Can Chicken be a Little Pink?

If you are cooking chicken and it looks a little pink, you may be wondering if chicken can be a little pink and still be safe to each. This is a common question, as many people are nervous about undercooking their chicken.

Chicken is a type of meat that should not be undercooked under any circumstances. It is not like other kinds of meat that could be served rare while still being perfectly safe to consume.

Because of this, people may find cooking chicken to be very intimidating as they are afraid of not doing it correctly. So you may find yourself overanalyzing the way your chicken looks to see if it is fully cooked or not.

If you are going to regularly be cooking chicken, it is a good idea to understand how you can tell if the chicken is undercooked. Keep reading to find out whether or not chicken can be a little bit pink and still be fully done.

Chicken Can be a Little Pink Even If It Is Done

If you are new to cooking chicken, you may be wondering if chicken can be a little pink on the inside. This is a good question, as people may assume that this means the chicken is not done, but the chicken needs to have an internal temperature of 165°.

As long as the chicken has an internal temperature of 165°, it is considered to be done and completely safe to eat. It is actually quite common for chicken to be a little pink on the inside, even if it is fully cooked.

chicken-little-pink

It is quite common for the chemicals in chicken to create a pink tinge during the cooking process in the right circumstances. This can also happen if you are cooking a part of the chicken that still has the bone in, causing discoloration.

This is why it is more important to focus on the internal temperature of chicken, rather than how it appears. A pink color may not signify that the chicken is undercooked, while chicken that looks cooked could be undercooked.

When it comes to meat, it is better to focus on the internal temperature and trust that rather than your eyes. As you do not want to accidentally consume undercooked meat, especially chicken.

How Do You Know If Chicken Is Underdone?

The only way to know for certain that your chicken is fully cooked is if it has an internal temperature of 165°. You can buy a meat temperature tool in order to check the internal temperature of chicken as you cook it. 

This is the best way to make sure that your chicken is fully cooked without undercooking it or overcooking it. How it looks can be deceiving since fully cooked chicken can still be a little bit pink on the inside.

You may think that your chicken is fully cooked, and it could still be undercooked to a certain degree. So it is better to have a meat temperature tool that you can use to make sure the internal temperature is where it should be.

You can also try testing by tapping the top of the chicken that you have cooked. Fully cooked chicken should be very firm to the church and should not jiggle at all.

It can be a little bit pink inside, but that pinkness should not look raw or wet. That could mean that the chicken really is undercooked and isn’t just discolored to a pink tinge.

The Appearance of Meat Doesn’t Indicate Doneness

If you are going to be cooking meat, it is important to remember that the appearance of the meat doesn’t always indicate doneness. This is a mistake that many home cooks make as they rely mostly on appearances.

Though there are plenty of instances where you cannot visually tell whether or not the meat has been fully cooked. This is why it is important to have a meat thermometer on hand, so that you can check this for yourself.

As you do not want to consume undercooked meat as that can be a health risk. Especially depending upon the kind of meat that it is and just how undercooked it is.

Chicken

Chicken is a kind of meat that should never be served undercooked. It is not safe to consume undercooked, which is why it should be fully cooked through before you serve it

Baked chicken drumsticks

Fully cooked chicken will typically look white or brown in color and will be firm to the touch. When you slice into it, the internal flash should be bright white but may have some pink tinges.

The inside should never be pink and squishy or very moist looking, as that most likely means it is underdone.

Pork

Fresh pork can be served slightly underdone if that is the way that you like your pork. This will result in a lighter-colored meat that still has quite a pink internal color when you cut into it.

Fresh pork can safely be eaten if it has an internal temperature of 145°. Though ground pork should come to 165° in order to be safe to eat.

Fresh pork will most likely be firm to the touch but still have a slight bounce if it is rare to medium or rare. Fully cooked pork is going to be white in color and will be much more firm and dry.

Steak

Steak is another kind of meat that is commonly undercooked on purpose, as that is how people prefer it. It is also a kind of meat that can be safely undercooked much more so that people can enjoy a much more rare slice of steak.

Because of this, rare steak will most likely be very red in appearance on the inside and even bleed when you cut into it. Though the outside will most likely be firm and flexible to the touch.

What Happens If My Chicken Isn’t Fully Cooked?

Undercooked chicken is very bad to eat and should be avoided, at all costs. Unlike other kinds of meat that you can eat rare, chicken has an abundance of harmful bacteria that can be present if it is not fully cooked.

Grilled chicken breast

This bacteria is killed during the cooking process but can be alive and well if an area of the chicken is not fully cooked and is left raw. Which could result in you getting a foodborne illness, commonly known as food poisoning.

This can be quite severe if you consume very raw chicken or a large quantity of raw chicken. Making you very sick for several days.

How Can I Fix Undercooked Chicken?

If you cut into your chicken and noticed that it is still raw inside, the best thing to do is to continue cooking it. You can do this by putting it back into the oven to continue cooking for a few minutes until the meat thermometer comes out saying 165°.

If you cooked it on the stove, you could put it back in the pan, cover it, and continue cooking it for a few extra minutes. Usually chicken only takes a minute or two extra to fully cook through if it is slightly underdone.

Final Thoughts

If you are new to cooking chicken, you may worry that a pink color is a sign that it is not done. The good news is that chicken can be a little bit pink and still be fully cooked, it just needs to have an internal temperature of 165°.

As long as your chicken has the right internal temperature, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, as you can’t always tell that it is done by how it appears.