What Does Raw Chicken Taste Like?

Have you ever tried a piece of chicken and started wondering if it’s properly cooked? That might leave you questioning whether the raw chicken has a different flavor from cooked chicken and how you can tell the difference.

So, what does raw chicken taste like? Raw chicken has a bland taste and slimy, gelatinous texture. Also, raw chicken breasts may taste noticeably colder and have less intense flavor than cooked chicken breasts.

Keep reading to learn more about what raw chicken tastes like.

What Happens If You Eat Chicken Raw?

What Does Raw Chicken Feel Like in Your Mouth?

Like other raw meats, raw chicken has very little taste and feels almost bland in your mouth. When you cook raw chicken, something called the Maillard reaction occurs, giving the chicken flavor. This reaction produces both flavor and color as the raw chicken finishes cooking. Without the Maillard reaction, the chicken will have minimal flavor and lack the taste of properly cooked chicken.

Raw chicken is too tough to chew easily. The key difference between perfectly cooked chicken and raw chicken is a bit like a soft sponge cake and jello. It has similar firmness but a very different mouth feel. Additionally, raw chicken meat has a noticeable “directional stringiness.” This means you can feel which way the muscle fibers run.

How Does Raw Chicken Look Like?

Raw chicken is a light pink color with white pieces of fat and is soft and moist. Conversely, properly cooked chicken meat looks white throughout. If your chicken has a foul smell or has changed to a yellow, green, or gray color, these are clear signs that your chicken is spoiled and should be discarded.

What Does Raw Chicken Smell Like?

Raw, fresh chicken has a very mild smell or none at all. If your chicken has a very strong smell, such as a sour or sulfur-like smell, throw it out. However, you should never depend on smell alone to determine if the chicken is safe to eat.   

See also what raw salmon tastes and smells like.

Raw Chicken Texture

Fresh raw chicken has a glossy, soft texture. It shouldn’t be slimy or sticky. If your hands have a slimy, tacky residue on them after touching raw chicken, this is an obvious sign it has gone bad. Cooked chicken is firm and drier than raw chicken.

The texture of the raw or slightly raw chicken is denser.

What Does Uncooked Chicken Taste Like?

Some people say uncooked chicken has a foul taste, and others find that uncooked chicken is almost tasteless. The flavor of uncooked chicken also depends on how it was farmed for meat. And this may vary in different countries. For example, in Japan, uncooked or raw chicken may taste slightly different from uncooked chicken in American homes.

What Does Undercooked Chicken Taste Like?

It will still be bland but may taste somewhat like cooked chicken. The most noticeable factor in undercooked chicken is the low temperature and its gelatinous, chewy texture.

What Does Spoiled Chicken Taste Like?

Chicken meat can go bad because of factors like the temperature and time of storage. So, can you tell that the chicken is spoiled by tasting it? What does spoiled chicken taste like?

Fresh raw chicken has very little taste, but spoiled raw chicken will taste sour. Bad chicken with a sour taste is the most obvious sign. Also, spoiled chicken smells like ammonia. To be more specific, bad chicken tastes sour, which is easy to detect, so you can instantly notice the taste when you bite into the spoiled chicken.

To further learn about spoiled chicken, check our short guide on how bad chicken tastes

Chicken is White but Tastes Raw – Why’s that?

Before being cooked, raw chicken is pink or peachy in color. Properly cooked chicken meat should look white throughout. If cooking at home, sometimes the surface of the chicken may look cooked and ready to eat, but the inside can still be raw and full of harmful bacteria. Be wary of white or browned skin on the chicken, and make sure it’s cooked.

Is it Safe to Eat Raw Chicken?

While you may be curious to taste raw chicken, it’s not a safe thing to do. Raw chicken can contain a variety of foodborne illnesses. Eating raw chicken or its juices can put you at risk of catching diseases. Raw chicken can only be safely eaten when handled and prepared according to professional guidelines.

Risks When Eating Raw Chicken

Many bacteria can contaminate raw chicken, but it’s commonly contaminated with salmonella, Campylobacter, and Clostridium perfringens bacteria.

The infections from raw chicken come in the form of gastroenteritis, commonly known as food poisoning or stomach flu. While symptoms may vary between people, common symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Aches

How to Avoid Risk

To avoid the risks associated with eating raw chicken, you must be careful when handling, preparing, and cooking your chicken.

  • When shopping, put your raw chicken in a disposable bag to avoid contaminating other foods.
  • Make sure your raw chicken is coming from safe sources.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before handling raw chicken.
  • Don’t wash raw chicken because it will spread the raw juices around the kitchen and contaminate other foods and surfaces.
  • Use separate utensils, cutting boards, and dishes for raw chicken.

Final Thoughts

Raw chicken will have minimal flavor, and the less cooked it is, the less flavor it will have. Cooking chicken is what releases its aromas and rich taste, so if you bite into a piece of chicken and notice find it is lacking in taste, be careful.

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