How to Cook Chicken: 20 Mistakes to Avoid | Eat This Not That

Chicken can get pretty exhausting quick. You might’ve attempted each solid chicken formula under the sun, but, you’re left with rubbery, bland, exhausting meat. What gives? In case you’re not preparing your chicken and cooking it effectively, you’re in danger of being left with an insignificant protein—however it doesn’t have to be like this. There are a few deceives you ought to consistently follow while planning poultry. Stick with these, and sorting out how to cook chicken will be route to a lesser degree a mystery.

To help you work on your kitchen abilities and cook poultry consummately, we’ve gathered together the normal errors individuals make when cooking chicken, so you know what to maintain a strategic distance from once feast prep moves around.

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Women regulating oven temperature

The secret to ensuring your chicken doesn’t turn out exaggerated and rubbery is to burn it in a skillet on medium-high warmth and afterward finish cooking it in a broiler at a lower temperature, says Daniel Shemtob from TLT Food, which has different eatery areas in California. That way, it will in any case arrive at the required inward temperature while staying succulent, he says.

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Chicken under a brick
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Drop the bottled grill sauce! All you require for a totally succulent bird is a block or two and some aluminum foil. The additional weight helps press the bird equally—and powerfully—against the flame broil, which converts into a juicier bird with firm skin—a mutual benefit! We love this Chicken Under a Brick formula for a genuine chicken gala that couldn’t be simpler to make.


Wes Whitsell, the chief culinary expert at Manuela in midtown Los Angeles, recommends that you stab the chicken bosom with a fork in case you’re barbecuing it; this will assist the marinade with entering the chicken bosom. A decent marinade blend he recommends: loads of olive oil, lemon zing, lemon pepper, cayenne, paprika, and a hint of honey.

Not sure where to start? You can’t turn out badly with these 8 Chicken Marinade Ideas for Deliciously Juicy Chicken Breast.

grilled chicken thigh

You will not need to overcook your chicken, however ensure to give it a decent scorch and afterward let it rest prior to cutting, Whitsell proposes. “Individuals have a misinterpreted idea about chicken,” he says. “In the event that cooking with bone-in, having the meat pink close to the bone is OK, and you need juices to run out when cutting it. On the off chance that there’s no juice, it’s overcooked.”

Raw chicken

There are three simple ways you can check to check whether your crude chicken has topped far over the hill, concurring to head cook at HelloFresh, Claudia Sidoti. First, Sidoti prompts looking for a change in color. “New, crude chicken ought to have a pink, beefy tone. As it begins to turn sour, the shading blurs to a shade of dim,” Sidoti recently told Eat This, Not That.

Second, Sidoti says to trust your nose. “Crude chicken that has turned sour has an intense smell. Some of the time it very well may be depicted as a harsh smell. In the event that the chicken has taken on a smell of any kind, it’s most secure to throw it,” she says.

And in case you’re considering matching a few vegetables with your bird, be certain to stay away from these 8 Common Mistakes You’re Making When Cooking Veggies.

cross contamination on cutting board

Getting two cutting sheets in various colors can help you stick to the best food handling rules. Basically save one for meat, poultry, chicken, and fish and the other for things like bread and veggies. Additionally, you’ll need to ensure you clean your sheets after use. Agreeing to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, in the wake of cutting up chicken, you should clean the board “in hot sudsy water, at that point clean with chlorine dye or other disinfecting arrangement and flush with clean water.”

Also, ensure that you never place cooked meat on a plate that was utilized to hold crude meat, and consistently wash your hands previously and following taking care of crude meat.

Chicken thighs

If you start with plant cultivated, frozen chicken, chances are acceptable your supper will taste dry and will not have as much flavor as possible. At whatever point conceivable, settle on organic, unfenced, and privately delivered chicken out of an ice chest (rather than the cooler). These choices are almost certain to hold dampness and be loaded with flavor.

To know when your meats are done, here are the 9 Best Meat Thermometers Your Kitchen Needs, According to Experts.

Chicken breasts

Rinsing off chicken prior to cooking may appear to be a decent way to improve its cleanliness, however sanitation decides keep up that this makes tainting more probable to happen. The way toward washing chicken spreads conceivably destructive microbes onto your sink and ledges, and it’s improbable to serve any genuine advantage. So skip the chicken bath and move on.

Cut up cooked chicken breast on a dark grey cutting board

While it may not be a smart thought to wash your chicken, it is a smart thought to dry it. This may sound unreasonable; all things considered, no one enjoys to eat dry meat. Yet, most people do like the outside of their chicken to have a stunning earthy colored fresh—and that is just feasible when you start with a dry bird. For the best outcomes, permit the meat to air-dry outside of any bundling for a couple of hours in the cooler. At that point, eliminate it from the cooler and pat it dry with paper towels just prior to cooking.

Looking to cook a feast that is delectable with a kick of flavor? Here are the ideal Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Wings you can make.

Thawing turkey

Rare is the home gourmet expert who hasn’t attempted this methodology to meat defrosting, yet here’s the reason you ought to maintain a strategic distance from it: Room temperatures give a warm favorable place to a wide range of conceivably destructive microscopic organisms. Furthermore, on the grounds that the outside of the meat is likely to defrost quicker than within, this implies the external will be powerless to these microbes for a large part of the time that within is still thawing.

To stay away from this issue, consider defrosting the chicken short-term in the fridge or spot it in a plastic pack and lower that sack in virus water. (Simply be certain to supplant the water regularly so temperatures in the bowl never rise to room temperature.)

Meat tenderizer

We all know it’s basic to soften a steak prior to cooking it, yet less individuals understand it’s comparably significant to pound out chicken breasts prior to throwing them into a pan.

Pounding chicken is useful for a few reasons: It softens the meat, it decreases the cooking time (which can limit the danger of overcooking), and it makes it simpler to accomplish an even cook. For best outcomes, ensure the bosoms are an even thickness; focus on roughly a large portion of an inch.

Raw chicken sashimi plated with seaweed

While the facts confirm that you don’t need to let the meat lounge around on the counter for a long time prior to cooking it, it is a smart thought to let the defrosted meat sit out of the ice chest for 15 minutes or so prior to concocting it. This will help guarantee that within and outside of the meat is for the most part a similar temperature, which builds the odds that the chicken will cook evenly.


Because you need to ensure the chicken is completely cooked, you may wind up cooking it for a really long time. “This is the place where tenderizing can make all the difference,” says Derek Wolf, fire cooking devotee and proprietor of Over the Fire Cooking. “What you do is soak your chicken in a mix of spices, flavors, sugar, water, and salt two or three hours all together to make an ideal measure of dampness inside the meat. It helps to forestall over-cooking and to improve flavor. Also, it’s excessively basic. My number one saline solution comprises of Morton’s Coarse Kosher Salt, thyme, dark pepper, sugar, and water.”

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sheet pan bbq chicken dinner on a marble counter
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

“Ever wound up with insufficient space to cook the chicken bosom? In a urgent endeavor to accelerate the interaction, you push all the chicken into one skillet trusting everything fits,” Wolf says, helping us all to remember this regular botch. “What winds up happening is the meat cooks unevenly due to being packed.” Additionally, congestion can cause your chicken to steam as opposed to assist it with getting that decent caramelized-earthy colored sear.

Thankfully, there’s a handy solution that can rescue your supper plate of fixed meat. Wolf has an answer that will prove to be useful in case you’re as of now mid-measure. “At the point when you run into space issues, ensure to give each piece of chicken sufficient space to cook. Meat needs the warmth ascending from all sides all together to completely cook. Simply snatch another skillet or hang tight for the chicken previously cooking to finish,” Wolf says. “Better to have completely cooked chicken than not!” We can’t help but concur, particularly in light of the fact that chicken is one of the great danger nourishments that are in all probability to be contaminated.

Meat thermometer cooking temperatures

A parcel of plans give you a surmised time for cooking chicken dishes, so it’s sensible to accept that time is the main factor. Yet, in actuality, temperature bests time any day of the week.

meat thermometer is the lone device that can give you genuine certainty that the meat is completely cooked. Chicken ought to be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit; to test it, embed a meat thermometer into the thickest piece of the meat (without contacting a bone). Attempt to try not to cook the meat past this temperature, since that is a surefire way to have dry meat on your hands.

And for additional cooking tips, don’t miss these 10 Chef Secrets for How to Cook Chicken Breasts Perfectly.

roast chicken on serving plate

Forgetting to stuff the chicken’s cavity prior to simmering is one way to end up with a desert-dry dinner.

“To add some additional dampness and flavor, cut a lemon, onion, or even an apple in lumps and spot in the cavity alongside a branch or two of spices or inlet leaves. As the chicken dishes, these aromatics will deliver dampness and flavor,” Sidoti says. “Simply recollect to eliminate the stuffing before carving.”

Grilled chicken

“When barbecuing chicken, figuring out the correct time to flip is fundamental,” Wo