Fried Chicken > Can deep fried chicken be undercooked

Can Deep Fried Chicken Be Undercooked?

When frying chicken at home, it’s essential to ensure the meat is thoroughly and safely cooked. Undercooked chicken can harbor bacteria that cause foodborne illness. How can you tell if your fried chicken is fully cooked? Here are some signs of undercooked fried chicken and tips for proper frying.

Can deep fried chicken be undercooked?

Yes, it is absolutely possible for fried chicken to be undercooked. Fried chicken has some potential pitfalls that can lead to chicken that is not fully cooked through to a safe internal temperature.

When frying chicken at home, it is critical to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F throughout to kill any harmful bacteria that could cause foodborne illness. Visible signs that fried chicken is undercooked include a pink, red, or bloody appearance when you cut into the meat, as well as a soft or rubbery texture when bitten into.

Some common reasons fried chicken can be undercooked include:

    • The oil temperature is too low while frying. The temperature needs to remain steady at 350-375°F to quickly and thoroughly cook the chicken.
    • Frying too many pieces at once, crowding the pan and reducing the oil temperature.
    • Starting with chicken straight from the fridge rather than closer to room temperature.
    • Not frying the chicken for long enough time to allow heat to fully penetrate to the center. Larger pieces like thighs and drumsticks take longer than wings and breasts.
    • Neglecting to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Visible cues can be misleading.


The safest approach is to monitor the oil temperature closely, fry chicken in small batches, adjust cook times based on size of pieces, and verify doneness by inserting an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken until it reaches 165°F. With proper technique, you can ensure your fried chicken is cooked through fully every time.

Related post: Can cats eat fried chicken?

Signs of Undercooked Fried Chicken

Pink or Red Meat
If you cut into a piece of fried chicken and the meat is still pink, red, or bloody looking, it is definitely undercooked. Fully cooked chicken will be white throughout when sliced into. Any pink indicates the temperature did not get high enough to cook the chicken.

Soft, Gelatinous Texture
Properly cooked chicken will be firm throughout. Undercooked chicken can feel overly soft or gelatinous in texture when you bite into it. This shows the protein did not have sufficient time to denature and firm up during cooking.

Does Not Reach 165°F
The only way to be 100% sure fried chicken is fully cooked is to use a food thermometer. The internal temperature should read 165°F at the thickest part. If it does not reach 165°F when fried, the chicken needs more cooking time.

Tips for Preventing Undercooked Fried Chicken

    • Use a thermometer and fry until 165°F is reached. Do not rely on appearance alone.
    • Fry chicken in 350°F oil for sufficient time to fully cook.
    • Fry in small batches to maintain oil temperature.
    • Ensure chicken pieces are close to room temp before frying.
    • Adjust cook times based on size of pieces. Larger pieces need longer.
    • Let chicken rest 5 minutes after frying for temperature to stabilize.
    • Cut into the meat and check doneness. It should not be pink inside.


Why does my fried chicken burn?

There are a few common reasons why fried chicken may burn on the outside before cooking through:

    • The oil temperature is too high. If the oil goes above 375°F, the exterior of the chicken can burn before the inside is cooked through. Maintain the temperature between 325-375°F.
    • Frying too few pieces at once. The oil temperature can spike with just a few pieces in the pan. Fry in batches to maintain the heat.
    • Breading is too dark or thick, leading to excessive browning. Use lighter breading and moderate coating.
    • Chicken pieces are too crowded in the pan, causing localized hot spots. Allow space between each piece.
    • Cooking for too long after the chicken is browned. Remove immediately once the interior reaches 165°F.


By using high heat, frying thoroughly, and double checking temperature, you can enjoy perfectly cooked and safe fried chicken every time. Crispy, golden brown chicken with no undercooked meat is worth the extra care.

Can fried chicken be raw?

Fried chicken should never be raw or undercooked in the middle. Chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F for safety. If the chicken is raw inside, it did not fry for long enough and needs more cooking time.

Why is my fried chicken still raw in the middle?

Chicken that is still raw in the center likely did not fry for long enough at a high enough temperature. Ensure the oil is at the proper 350°F heat. Fry longer and flip chicken halfway through until 165°F.

Can fried chicken be pink in the middle?

No, properly cooked fried chicken should never be pink or have any redness in the middle. If fried chicken is pink inside, it needs to cook longer to reach a safe internal temperature. Use a thermometer to check.

How do I make sure my deep fried chicken is cooked?

Use an instant read thermometer to check chicken, inserting into the thickest part and avoiding bone. Chicken must reach 165°F for safety and doneness. Also adjust fry times based on size of pieces. Fry wings for 12-15 mins, breasts 15-18 mins, thighs 18-22 mins.

How can you tell if chicken is undercooked fried?

Signs of undercooked fried chicken include a pink, red, or bloody interior when cut into, a soft or rubbery texture, and an internal temperature that does not reach 165°F. Rely on a meat thermometer for accuracy.

Can fried chicken be undercooked?

Yes, it is absolutely possible for fried chicken to be undercooked if it does not reach the safe internal temperature of 165°F throughout the meat. Signs of undercooked chicken include a pink, bloody, or jelly-like appearance, as well as soft texture when biting into it.

Be sure to fry at the proper oil temperature and use a thermometer to verify doneness. With the right technique, you can avoid undercooked fried chicken


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