I have often been asked the question – “Can you cook pork and chicken together?”
This was hardly a question I pondered about in the past. After all, they’re both animal products, so why not cook them together… Right?
Well, I did my own research and was shocked by the results I got.
If you are still cooking these meats together, you may want to backtrack a bit and check out the real deal about this technique.
Keep reading to discover the truth about pork and chicken being in the same pan – and whether it’s a smart idea or not.
Can You Cook Pork and Chicken Together? Science Suggests Certain Things
While it may be fun to experiment in the kitchen, there are some things you need to know.
In fact, there are guidelines for proper food preparation and cooking to make sure your dish turns out right.
Pork and chicken are generally mildly-flavored meats. Thus, it is common to find recipes that include both. But the question is, can you cook pork and chicken together? Or are there health risks involved with it?
When you combine meats, you need to take into account their composition.
Both pork and chicken contain bacteria. This is why you need to cook them in a desirable level of heat to eliminate such components.
Poultry should be safe to consume after cooking it with a 165-degree Fahrenheit internal temperature (on a minimum). Be sure to use a food thermometer to measure the chicken’s internal temperature, specifically the innermost portion of the wing, breast, and thigh. This way, you can be certain that the bacteria in the meat are already completely destroyed.
On the other hand, you can cook pork at a quicker rate. The desirable temperature for cooking meats other than poultry is between 145 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is not advisable that you grill poultry and meat partially at the same time then continue cooking later. This will not kill the bacteria and can cause health risks.
Buying, Defrosting and Preparation Tips
Your way of handling meat can make a huge difference in the flavor, as well as the safety of those who will consume it.
It all begins in the purchasing of the item.
Avoid chicken that has a strong, foul odor. As for pork, the best ones to get are those that are firm and fresh-looking.
Check for the package. If there is too much liquid pooling in the container, this is a warning signal to watch out for. What this means is that the meat was processed poorly.
When at the grocery store, make it the last thing on your list to pick up some meat. Then, you need to place it in your refrigerator immediately once you get home.
The desirable temperature for refrigerating these types of meat is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Make it a priority to cook them no longer than 2 days upon purchasing. If you are planning not to cook your meat right away, you need to keep it in the freezer. Otherwise, bacteria will quickly develop in it, which makes it unhealthy to consume.
Preparation for Cooking
Once you are ready to use the meat for your recipe, you need to prepare your tools before taking the meat out of the refrigerator.
Keep the countertops free from dirt. Your cutting boards should also be clean to prevent contamination.
Carefully wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water prior to handling the meat. This way, you will not end up transferring bacteria from your hands to the meat you are about to prepare.
I recommend that you thaw the meat first before cooking. Do not cook frozen meat, especially thick ones. Since it is covered with ice, it is unlikely to cook fast enough to eliminate the risks of bacterial growth. Consuming meat that’s been cooked while frozen increases the chances of food poisoning.
The best way to thaw pork and chicken is by leaving them in the refrigerator overnight at a minimum temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Another option is by placing these meats in a glass bowl with cold water and leave it in the sink. Once the water turns lukewarm, be sure to change it every half an hour until the meat has defrosted completely.
Cooking Tips for Chicken and Pork
When the meat has been thawed well, you can start preparing them.
I would chop them in smaller pieces, preferably with the same size.
It is important that you combine meats that are the same in terms of size and composition. For instance, boneless pork chops and chicken breasts go well together. These should be perfect for your stew or soup.
However, you should leave some room in the pot for the meats to cook. Never overfill it with meat since this will lead to uneven cooking.
As I have mentioned earlier, pork and chicken are rather bland. This is why it is best to use some seasoning to add a more interesting flavor and aroma to your meats.
Excellent choices for the seasoning include apple juice, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, white wine, vinegar, and some broth.
It is also good to use some herbs and spices such as rosemary, oregano, garlic, and even ginger. Your choice of seasoning largely depends on the recipe you are preparing.
Speaking of recipe, here is a video that features a popular Asian dish with chicken and pork that you might want to try.
Cooking pork and chicken together requires great care to prevent contamination and bacterial growth.
It is also best that you apply preparation techniques, which ensures the safety of these meats before you consume them.
I hope this answered your question “Can you cook pork and chicken together”. Now, you are aware of these tips and tricks on how to cook these two types of meat properly. This makes it easier for you to enjoy eating your favorite chicken and pork dishes while making sure they are not just flavorful but safe for you to eat.