To Clean or Not to Clean the Chicken

To Clean or Not to Clean the Chicken - That is the Question

There has been great debate whether a chicken should be rinsed under running water or not.

There has also been an extraordinary debate whether a chicken even needs to be cleaned at all, since they argue that all germs will die when cooked at a high temperature.

Personally, I always prefer cleaning the chicken. This way if you boil it, there is less dirt floating on top, or even after roasting it just looks and taste better.

This cleaning method goes through a safe way rinsing a chicken and removing most excess fat from the bird. You won’t believe how much fat there is!

After this article, you might re-think putting this bird straight from the freezer directly to bake.

Cleaning the Chicken:

Step 1: In a big bowl add half a cup of white vinegar and 4-5 cups of water. (Don’t worry, vinegar won’t make your chicken sour. It’s like applying some shampoo during showers.)

Step 2: Remove any twine from chicken, and gently put the chicken inside the bowl. Gently massage the bird.

Now let’s trim some fat


Step 1: Pull excess skin around the neck and cut off the fat around it.


Step 2: Flip the bird upside down.  Cut off the chicken tail. (I wonder if there is a nicer word for this part of the chicken? Kim’s told me that her dad called it the chicken butt!)

Step 3: Remove fat from both side of the cavity (on both sides of the tail).


Step 4: Rinse off the chicken in a bowl of clean water. (Try not to clean under running water, germs from meat will spray all over the surface)

Step 5: Place your chicken on a tray and pat it really dry before cooking.

Wash your hands with soap after completion.

Do you have a better way you usually clean your chicken before cooking? Let us know in the comments!

2020 Kimberly Signature

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  1. I never really thought about this. I have always just rinsed the chicken off, put it in the pan, cut off any overt fat showing, and then cooked it. Never knew there was any other way to do it. Thanks for sharing this info!

  2. Thanks So Much for Sharing this Post b/c I Have Never Really Cleaned the Chicken Before I Cooked it, I know that Sounds Horrible but I just Assumed the Heat Would Kill Anything Bad or Harmful! Thanks for Sharing How to Clean & Prepare the Chicken and I’m Sure that I’m Not the Only One Who Struggles with This Too! Well Thanks Again for Sharing, Have a Blessed Day! – Jana

  3. I have washed my chicken in the past but not consistently. I no longer wash it because of the splashing and spreading more bacteria.

  4. I have followed the advice of e U.S. Department of Agriculture for years and don't wash my chicken before preparing it. Food safety expert say it's a bad idea because it raises the risk of spreading dangerous bacteria found on raw poultry all over your kitchen. They also say that cooking chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees is the only thing you have to do to kill the bacteria found on raw chicken.

    • Yeah… I hear both sides of the debate too. I guess both ways work, because everyone is healthy and happy. 😀

      I wonder whether it's the same thing when it comes to turkey?

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