The Wiggle Trick That Will Help Tell If Your Chicken Is Done Cooking

There's almost nothing more delicious than a perfectly cooked roast chicken straight out of the oven, especially when it's served with potatoes and vegetables, and topped with some of that buttery chicken juice from the bottom of the pan. But before you can serve it and take a bite, the final step is to make sure it's cooked thoroughly, because there's probably nothing worse than biting into raw chicken. You could start by trying the wiggle trick.

What exactly is the wiggle trick for testing chicken? You simply grab the chicken leg and gently wiggle it. If the leg moves freely as if it could easily come off of the chicken, then it should be thoroughly cooked. If there is any resistance, or you cannot pull the leg away from the bird at all, then it's probably not done and needs to be returned to the oven. 

Checking chicken with the wiggle trick

Ideally, you want to use a thermometer to check if the roast chicken is done. A fully cooked chicken should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. But we totally get it if you don't have a thermometer in your kitchen. The wiggle trick is an easy way around this, because an undercooked chicken leg won't give up when you try to move it away from the body. If the legs are tied, you may need to cut the string before doing the wiggle. The leg is the best option as it's bigger than the wing and will take longer to cook. But if you want to be totally sure, tug on both legs and wings to check for wiggle.

There are a couple of other ways to confirm your bird is ready when using the wiggle trick, too. Any juices that come out should be clear, so take a careful look when you're pulling on the leg. You can also use a fork to pierce the thickest part of the chicken to check for clear liquids. When you cut your chicken, check for any obvious pinkness inside of the meat, and make sure it's hot to the touch before carving. Once sure it's done, leave it to rest for 10-20 minutes to let the juices redistribute, to make sure your meat isn't dry. Then carve and enjoy.