View Full Version : Chicken done at 160 or 175 temperature

06-06-2002, 09:25 AM
Hi All!

Awhile back someone posted a recipe from Cook's Illustrated for roasted chicken. The recipe sates to cook the chicken until the meat thermometer registers 160 degrees. I always thought chicken was done at 175 degrees? HELP!!!

Here's the recipe for whoever might be interested.


2 large whole bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
other spices, such as paprika, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set breasts on foil-lined baking pan. Brush with oil and sprinkle generously with salt (and other spices, if desired). Roast until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees, 40 to 45 minutes.

I look forward to hearing from you.

06-06-2002, 09:47 AM
All of my meat thermometers say that poultry needs to be cooked to 180*, but I've always cooked a roast chicken to 175* and let it creep its way up to 180* during the 'resting' period. I've never heard of 160*! That would still be very, very pink in my experience with whole chickens, but maybe bone-in chicken breasts are measured differently? I'm interested to find out too!

06-06-2002, 09:51 AM
I don't know about that recipe, but I recently made a claypot chicken recipe from CL that said the chicken was done at 180! If I had let it get that high, it would have been one dried out bird. I took it out much earlier than that, and I didn't check the temp when I took it out. It was still juicy and not overcooked, but the juices ran clear. I don't use my thermometer much, because in my opinion, I'd rather not eat meat that is dried out, and I feel that too often, cooking to the 'safe' temperatures results in just that. I feel that as long as the juices run clear, I am safe. But then, I also thaw my meat on the countertop, so maybe I'm a live on the edge kind of gal. :)

06-06-2002, 09:56 AM
I found this at eatchicken.com:

"If using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 180F for whole chicken, 170F for bone-in parts and 160F for boneless parts."

06-06-2002, 10:04 AM
I know our local Health Department recommends a temperature of 165 degrees. My guess is that Cooks Illustrated is accounting for the fact that some carry over cooking occurs after food is taken out of the oven, so the chicken will most likely come up in temperature 5 degrees as it's resting. I'm not one to take any chances with chicken, though!

06-06-2002, 11:09 AM
I always thought the breast meat was done at a lower temperature than the thigh/leg meat. Which is why breasts on a turkey tend to get dried out, since the thermometer gets stuck in the leg/thigh, and that part has to be cooked to 180, while technically, the breast is already done at 160-165. I think with just breast meat, you're fine with 160.

06-06-2002, 12:36 PM
What I had heard was that you should take chicken out when the temp reaches 160 and let it rest. During the resting period the temp will rise.

Also it is important that you take the temp correctly. With boneless it should be in the thickest part of the meat. With bone in you need to be careful that you don't hit the bone. I did that once, and it registered much higher then it actually was.

06-07-2002, 05:15 AM
It's amazing how many differing answers one gets to this question! I was just reading in ("Good Eats" guy) Alton Brown's book about this. He says in the concern for food safety some folks have gone overboard on "done" temperature. He says salmonella dies instantly at 165 degrees F so he takes chicken out of the oven when it's reached that temp, testing at the thickest part of the meat, sometimes breast, sometimes thigh.

I used to cook poultry to 180, but the breast meat always seemed dry. I did my last chicken to 165 and was pleased with the juicier results.

Beth :)

06-07-2002, 06:23 AM
Originally posted by aggie94
I found this at eatchicken.com:

"If using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 180F for whole chicken, 170F for bone-in parts and 160F for boneless parts."

I think this sounds like the most logical answer.

06-07-2002, 06:57 PM
That's great information. Thank you.