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Can I Stop Cooking a Chicken Halfway & Resume Cooking Later?

by Kelly McCoy, studioD

Whether you're trying to get the meal partially done ahead of time, or you suddenly need to run out but you've got a chicken in the oven, you should not partially cook chicken and then finish cooking it later. Leaving your chicken in limbo puts you at risk for foodborne illness, so plan ahead to get it cooked through the first time around or be ready to cut your losses and start over.

Never Partially Cook Chicken

Never partially cook meat and then finish cooking later. The problem is that the chicken will linger in the "danger zone" of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for far too long. Bacteria will grow and multiply, exposing you to harmful pathogenic bacteria and increasing the risk of cross-contamination. If you must cook your chicken ahead of time, cook it completely -- to an internal temperature of 165 F -- then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, then reheat to an internal temperature of 165 F.

About the Author

Kelly McCoy has been writing for lifestyle blogs and online publications since 2010, specializing in recipes and techniques for the home cook. She holds a B.A. from Boston University and J.D. from the University of Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

Photo Credits

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