What Temperature to Cook Chicken the Cheapest Way Possible?
What temperature to cook chicken at depends on what you are doing to it. Let’s start with the obvious, which is whether you are looking to cook a whole chicken or pieces. No set temperature is right for all chicken recipes. Here is what I know for sure.
In the oven – For a good, healthy meal prep chicken breasts and thighs, you want to roast them to a minimum of about one hundred and sixty-five degrees to get that juiciness. However, the best results come from cooking for only about one hundred and fifty degrees or so. The reason for this is because the juice is extracted much better from the outside in an oven than it is in a pan or other medium.
If you are roasting a piece of chicken, don’t ever go lower than one hundred and eighty degrees. This is the safest point for roasting any type of chicken. Of course, there are exceptions, but this is the safe upper end for most recipes. This is also the temperature where the majority of the flavor is extracted.
So, if you are looking for that richer flavor when cooking a piece of chicken, then you will want to go with this temperature.
Sear – Let’s assume you are going to use a meat thermometer and measure to the temperature you want your piece of chicken to be cooked at. You then want to sear the outside of the bird to remove most of the internal raw skin. To do this, insert the tail end of the meat thermometer into the middle of the chicken.
Then press down until the bird is well browned and done, which usually takes about thirty seconds. It is very important not to flip during this process. The goal here is to sear the outside to lose the majority of the raw flavor, which gives the outside of the chicken its signature flavor.
Whole Chicken – Once you have finished searing and browning the inside, it is now time to remove the bird from the heat source and shred it. You can either use a knife or a food safety chopper. When using a knife, make sure you have cut all the way through. After the bird is removed, you will need to let it rest for up to five minutes in the cooking oil. During this time it will cook very slowly to ensure that all of the juices remain within the meat.
Leg Meat and Breast Meat – When preparing these two sections of the chicken, you will want to dry them out as much as possible. To dry the breast meat, use a good meat dreamer.
Once the breast meat has cooled, you can then use a food processor to chop it into large chunks. Always use a large chopping block when chopping large pieces of chicken.
Oven Cooking – The easiest temperature for cooking chicken is medium-rare. The reason for this is because when it reaches this temperature, the chicken cooks very slowly. For a large meal prep chicken recipe, I recommend making one large cut into the center of the chicken followed by a half cup of rice.
Once the chicken is cooked to the desired degree of doneness, you can then take it out of the oven and place it in your bowl of soup. Chicken soup is always my favorite, especially when accompanied by some potatoes and green beans. In fact, the combination of the ingredients just makes this dish so special! It is my favorite because you can control the seasoning, as well as the overall flavor.
The nice thing about using a digital thermometer to check the chicken’s temperature is that you do not have to worry about the internal temperature of the chicken going too high or too low.