TikTok Confirms Chicken Anxiety Is Indeed A Real Thing

Understandably, chicken is an intimidating protein. If you eat slightly undercooked chicken, you can wind up with a bad case of food poisoning. On the other hand, if you overcook chicken, you can wind up with dry meat, and that's just gross.

To no one's surprise, TikTok has highlighted this particular chicken struggle, even giving it a name — chicken anxiety. One TikTok user made us all feel a little more seen, pointing out how she finds bigger chunks of chicken "extra sus." As a result, she ends up chopping the chicken into tiny pieces while it cooks. Sure, the chicken cooks all the way through and has no hidden pockets of pink meat, but it probably also dries out in the process.

Reddit further confirmed chicken anxiety, with one user saying they get so stressed out about their chicken having a pink tint that they keep putting it back in the oven, only to have the meat turn into an inedible block. As anyone who has suffered from anxiety knows, these situations can quickly spiral out of control, but on the flip side, they can also be addressed in a way that allows us to understand the anxiety and move forward.

How to (sort of) conquer chicken anxiety

To be clear, this is not professional advice. However, there are a few tricks to help manage chicken anxiety. After all, as author Adeena Sussman tells Vice, "There is a happy medium between a barrier of fear and your ingredients." In other words, it's okay to have a healthy amount of fear so long as it exists solely to inform safe cooking.


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One trick is to avoid starting meal prep with frozen chicken. The middle will take much longer to cook than the outside, potentially leaving you with a cooked outside and raw middle. Instead, thaw your chicken in the fridge or cool water before you begin cooking, and the meat will cook more evenly.

Of course, the best trick is to simply use a meat thermometer. These handy dandy gadgets take all the guesswork out of cooking when used properly. Can't see if the middle of a chicken breast is cooked through? Rather than chop it into pieces, check it with the thermometer. If the middle reads at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you're good to go. Even if the meat still has a slight pink tint, the USDA confirms that it's safe to eat so long as it meets the temperature guidelines. Go forth and cook chicken!