Undercooked Fried Chicken: Causes, Fixes, Signs, and Preventions

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Fried chicken, with its crispy exterior and succulent interior, is a beloved comfort food. However, the kitchen journey isn’t always flawless, and encountering undercooked fried chicken can be both disappointing and potentially risky.

In this article, we’ll delve into the causes, signs, fixes, and preventative measures to ensure your fried chicken experiences are consistently delightful and safe.

How can you tell if fried chicken is undercooked?

Undercooked fried chicken can not only ruin your dining experience but also pose potential health risks.

It’s important to be able to identify the signs of undercooked fried chicken to ensure that it is safe to consume.

In this section, we will discuss the three key indicators that can help you determine if your fried chicken is undercooked.

These signs include a change in color, a spongy texture, and a lack of crispness.

Change In Color

One of the most obvious signs of undercooked fried chicken is a change in its color.

What does undercooked fried chicken look like? Normally, perfectly cooked fried chicken has a golden brown color on the outside, indicating that it has been fried to a crispy perfection.

However, undercooked chicken may appear pale or even have a slight pinkish hue. This change in color signals that the chicken has not reached the necessary internal temperature to ensure its safety.

Spongy Texture

In addition to a change in color, undercooked fried chicken also tends to have a spongy texture.

When you bite into a properly cooked chicken, you expect a crispy exterior followed by a juicy and tender interior.

However, undercooked chicken can feel rubbery or soft to the touch due to insufficient cooking time.

This sponginess indicates that the chicken has not been cooked thoroughly and may contain harmful bacteria.

Lack Of Crispness

The lack of crispness is another telltale sign of undercooked fried chicken. When chicken is fried properly, the coating should be crispy and crunchy, adding an enjoyable texture to each bite.

However, undercooked chicken will typically have a soft or soggy coating, lacking the desirable crunch.

This texture indicates that the chicken has not been cooked long enough to achieve the desired level of crispness.

How to Fix Undercooked Fried Chicken – 6 Methods to Fix

Fixing undercooked fried chicken is possible with a few simple steps. If you find that your fried chicken is not fully cooked, follow these methods to salvage it:


  • Place the undercooked fried chicken back in the hot oil.
  • Fry for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches the safe minimum for poultry, which is 165°F (74°C).
  • Keep an eye on the color, ensuring the chicken achieves a golden-brown and crispy exterior.

Oven Finish:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Place the undercooked fried chicken on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • This method helps to finish cooking without overbrowning the exterior.

Microwave and Oven Combo:

  • Use the microwave briefly to kickstart the internal cooking.
  • Transfer the partially cooked chicken to a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes to achieve a crispy exterior.

Butterfly the Chicken:

If the chicken pieces are large, consider butterflying them by cutting them in half horizontally.
This allows for quicker and more even cooking.

Grilling or Broiling:

Finish undercooked fried chicken on a hot grill or under a broiler for a few minutes until fully cooked and crispy.

Ensure you check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. The goal is to reach 165°F (74°C) to guarantee it is safe to eat.

Additionally, monitor the color and texture to achieve the desired crispy and golden-brown finish. Adjust cooking times based on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces.

Why Is It Dangerous To Eat Undercooked Fried Chicken?

Consuming undercooked fried chicken can pose significant health risks and lead to foodborne illnesses.

It’s important to be aware of the potential dangers associated with improperly cooked chicken to safeguard your health and well-being.

Foodborne Illnesses

Undercooked fried chicken presents a high risk of causing foodborne illnesses due to the presence of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter.

These illnesses can result in severe symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and fever.

Salmonella Poisoning

Salmonella poisoning is a grave concern linked to consuming undercooked fried chicken.

This bacterium can lead to debilitating symptoms such as nausea, headache, and dehydration.

Severe cases may even require hospitalization for treatment, highlighting the urgency of proper food preparation and cooking.

Why My Fried Chicken Is Undercooked? 

If you’ve ever been disappointed by biting into a piece of fried chicken only to find it undercooked, you know how frustrating it can be.

Undercooked fried chicken not only ruins the taste, but it can also pose health risks.

To help you avoid this unpleasant experience, it’s important to understand the common causes of undercooked fried chicken.

Let’s delve into two main factors that contribute to undercooked chicken – insufficient cooking time and inaccurate temperature control.

Insufficient Cooking Time

One of the primary reasons for undercooked fried chicken is not allowing it to cook for a long enough duration.

When preparing fried chicken, it’s crucial to ensure that the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Insufficient cooking time can leave the chicken raw in the center, resulting in a safety hazard.

To prevent this, make sure to cook your fried chicken for the recommended time.

Ensure that the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F or 74°C using a food thermometer. This will guarantee that the chicken is fully cooked and safe to consume.

Inaccurate Temperature Control

In addition to cooking time, temperature control plays a vital role in achieving perfectly cooked fried chicken.

When the oil is too hot, the chicken may cook quickly on the outside but remain undercooked on the inside.

Conversely, if the oil is not hot enough, the chicken will absorb excess oil, resulting in a greasy and unappetizing texture.

For optimal results, maintain a consistent oil temperature of around 350°F or 175°C. This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly and reaches the desired internal temperature.

Use a thermometer to monitor the oil temperature throughout the frying process, adjusting the heat accordingly if needed.

By paying close attention to cooking times and temperature control, you can significantly reduce the risk of undercooked fried chicken. Enjoy your delicious and safely cooked chicken with confidence!

How to Prevent Fried Chicken From Being Undercooked?

Prevent undercooked fried chicken by ensuring the chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165°F, using a food thermometer to monitor doneness.

Additionally, avoid overcrowding the pan and maintain a consistent cooking temperature for evenly cooked chicken.

Proper Cooking Time

Fried chicken is a delicious and popular food enjoyed by many. However, it is important to ensure that it is cooked properly to avoid any risks of undercooked poultry.

To prevent undercooked fried chicken, one of the key factors to consider is the proper cooking time.

When frying chicken, it’s essential to maintain the right temperature throughout the cooking process.

Setting the frying temperature at 350°F (175°C) and cooking the chicken for around 12-15 minutes is generally a good guideline to follow.

However, proper cooking time may vary depending on the thickness and size of the chicken pieces.

To ensure that the chicken is thoroughly cooked, you can make use of a meat thermometer.

Using A Meat Thermometer

Using a meat thermometer is a reliable way to accurately determine the internal temperature of the chicken and achieve the desired level of doneness.

Ensure that you place the thermometer tip into the thickest part of the chicken without touching the bone for an accurate reading.

The USDA advises cooking chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure safe consumption.

By using a meat thermometer, you can easily monitor the chicken’s temperature and ensure it reaches the recommended temperature.

Remember, undercooked chicken can potentially lead to foodborne illnesses such as salmonella, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions and ensure the chicken is fully cooked.

Is it OK for fried chicken to be pink?

No, it is not okay for fried chicken to be pink. Pink color in chicken indicates undercooking, and consuming undercooked chicken poses a risk of foodborne illness.

Chicken should be cooked until it reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure that harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, are eliminated.

Can I Recook Undercooked Fried Chicken?

Yes, you can recook undercooked fried chicken to ensure it reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Options include placing it back in the hot oil for a few minutes, finishing it in the oven, or using other cooking methods to reach the desired doneness without compromising food safety.

Can you finish undercooked fried chicken in the oven?

Yes, finishing undercooked fried chicken in the oven is a viable method. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C), place the undercooked chicken on a baking sheet, and bake until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). This helps achieve a safe and thorough cooking without overcooking the exterior.

Is it possible for fried chicken to be undercooked?

Yes, it is possible for fried chicken to be undercooked. Factors such as inadequate frying time, improper oil temperature, or using very thick cuts of chicken can lead to undercooked fried chicken.

It’s crucial to use a meat thermometer and ensure that the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature to prevent foodborne illness.

What to do if I ate undercooked Fried chicken?

If you’ve consumed undercooked fried chicken, there are steps you can take to minimize any potential risks of foodborne illness:

Stop Eating:

If you notice that the chicken is undercooked while eating, stop immediately and set aside the remaining portion.

Do Not Panic:

While undercooked chicken poses a risk of foodborne illness, not everyone who consumes undercooked chicken will get sick.

The severity of the risk depends on factors such as the degree of undercooking and the presence of harmful bacteria.

Check Symptoms:

Be vigilant for symptoms of foodborne illness, which may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever.

These symptoms can manifest within hours or days after consuming contaminated food.

Stay Hydrated:

If you experience symptoms like diarrhea, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water or electrolyte solutions, to prevent dehydration.

Seek Medical Attention if Necessary:

If you develop severe symptoms, such as persistent vomiting, high fever, or signs of dehydration, seek medical attention promptly. In some cases, medical intervention may be necessary.

Remember, while the consumption of undercooked chicken does carry some risk, not everyone who eats it will necessarily get sick.

If you experience symptoms or have concerns, consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable.

How To Properly Cook Fried Chicken To Avoid Being Undercooked

Preheating The Oil

Before getting started, it’s crucial to preheat the oil to the right temperature. This step not only ensures that the chicken cooks evenly but also helps create a crispy and golden exterior.

To preheat the oil:

  1. Choose a high-quality oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, peanut oil, or canola oil.
  2. Pour the desired amount of oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed pan or a deep fryer.
  3. Heat the oil on medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350°F to 375°F (175°C to 190°C).

Maintaining Consistent Temperature

Consistency in oil temperature is key to achieving perfectly cooked fried chicken.

Fluctuations in temperature can lead to undercooked or overcooked chicken, resulting in an unsatisfying meal.

Follow these tips to maintain a consistent temperature:

  • Use a deep fry thermometer to monitor the oil temperature throughout the cooking process.
  • Make sure not to overcrowd the pan or fryer, as this can cause the temperature to drop rapidly.
  • Adjust the heat as needed to maintain the desired frying temperature.
  • Monitor the cooking time and remove the chicken pieces when they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), using a meat thermometer to check.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to cook fried chicken that’s crispy, flavorful, and perfectly cooked all the way through.

Remember, when it comes to fried chicken, proper cooking is a must for both taste and safety!

Alternative Cooking Methods For Chicken

When it comes to cooking fried chicken, it’s important to ensure it’s fully cooked to avoid any health risks.

However, sometimes, you may end up with undercooked fried chicken.

Fortunately, there are alternative cooking methods that can help salvage your dish.

Let’s explore some alternative cooking methods for chicken to ensure it’s thoroughly cooked and safe to eat.


Baking chicken is a convenient alternative method to ensure it’s fully cooked. To do this, preheat your oven to 375°F, place the undercooked fried chicken on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes.

This method helps to evenly distribute the heat, ensuring the chicken is thoroughly cooked while maintaining its crispy texture.

Air Frying

Another effective alternative cooking method for undercooked fried chicken is air frying. This method allows you to achieve a crispy texture without using excessive oil.

Simply preheat your air fryer to 375°F, place the undercooked chicken in the basket, and air fry for 10-15 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through.

This method results in a healthier alternative to traditional frying while ensuring the chicken is fully cooked.


Encountering undercooked fried chicken is a common kitchen challenge, but armed with knowledge and the right techniques, you can turn setbacks into successes. Pay attention to cooking times, monitor oil temperatures, and use visual cues to ensure your fried chicken is both safe and delicious.

With these tips, your fried chicken adventures are sure to be crispy, golden, and thoroughly cooked every time.

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