I'm new to frying chicken. When I grill it, I use an instant thermometer to check the temperature and get it to an internal temp of 165.

However. When trying this on a cast iron pan it gets way too tough. I filet the chicken so it's not too thick.

If I were frying by simply looking at the chicken (as I imagine most people do) then I would take it out much sooner.

So this question is for anyone who actually has measured the internal temp as they cook, and ends up with a delicious product. Did you actually get the chicken to 165 throughout?

  • Hi,your question has no objective answer ("real" cooks is not a defined category) and even if it is defined more strictly in somehow, there is still no way for answerers to know how a bunch of individuals chooses to act. We certainly don't take poll-style questions. So I'm afraid your question is not a good fit - if you want to learn about human behavior, you have to probably find an agency who did a representative survey, not ask us.
    – rumtscho
    Jul 17, 2020 at 7:30
  • @rumtscho Thank you for the feedback. I've updated the question to more accurately depict what I wanted to know, and while it's true that any restaurant chef who does always cook to 165 may not be able to answer this question definitively , any chef who doesn't do this would definitely be able to answer no. I hope that this is good enough to have my question reopened, or if not maybe you could help me fine tune it a little more? Thanks!
    – BVernon
    Jul 17, 2020 at 21:22
  • I'm at a loss how we could change the question to be on topic. What you suggest is a poll question, where everybody answers what they are doing, as in a survey - and this is a type of question we don't take. If you need this information, I am not sure where you can find it - maybe in scientific research on work psychology in restaurants, or records of food safety violations in restaurants, if there is a jurisdiction which mandates this boundary and makes the violations a public record - but we don't have it and can't create it.
    – rumtscho
    Jul 17, 2020 at 22:13
  • 1
    If you look at the answer, you can easily see that you don’t need to get to 165F for a food safe product - and therefore there are many cooks who don’t. Provided the [temperature over time] is correct, the bacteria will be significantly reduced (simplified: “all dead”) to give you a safe dish. Everything beyond that is probably unanswerable and like rumtscho I struggle how we could edit this to make it a better question.
    – Stephie
    Jul 18, 2020 at 13:01
  • @Stephie yes I saw that, though it talks about doing this using an alternate cooking method.
    – BVernon
    Jul 18, 2020 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


Serious eats has a detailed explanation of chicken cooking temperatures available https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/07/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-sous-vide-chicken-breast.html

The short answer: if you are pan frying, grilling, or roasting a chicken to 165F, it will be guaranteed to be pasteurized to US safety standards, no matter what else you do, and entirely over cooked in the process.

Lower temperatures for longer times also meet US safety standards without overcooking, but are not as easy to measure.

I've sous vide cooked chicken to 136F infusing flavors and making it safe, then finished on an open flame for less than 30 seconds. Besides the very surface, the great bulk of the meat was never anywhere near 165F.

  • I guess this will be the answer since it's the only one that was allowed before the question was closed. Thanks!
    – BVernon
    Jul 22, 2020 at 5:48

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