Being an affordable and easy-to-prepare dish, chicken is a staple food in most households. It’s a great protein, essential vitamins, and mineral source. Chicken boasts an excellent nutrition profile, offering numerous health benefits. But despite all these benefits, sometimes chicken doesn’t come out as you anticipate.
Have you ever come across chicken that tastes funny after cooking? Maybe you invested heavily into preparing it. You used the best seasonings and condiments to prepare the perfect chicken, but the end product still disappoints you.
If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Many people have been discussing online why their chicken tastes weird once cooked. And here’s an article on possible reasons for a funny-tasting cooked chicken.
Possible Reasons Why Your Chicken Taste Funny After Cooking
Poor Quality Chicken
In most cases, the store-bought chicken stays on the shelves for some time before you purchase them. This is especially more common if it’s frozen. Meat that has been in the freezer or the fridge for a while is not as fresh as the one slaughtered at home. Chicken that’s not fresh can have a funny smell and taste once cooked.
Note that having a weird taste or smell doesn’t mean the chicken is bad, but its freshness has deteriorated. And it’s fine to eat it.
Thus, avoid buying meat from sketchy sellers, and ensure you thoroughly inspect it when shopping.
Freezing meat twice can significantly affect its safety, making it acquire a weird taste after cooking. When freezing chicken for later use, freeze it in batches enough to cook a meal. This way, you’ll only thaw meat that you’ll consume.
Freezing chicken in large amounts means you’ll thaw it whole. During thawing, the inactivated bacteria present in the chicken before freezing become activated. And, re-freezing meat with activated bacteria lets them thrive, affecting your chicken’s taste once cooked.
Inadequate storage can interfere with the chicken’s freshness, making it have a funny taste. Never let your chicken stay more than two hours at room temperatures. Leaving meat at room temperature for more than two hours enters the “danger zone,” where bacteria multiply rapidly, spoiling your meat.
So, if you plan to eat the flesh in a few days, refrigerate it as soon as possible. If you plan to use it in the future, freeze it immediately. Remember to wrap them in airtight containers, label them with the storage dates and note their expiry dates. This makes it easier to track them. It’s also crucial to maintain appropriate fridge temperatures when storing.
Contamination is another reason for funny-tasting chicken. Using dirty utensils or cookware when cooking can make your chicken taste strange. So, always use clean knives, cooking pots or pans, and chopping boards when cooking.
If you’re dealing with other meats alongside the chicken, and have one knife and chopping board, never use them to cut different meat types. Instead, wash the knife or chopping board you’ve used to cut other meats before cutting chicken.
Note that all meats have unique bacteria. And thus, it’s best not to mix them using the same knife/chopping board to cut various meat cuts.
Some cooking methods can affect how chicken taste. And one good example is shallow-frying. When you’re shallow frying in low heat, some fatty acids in the chicken undergo oxidation, producing dodgy compounds. These dodgy compounds produce an odd taste in cooked chicken.
Therefore, it’s best to deep fry chicken instead of shallow frying. And if you don’t want the extra calories that come with deep frying, you can bake the chicken, make stews, curry, or grill.
Type Of Oil Used
Not all oils are created equal. Some oils can cause your chicken to have a funny taste when you use them during cooking. A good example is canola oil. So, if you use canola oil for cooking, and the chicken develops a weird taste, the oil is the culprit. You may want to steer clear of such oils. Instead, use vegetable oil for deep frying and olive oil for baking.
Reusing Frying Oil
Reusing frying oil could be the reason why your chicken tastes funny. Reusing oil, even if you used to cook chicken, can make your meat taste weird. This is valid for reusing pans too. If you fry chicken with a pan, fail to wash it, and reuse it to fry chicken, the meat may absorb the stale flavor and smell of the pan. This, in turn, leads to weird-tasting chicken.
Always cook and serve chicken before other meat dishes. Doing so may help prevent cross-contamination that may negatively affect your chicken’s taste.
Can You Avoid The Funny Taste In Cooked Chicken?
Although chicken has a higher polyunsaturated fat content which makes it vulnerable to flavor deterioration, you can avoid the weird taste and enhance your chicken’s flavor. Here are a few ways you can do so:
Although most people don’t like using sauces, curries, and gravies with chicken to avoid taste development, that’s not entirely true. Having your chicken in sauce covers it and creates a barrier between the chicken and oxygen. This reduces chicken’s exposure to air, which is the culprit in oxidizing polyunsaturated fats, making it taste funny.
Seasoning chicken with citric acid is an excellent way of ensuring it doesn’t develop a funny taste after cooking. Citric acid, especially from fresh lemon or buttermilk vinegar, is the best at masking and overpowering other flavors and tastes, preventing the weird taste.
The method you use for reheating affects its taste. It’s best to reheat chicken using the method you used when cooking. So, if your chicken is baked, pop it in the oven; if it’s a stew, simmer it; if deep-fried, put it in the fryer for a few minutes until it’s well heated.
There are many reasons why your chicken has a weird taste after cooking. And trying to find what caused the funny taste is key in helping you fix the problem. So, anytime your chicken develops a funny taste after cooking, establish the cause and find a solution.