Why is my chicken rubbery?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Why is my chicken rubbery?” and provide information on the causes of rubbery chicken, methods to prevent them, how to avoid buying them as well as how to use them in recipes. 

Why is my chicken rubbery?

Your chicken is rubbery because it has been overcooked. Chicken tastes best when it is exposed to high heat.

Chicken pieces can turn rubbery because all boneless chicken breasts do not have the same thickness. As a result, it can be tricky to cook all the chicken pieces evenly and some of them can get up being undercooked or overcooked.

What are other causes of rubbery chicken?

Some other causes of rubbery chicken are as follows:

  • When chicken pieces are exposed to heat for a long time, the moisture present in them begins to lose. Dry chicken pieces tend to become more and more rubbery. Reduction in fat can cause them to dry out. 
  • There can be natural causes of chicken turning rubbery too. When the muscle fibers become twisted, the chicken pieces can become rubbery. The twisting of muscle fibers can result in a condition called woody chicken breast.

Meat that has white stripes has reduced quality and nutritional value. They do not absorb marinades or brine easily and there is no tenderness in the meat. This kind of meat is high in fat too and could cause the meat to become rubbery.

Natural causes of rubbery meat are often linked to the chickens growing quickly. When the chickens become heavier faster, the muscle fibers become tougher. This can cause rubberiness. Chickens that have genetic issues can also have rubbery meat.

  • Undercooked chicken can be rubbery too. Consuming undercooked chicken can cause food poisoning. Food poisoning can cause diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, bloody stools, and fever.

How can you prevent the chicken pieces from being rubbery?

Chicken pieces can be hit with a mallet to make their thickness even. Before hitting the chicken with a mallet, make sure to wrap them in plastic. If you do not have a mallet, use a rolling pin or a heavy pan to hit them.

Use a meat thermometer to check the doneness of the meat and to ensure that all the pieces have been cooked thoroughly. If the chicken pieces have reached a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, remove them from heat.

If you want to avoid moisture loss, make sure to wrap the chicken pieces in plastic wrap. Once you wish to use them, remove the plastic wrap and start to marinate them. Chicken pieces can be placed in freezer bags.

You can also soak the chicken pieces in salted water before cooking them. This can prevent the chicken pieces from losing moisture. The brined water is absorbed by the meat.

If you are cooking chicken at a high temperature, do so for a short time. Cooking chicken with skin on can prevent them from being dry. If you want to eat chicken skinless, remove the skin after cooking.

How can you avoid buying naturally rubbery meat?

You can avoid buying naturally rubbery meat by buying chickens from farms or areas that grow chickens at a slower pace. This means that the chickens have to be grown naturally without injecting any steroids or hormones to make them heavier.

While buying from stores, you can look for labels that mention, “heritage” or “slower-growing breeds”. You can also look for a Certified Gap-4 rating on chickens. This would indicate that the quality of chicken is higher.

What can you do with rubbery chicken?

Unfortunately, if your chicken has turned rubbery, there is no way of fixing them. Instead, you can use them in certain recipes.

You can prepare a pan sauce with rubbery chicken. This can introduce a bit of moisture to the chicken though it would still remain rubbery. Rubbery chicken can be added to soups as well. You can add them to any type of soup.

Is rubbery chicken safe to consume?

Rubbery chicken is safe to be consumed unless it is not undercooked. You can consume rubbery chicken with yummy sauces like Alfredo sauce, BBQ sauce, or soy sauce to mask the chicken’s texture.

What are some cooking methods for chicken?

Braising, boiling, steaming, or stewing chicken can prevent them from being rubbery. Sous vide is a method of cooking that combines both dry and moist cooking methods. This can be beneficial in preventing chicken from becoming rubbery.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Why is my chicken rubbery?” and provided information on the causes of rubbery chicken, methods to prevent them, how to avoid buying them as well as how to use them in recipes. 



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