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People frequently categorize poultry separately from other meats. As a result, it’s understandable if you’re perplexed. If you are wondering is chicken considered meat, you have come to the right place1
Chicken is included in almost every definition of the word “meat.” Chicken certainly qualifies as “meat,” which refers to food derived from the flesh of an animal. As a result, chicken can undoubtedly be considered meat.
Poultry is different from other meats like beef, hog, and lamb. And it might be the reason contributing to the confusion regarding chicken meat. So, in this article, I’ll discuss why chicken is meat, along with some other information you might find helpful.
Why Is Chicken Considered Meat?
Generally, any animal flesh refers to meat. So, people consider chicken meat since it is animal flesh slaughtered for human consumption.
Well, there are a few reasons why chicken is a type of meat. The most obvious reason is that it comes from a living animal. However, here are a few reasons behind referring to chicken as meat:
Meat requires special handling since it is more prone to harmful microorganisms than other foods. It necessitates preparing it separately from other items, using a separate cutting board and equipment. After handling raw meat, one must sanitize places thoroughly and wash all items carefully.
In most raw chicken, you may frequently find campylobacter, Clostridium perfringens, and Salmonella bacteria. As a result, you can develop a foodborne disease, sometimes referred to as food poisoning, when you consume undercooked chicken.
According to the CDC, it is best not to wash raw chickens. It is because chicken liquids can spread across the kitchen while cleaning, contaminating other utensils, counters, and foods. They also recommend using a separate chopping board to cut chicken and cook it at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, most of the food preparation techniques of chicken are similar to that of meat. You risk developing food poisoning if you do not follow proper preparation procedures while cooking chicken.
People must also handle meat with greater caution than vegetables. They must keep it frozen or refrigerated. Furthermore, they must keep them at the fridge’s bottom to avoid spilling meat juices. Poorly preserved meat has a higher risk of causing food poisoning.
Similarly, in the case of chicken, you will have to store it in your fridge all the time. If you don’t do that, it will spoil over time and won’t remain edible at all. So, the storage procedure of chicken is the same as meat, which is also an excellent reason to consider it meat.
Is Chicken Red Meat or White Meat?
In today’s world, people categorize chicken as both white and red meat. To further clarify, the breast parts are white meat or flesh, while the drumsticks and thigh parts of the bird are red meat.
Fibers make up almost all of the chicken. Mainly, two types of muscle fibers make up the chicken, which is red and white. White ones are useful for rapid and brief movements. These fibers convert carbohydrates to energy.
On the other hand, red fibers are necessary for lengthy and energy-intensive actions like walking and standing, basically all the continually active and used portions. Fat fuels such fibers, which is why they have a more robust flavor than portions only having white ones.
Myoglobin, present in these fibers, gives them their red hue. As a result, the darker and thicker your meat is, the higher myoglobin it has in that particular area. Chicken meat generally has a mixture of both forms of fiber, but in some areas, one type would be more prevalent than the other, determining whether it’s red or white meat.
Well, people generally label chicken as white flesh. However, this classification is technically inaccurate. Even though most of the chicken is white, owing to its significant myoglobin protein level, some sections of the chicken are red meat.
As mentioned earlier, red meat has more myoglobin protein, forming in continuously utilized locations. As a result, any section of the bird that they regularly use for long durations is most likely red flesh or meat by such criteria. For example, all parts of the chicken’s leg. These particles are primarily made up of red fibers and are red meat.
On the contrary, white flesh refers to sections of a chicken that they don’t use as frequently or aggressively. For instance, the chicken wings and breasts. They are paler in color and possess substantially less myoglobin.
Besides, white chicken flesh contains only 10 percent red fibers. It has a light flavor and little fat, which is why it easily overcooks. Additionally, because white meat is devoid of fat, it has fewer calories than red chicken flesh.
However, red chicken flesh pieces are more tasty and juicy due to their high-fat content. Moreover, you may also cook it for a longer time. It also has higher calories than the white meat portions of the chicken. Additionally, red chicken meat has more zinc, iron, and vitamin C.
Some parts of chicken meat resemble red meat, while others have white meat characteristics. Thus, chickens generally fall under both the white and red meat categories.
How To Prepare Chicken Meat
Because red and white chicken meat has various characteristics, it’s crucial to start cooking them separately to ensure that you receive the most delicate texture and flavor. However, it is a must to cook your chicken until it achieves a core temperature of around 165 degrees Fahrenheit, irrespective of the meat type.
It would be best if you cooked white and red meat portions of chicken differently. Otherwise, you might end up with overcooked or undercooked food. So, now, let’s discuss both the white and red chicken meat cooking process for your convenience:
White meat, like chicken wings and breasts, would dry out faster since it includes less fat. It would help if you did not cook white chicken flesh for long periods. However, adding more moisture, a basting sauce, or grease can help keep the chicken from drying out. Remember, the texture and taste become bland and rubbery when white flesh becomes dry.
As white flesh has a softer flavor, ensure you use enough seasoning elements to help bring out the natural taste of the chicken. I recommend quick procedures like sauteing, stir-frying and grilling for cooking this meat.
Red meat, such as chicken legs, has a higher fat content. So, you have to prepare them for extended periods. It indicates that this cut of chicken is ideal for slow cooking or roasting. Moreover, since red meat is flavorful and juicy, it requires fewer flavoring additives and seasoning.
Besides, red chicken meat is generally thicker. So, it is best to cook it for longer if you want it to be more tender. It’s nearly hard to overcook red meat, so ensure to cook it till it becomes fork soft! Roasting, stewing, braising, and deep-frying are all excellent options for red chicken meat.
Can Vegans Eat Chicken?
Vegans can not eat chicken or even its by-products. It is animal flesh. So, it goes against vegan ideals or ethics. Veganism is all about animal health and welfare. However, those that consume chicken are semi-vegetarian or omnivorous, not vegans.
People frequently adopt the vegan ideology on ethical grounds first and foremost. Veganism is a habit of boycotting all animal goods and by-products and opposing their use for animal welfare reasons. Vegans avoid eating meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. They don’t even wear apparel made from animal goods such as leather.
Thus, most vegans oppose eating chicken because of how people treat birds on slaughterhouses and factory farms. However, some people also follow veganism primarily for health purposes. They also don’t eat chicken to avoid food poisoning, being overweight, colon cancer, etc.