Tips and techniques

How to tell if a whole chicken is cooked

There are two ways to tell if a whole roast chook is cooked through - the skewer method or using a meat thermometer. We've included tips for both.
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When roasting a chicken, it can be hard to tell whether it has cooked all the way through. Sometimes it isn’t until you cut into the meat that you realise it’s still a little underdone along the carcass. Two commonly used ways to determine if the chook is cooked, is to pierce it with a skewer or use a meat thermometer.

Skewer method

The more traditional method is to pierce a skewer into the thickest part of the chicken, the thigh. Remove the skewer and observe the juice that oozes out – it should be clear and not show any sign of pink (blood). If the juices are pink, the chicken needs to be cooked for longer. If there are no juices, the chicken is overcooked.

Meat thermometer

The most reliable method is to use a meat thermometer and to measure the temperature at the centre of the thickest part of the piece being cooked, not touching the bone. When the temperature has reached 75°C the chicken is fully cooked.

Test Kitchen tips

Let roast chicken rest covered loosely with foil, for at least 10 minutes before carving. This will allow all the juices to distribute evenly through the meat.

A whole chicken will give you a secondary meal if you make a stock or soup from the carcass. If you don’t have time to make stock, freeze the bones and make it when you have time.

Now that the chook is cooked, want to know how to cut and portion it? Read our handy guide here.

If you’re looking for recipe inspiration, check out our collection of roast chicken recipes here.

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