be overcooked while it leads to dry and stingy and makes the meat rubbery rather tender. Does it sounds confusing?.
When u considering the white and dark meat which are cooked at different temperatures and the whole chicken consisting both. This is the reason that it is difficult to cook the whole chicken correctly without some part of it is under or overcooked.
White and Dark meat doneness
It is important to note that the chicken temperature is rightly cooked at the 145 to 150 F and not more or less than that which might make the food tasteless and unpleasant to eat. Cooking at this temperature ensures that there is no further pinkness keeping the meat firm without losing its tenderness.
When considering the chicken thighs (Which is termed as dark meat) needs to be cooked at a higher temperature such as 175 to 180 F due to the presence of its higher amounts of connective tissue and collagen.
Chicken thigh internal temperature should be maintained for perfect meat. Cooking the thigh meat at 165 F will further yield chewy and rubbery meat which will be unpleasant to eat. But cooking this at the proper temperature (175 to 180 F) makes it tender and juicy as the connective tissues and collagen turns to gelatine and melts.
USDA recommended safe temperature conditions for cooking meat
According to the USDA conditions, they recommend cooking the chicken and other poultry products to a minimum internal temperature which is around 165 F for almost 30 seconds. This means the deepest internal part of the meat should be heated at 165 F for a particular amount of time.
The main trouble is that when the chicken is heating at this temperature there are high chances that the breast of the chicken turns stringy and dry. Further, the texture of the meat resembles chalk which means the meat is severely overcooked.
But luckily, according to USDA recommendation, there are two dimensions: meat should be cooked either at 165 F temperatures for 30 seconds or by extending the time duration you can lower the target temperature to merely avoid overcooking of the meat while maintaining the food standards and safety measures as recommended.
For example, an internal temperature at 150 F for almost 2.7 minutes is the same as cooking the meat at 165 F for 30 seconds. Similarly 145 F for 8.4 minutes and all the above meet the recommendations and food standards according to USDA safety rules.
Roasting the perfect meat
Here is the good news for all chefs and cooking people as it is good to heat the meat at 145 to 150 F is the ideal doneness of the chicken breast at this temperature.
And as the chicken temperature continues to rise for several minutes after taking it out of the oven, it is advisable to pull the tray when the temperature of the breast is at 145 F and then let it rest outside for another 30 minutes.
This makes that the breast meat will remain at 145 F for more than 8.4 minutes that keeps the meat juicy, tender and perfectly safe to consume according to the standards.
Doing this procedure, the internal temperature chicken thigh will further continue to rise once after you pull the chicken from the oven, which leads to the eventual rising of the temperature to further 200 F that is more enough for the collagen in the dark meat to break down and thus turns to gelatine that keeps the food tender, flavored dark meat, and juicy.
So during the resting period, one can note that the temperature on the digital probe continuously rises and falls. So when it completely rises and eventually falls down to 120 F, the meat is ready to carve and serve.
Bear in mind that the above procedures and temperature maintenance are for the whole chicken and doing this to the whole chicken ensuring the perfect meat together. But this won’t work for the individual organs of the chicken while cooking.
There are other techniques that are perfect to cook the individual cuts of the chicken to a particular temperature and holding them at that temperature. The procedure is termed as sous vide cooking.
Chicken thighs can be cooked at 185 F or 85 C to keep it delicious and moist. Chicken thighs are considered to the dark meat and all you have to observe is that the muscles that the chicken uses most.
So, the darker meat is chicken thighs is a result of high protein levels which are responsible for the natural movements for everyday activity.
The higher levels of fats and proteins mean the meat will be denser when compared to that of the breast part which works at lower levels.
The main reason for cooking the chicken thighs at the perfect temperature is to get the part tender and juicy and to attain this they have to be cooked to an internal temperature higher than 165 F as there is an abundance of collagen proteins which become tender while cooked at this temperature.
Collagen is the most abundant protein which is found in the mammalian body and is present in bone, skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilages, and muscles. The main function of it is to provide strength and support to the body to form the membrane.
In the case of meat, the content of collagen is the major factor that influences the tenderness of the muscles after cooking. This cannot be broken down easily by cooking except with moisture which is a cooking method.