Almost everyone eats chicken for its health benefits and taste. Even studies also show that the U.S. alone produced about 10 billion pounds of chicken in 2020. Those who are a fan of this food wouldn’t feel surprised. After all, you depend on it for essential nutrients, such as vitamin B, potassium, selenium, and iron, which nourish your body and mind. Then, it allows you to cook it in different ways, being so versatile. But it is critical to remember that every cooking method may not offer the same healthy chicken meat. For example, exposing chicken meat to up to 482oF temperature can lead to harmful chemical formation like heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
To avoid this, you can instead try safer cooking techniques, which keep your food safe and delicious. So, let’s look into them quickly.
It is one of the safest and quickest ways to prepare chicken. Just get a pot of hot water or steaming basket for this. Do you have a counter space sink faucet? Faucets with long spouts make the water filling job a bit easy. Or, you can cook it in a steam-based hybrid oven. Steaming requires a higher temperature, but it involves a shorter cooking time. Due to this, it produces lesser or no HCAs than other high-temperature cooking styles. In addition, when you steam chicken, you save it from developing crusts, which can lead to dryness affecting its softness and moisture.
So, if you plan to steam your chicken, you can slice it into smaller pieces. It ensures faster and even cooking for the meat. Some people also take a large portion of chicken and make smaller cuts all through it for the same reason. Anyway, you can marinate the pieces for a flavorful experience before steaming them. If you wish to infuse flavors through herbs and seasonings, you can also do that by adding them to the steaming water at the time of cooking. The steamer basket with chicken pieces will sit over a boiling water pot to receive the steam through its small holes.
The chicken should cook for 15 to 20 minutes with a closed lid. After this, you can check its status before removing the basket. If the pieces are well-cooked, you can take down the basket. But don’t throw away the water. It can make an excellent accompaniment for your chicken dish as a broth or sauce.
You can use this method to prepare tasty, delicious, and tender chicken recipes. In this process also, you apply high temperatures for a short duration to prevent the risk of HCAs or AGEs. Some studies also prove that pressure cooking can control the production of cholesterol oxides in meat. Oxidation can lead to heart ailments like atherosclerosis, which causes plaque buildup and affects the arteries. Hence, it is another safer way to enjoy your chicken meal. For pressure cooking, you would need a traditional pressure cooker or electric multicooker. If you cook in an old-style pressure cooker, make sure it has a weight valve.
Nevertheless, before you pressure cook, don’t forget to season chicken with marinade or dry rub. Once ready, you can put it in the cooker with a bit of water. The amount would vary based on the size of your utensil. Also, it is necessary to note that chicken will also ooze juices. Hence, you can add water accordingly. The electric multicooker usually takes 20 minutes to cook your meat ingredient if the setting is correct. Once the meat is ready, you can slowly release steam from your pressure cooker to ensure a safe opening.
Many commercial food processing units rely on this convenient and faster cooking method. It takes about ten minutes to cook chicken in a 750-watt microwave used at home. It usually keeps the temperature of the food at 167oF (75oC), which is slightly higher than 165°F (73.9°C) recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for poultry products. But it doesn’t interfere with its protein richness, although the surface of the meat can become dry or burn. Still, you can depend on this for its safe cooking. In addition, microwaving can save you from the harmful effects of HCAs produced by high temperatures and longer cooking time.
So, when you choose this method, you would want to keep your chicken boneless and skinless. It will require less cooking time. Season your chicken before placing it on a baking plate. Then, you can cover it and keep it inside the appliance for nearly four minutes. Once done, you can take out the dish with the help of your oven mitts and overturn the pieces and follow the same method of cooking for another four to five minutes. When it is ready, you can check whether it is proper or not. If you are not satisfied, you can allow it to cook for an extra one or two minutes. Since every microwave tends to have different power efficiency, you would want to keep an eye on this factor.
Hence, if you desire to dig into a healthy and tasty chicken piece, try to adopt safe cooking methods. After all, you want animal protein and a source of other essential minerals to keep you and your family members nourished and happy. Avoid anything that can destroy its goodness and instead lead to terrible ailments. For example, you can stay away from standard cooking techniques of charring, braising, barbecuing, and others that cause chemical production. When you ingest that, the risks of contracting diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart-related ailment become higher. But steaming, pressure cooking, and microwaving can give you mental peace for their safe procedure.
To be precise, you don’t have to give up your chicken diet because of the risks associated with cooking methods. Whether you want to lose weight or nourish your body with healthy nutrients, you can incorporate chicken in your meal any time you wish. Plus, most of the cooking methods don’t take much time to prepare your favorite dish. That’s why you don’t have to worry about preparation even if you are in a hurry.