Only 2% Of People Think This Is The Best Way To Cook Chicken

Americans love chicken, so much so that we eat an astounding 8 billion of them each year. According to Vox, since 1970, per-capita consumption of chicken has more than doubled in the U.S. And within a span of only seven years, from 1985 to 1992, chicken surpassed both pork and beef to become the country's most popular meat, per First We Feast. There are many reasons for chicken's rising popularity, of course, including health and environmental factors. But at its root are the enormous variety of delicious ways there are to prepare chicken. Simply put, it's an incredibly versatile protein source.

With this idea in mind, we polled our readers to ask them what they thought was the best way to cook chicken. Of the 515 people surveyed by Tasting Table, 162 of them (or 31.46%) voted grilled as the top cooking method. Given that our poll was conducted at the onset of summer barbecue season, this was a somewhat expected result. Fried chicken, not as healthy a choice but certainly a delicious one, finished second, garnering 143 votes (or 27.77% of responses). Oven-baked, meanwhile, was a close third, with 139 votes (or 26.99%).

The least favorite ways to cook chicken, per our poll

Grilled, fried, and oven-baked all proved to be popular ways to prepare chicken. What then were the less popular cooking methods, at least according to those polled in our survey? Pan-seared chicken was the favorite of only 11.46% of our respondents (59 votes), while poached chicken finished in last place with only 2.33% of votes (a paltry 12 out of 515 surveyed preferred this method of preparing poultry).

In defense of poaching, it's an extremely healthy way to prepare chicken. Not only is poaching a very low-fat cooking method, it also produces a moist, tender, and flavorful bird. This is because poaching brings chicken to a simmer (from a boil), and typically utilizes a light broth rather than more fatty cooking oils, per The Spruce Eats. Pan-searing, meanwhile, is a more common method for cooking steaks than chicken, but it too has its benefits. It's quite convenient, for starters, since once the skillet is brought to medium-high heat, it's only necessary to cook the chicken for four to five minutes on each side, according to Simply Whisked.

But the people have spoken. Grilling is the preferred method for cooking chicken, followed by frying, oven-baking, pan-searing, and poaching.