When it comes to cooking chicken thighs, understanding the ideal internal temperature is crucial for taste and safety. In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of chicken thighs’ internal temperature, cooking methods, and how to ensure your meal is safe and delicious.
The Recommended Chicken Thighs Internal Temperature
The USDA recommends cooking chicken thighs to an internal temperature of 165°F for both safe consumption and optimal taste. Monitoring the chicken thighs’ internal temperature is essential for avoiding undercooked or overcooked meat.
Do Bone-In and Boneless Chicken Thighs Internal Temperature
Both bone-in and boneless chicken thighs should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safety and quality.
How To Test Chicken Thighs Internal Temperature
Cut into the thickest part of the thigh, checking for clear juices and opaque meat with no pink traces. These are indicators that the chicken is likely done.
Where Do You Put The Thermometer In A Chicken Thigh?
Place the thermometer probe into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, to get an accurate reading.
How To Know Chicken Thighs Are Done Without A Thermometer?
If you don’t have a thermometer, you can cut into the thickest part of the thigh to see if it’s done. The chicken is probably done when the juices run clear and the meat is opaque and no longer pink.
Temperature Chart for Chicken Thighs
- 165°F (74°C): Good – The USDA recommends cooking poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature, as measured by an instant-read thermometer.
- 175°F (79°C): Very Good – The meat is cooked through and tender, but still clings to the bone. This is a suitable temperature when roasting a whole bird or cooking thighs alongside other ingredients.
- 190–195°F (88–91°C): Even Better – The meat becomes meltingly tender and exceptionally succulent, with a rich poultry flavor.
Why Should You Cook Chicken Thighs for a Longer Time
Cooking chicken thighs for longer makes them more tender, gives them a richer flavor, makes them easier to eat, and makes them good for braising or slow cooking. Aim for temperatures between 190 and 195°F to get these benefits.
How To Cook Chicken Thighs In The Oven
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Season the chicken thighs and place them on a baking sheet or in a baking dish.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
How To Cook Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Cook the seasoned chicken thighs in a single layer for 15-18 minutes.
- Flipping halfway through, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
How To Cook Chicken Thighs On Grill
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the seasoned chicken thighs for 6-8 minutes per side, or until the Recommended internal temperature is reached.
How To Cook Chicken Thighs In A Pan
- Heat a skillet over medium heat with a small amount of oil.
- Cook the seasoned chicken thighs skin-side down for 8-10 minutes.
- then flip and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F
How Long To Cook Chicken Thighs At Various Oven Temperatures
- At 400°F: 25-30 minutes
- At 350°F: 35-40 minutes
- At 425°F: 20-25 minutes
- At 375°F: 30-35 minutes
- At 450°F: 18-22 minutes
How Long To Cook Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer
At 400°F (204°C), cook chicken thighs in an air fryer for 15 to 18 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
How To Store Leftover Chicken Thighs
Let the chicken thighs that are left cool down completely. Then, put them in a container that keeps air out or tightly wrap them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the container in the fridge for up to 3–4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Place the chicken thighs on a baking sheet and cover them with foil to prevent drying. Heat for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
- Air Fryer: Reheat the chicken thighs at 350°F (177°C) for 5-7 minutes or until heated through.
- Microwave: Place the chicken thighs on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a microwave-safe lid or another plate. Heat on medium power for 1-2 minutes, checking for doneness and adjusting time as needed.
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