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Why does my chicken breast burn? (And how to prevent)

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Chicken breasts are a delicious and healthy protein source, but sometimes they can be tricky to cook without burning. In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why your chicken breasts might be burning and provide some helpful tips on how to prevent it from happening.

Why does my chicken breast burn? 

The primary reason your chicken breast is burning could be due to the spices you’re using. Most spices are not as heat-tolerant as the chicken itself, and they can burn before the chicken is cooked through. This can cause the appearance of burned chicken, even if the meat itself is not overcooked.

How to prevent burned chicken breasts:

  1. Adjust your seasonings: Instead of seasoning your chicken with spices that can burn easily, try using a brine or adding the spices at the end of cooking. Salt is safe to use before cooking, but spices like pepper, curry, and lemon pepper should be added just before taking the chicken out of the pan.
  2. Pound the chicken flat: Flatten the chicken breasts to an even thickness using a rolling pin or meat mallet. This will reduce the cooking time and help to cook the chicken more evenly, reducing the chances of burning.
  3. Control the heat: Make sure the pan is at the right temperature before adding the chicken. If the oil starts smoking, the pan is too hot. Cook the chicken at a medium heat to avoid burning the spices.
  4. Sear and bake: Sear the chicken in a hot pan to create a nice crust, then transfer it to a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) to finish cooking. This method helps to cook the chicken evenly without overcooking the spices.
  5. Use a cartouche: Place a piece of dampened baking parchment or greaseproof paper over the chicken while it cooks on the stovetop. This helps to retain moisture and prevents the chicken from burning.
  6. Cook with bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts: Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts take longer to cook but provide an extra layer of protection against overcooking. The skin and fat help to prevent the chicken from becoming dry and burning.
  7. Brine the chicken: Brining the chicken before cooking can help to keep it moist and tender, reducing the chances of overcooking and burning. Additionally, brining can help to impart flavor to the chicken.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, by making some adjustments to your seasoning, cooking method, and chicken preparation, you can prevent your chicken breasts from burning on the stovetop.

Experiment with these tips to find the method that works best for you and enjoy delicious, perfectly cooked chicken breasts every time.