If chicken is pink, doesn’t that mean it is undercooked?

Spatchcocked Chickenenlarge
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Dan Brecker

About Our Expert

If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

Send Marge your cooking questions

Like Marge on Facebook

Browse Marge Perry's Recipes

Video Tips from Marge

You can’t judge whether chicken is cooked through to a safe internal temperature by color. Chicken, particularly thighs, may be red near the bone and still cooked to a safe internal temperature. Smoked chicken is often pink when cooked through.

The only really safe way to test for doneness is to use a meat thermometer. Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees, according to the USDA, although breasts are safe to eat at 160 degrees and thighs are more palatable when cooked to 170-175 degrees.

Recipe: Spatchcocked Chicken

  1. Enter at least one ingredient