7 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Cooking Chicken

Chicken is the mealtime staple that’s easy to cook but can be tricky to cook just right. But the most common missteps are easy to avoid once you know what they are!   

To help make sure your chicken is always moist and delicious, follow our seven steps: 

A perfect 10 — The path to delicious chicken is paved with sub-par quality birds. One of the main reasons dishes fail is the quality of your ingredients. So, first and most importantly, only buy USDA Grade-A all-natural chicken from a source you trust, like us. 

Skip the wash — Rinsing chicken is for the birds. The high heat from cooking your chicken will kill germs, whereas washing, rinsing, or soaking raw chicken will not only NOT kill bacteria but can spread it all over your kitchen. 

Pre-cook prep — A marinade, brine, or rub before cooking will add flavor to meat and help keep it moist. Even a basic salt and pepper rub will work just fine. But, be careful not to over-do it if your marinade contains lemon, lime, or orange juice since the citric acid will break down your chicken over time, leaving you with mushy meat. 

Warm and dry — As with steak, you won’t want to throw an ice-cold piece of chicken straight from the fridge right into a pan. Doing so will dry out the outside before the inside has time to cook thoroughly. Our chef recommends you let the chicken sit on your counter for 20-30 minutes before cooking. And make sure you air dry the meat, out of the package, in the fridge for a few hours first, and pat it down with a clean paper towel to soak up any remaining moisture. 

Crowd control — When it comes time to cook, each piece needs its space. If you pack pieces in too tightly, they won’t cook evenly or brown properly. 

Master the over-under — It can be hard to tell when your chicken is cooked to delicious perfection, and not overcooked to taste-free toughness. A meat thermometer will save the day and your meal. Experts advise cooking chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees F, but it’s a good idea to follow your recipe. 

Let it rest — When chicken cooks, all its yummy juices move towards the skin. If you cut into the meat right away, the juice will puddle on your cutting board and leave the meat dry. Instead, tent some foil over it and rest it on your counter for about 10 minutes before serving. Doing so will help the juices redistribute, so they end up in your tummy instead.