Internal Temp of Chicken – Chicken Cooking Temp Short Guide

Internal Temperature of Chicken
Smoking Times & Internal Temp for Chicken Infographic

We all want to make sure we get the correct internal temp of chicken. No-one wants to serve undercooked chicken and give their guests food poisoning, or worse salmonella. We hope you enjoy our short chicken cooking temp guide.

People are often confused as to why poultry can’t be served medium rare like beef or pork. 

We’ve tried our best to make sure we have covered these basic questions about the internal temperature of chicken in this short guide.

We have also tried to add extra value by linking out to useful chicken recipes to improve your repertoire.

Internal Cooking Temp for Chicken

The target temperature for all poultry is at least 165°F. Unlike beef or pork, poultry cannot be served medium rare, because salmonella is a resilient bacteria. This means that the internal cooking temp for chicken is higher than pork, and considerably higher than beef.

Chicken meat and eggs carry the risk of the potentially fatal salmonella bacteria.

This bacteria actually causes symptoms which are severe and can even lead to death in some cases. 

As a result of this bacterial species being so resilient, chicken has to be cooked to a temperature well above medium rare. 

This is why poultry must be cooked to an internal temp of 165°F, while pork can be served at 145°F and beef can be cooked rare at as low as 125-130°F.

Use a digital meat thermometer and check the thickest point of the meat with it.

Internal Cooking Temp for Chicken is 165F or 74C
Internal Temperature of Cooked Chicken Must be at Least 165F or 74C

Internal Temp of Chicken Breast

Again, chicken breast needs to be at an internal temp of 165°F at the thickest part of the meat to make sure it is safe to eat. 

Depending on the BBQ rub (which may contain red powders such as paprika/chilli powder) it may be a little pink. As long as the internal temp is 165°F it is still safe to eat.

The colour of the chicken is not always a good indication of whether it is cooked to temperature or not. 

While spots of pink are definitely unappealing, if the internal temperature is at least 165°F then the chicken is done.

Internal Temp For Chicken Wings

Although chicken wings may have less meat than chicken breast, it is still important to make sure the internal temperature of the wings has reached 165°F at the thickest point.

Again the colour of the wings is less important than a verifiable internal temperature.

If you would like an awesome recipe for chicken wings and homemade Buffalo sauce try here:

Internal Temp For Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs have a bit more meat on them than the wings, however they also need to register an internal temperature of 165°F to be safe to eat.

If you need a recipe for smoked chicken thighs try here:

Internal Temp of Whole Chicken

Cooking or smoking a whole chicken is very different from cooking chicken pieces, however you still need to make sure the internal temperature shows 165°F to make sure the meat is safe to eat.

Aim to check the internal temp of the chicken at the thickest and most central part of the chicken for best results.

Check out this full recipe for smoking a whole chicken here:

Internal Temp for Chicken to be Done

According to USDA guidelines poultry should have an internal temperature of at least 165°F to be safe to eat. 

This ensures that the resilient and potentially deadly bacteria salmonella will be eliminated.

Internal Temp of Chicken Celsius

Chicken needs to be cooked to at least 74°C or 165°F to make sure salmonella bacteria have been eliminated.

The Salmonella bacterium lives on farm floors, chicken excrement and chicken claws.

It can cause infection in human intestines so always be careful.

You also need to be aware of Campylobacter – a very dangerous bacterium which thrives in the stomach of chickens. 

It’s a very common cause of food poisoning best avoided.

If you enjoyed this short guide on the internal temp of chicken you could try our article on ‘Smoker Recipes For Chicken.’ 

Or perhaps our easy BBQ chicken recipes post.

Or our ‘Smoked Chicken Wings – A Short Guide.’

Recommended reading on the topic of the correct internal temp for chicken.

FAQ’s About Internal Temp of Chicken

When is Chicken Done Temp?

No matter the cut of chicken it is done when the internal temperature is 165F. This is because the salmonella bacteria in chicken cannot survive at this internal temperature.

Smoked Chicken Internal Temp

Whether you are smoking or roasting a chicken the target internal temperature is 165F at the thickest part of the meat. Salmonella bacteria cannot survive at this internal temperature.

Smoking Temperature for Chicken

Smoking a whole chicken at 225F will take around 3 hours for an average-sized bird. Small cuts of chicken such as wings, breast, thighs will take around 2 hours at this temperature. The target internal temperature for any kind of smoked chicken will always be 165F.

Internal Temperature of Chicken Being Checked
Checking the Internal Temperature of Chicken is Best Done at the Meat’s Thickest Point

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