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What temperature should a chicken roll be when cooked?

Chicken rolls are a delicious and versatile way to enjoy chicken. However, improperly cooked chicken can pose serious health risks. To ensure chicken rolls are cooked to a safe internal temperature, follow these guidelines.

Why is Proper Chicken Cook Temperature Important?

Chicken must be cooked thoroughly to kill any potential foodborne pathogens like salmonella or E. coli. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to eliminate illness-causing bacteria. Chicken cooked below this temperature, even when it may appear done visually, can still contain dangerous organisms that lead to food poisoning.

What is the Recommended Internal Temperature for Chicken Rolls?

The safe minimum internal temperature for chicken rolls is 165°F throughout the entire roll. All parts of the roll, including the thickest and innermost sections, should reach this hot temperature.

How to Tell When Chicken Rolls are Properly Cooked

Use a food thermometer to accurately determine doneness. Insert the thermometer probe into the thickest part of the chicken roll, taking care that the probe is not touching any bones. Allow the thermometer to equilibrate for 15-20 seconds before reading the temperature. The display should read 165°F or above. Visually, chicken rolls are fully cooked when they are no longer pink inside and the juices run clear.

Why 165°F for Chicken Rolls?

165°F is the temperature that effectively kills potentially harmful bacteria like Salmonella and Campylobacter. The USDA has determined this is the safe minimum cooking temperature to destroy illness-causing microorganisms in poultry products including chicken rolls. Cooking to this internal temperature helps provide a wide margin of safety and assurance that chicken rolls will be safe to eat.

Can Chicken Rolls Be Eaten Below 165°F?

It is not recommended to eat partially cooked chicken rolls that have not reached an internal temperature of 165°F. Chicken cooked to only 155°F or below can still harbor dangerous bacteria that causes foodborne illness. Consuming undercooked chicken significantly increases your risk of contracting a foodborne illness. Always cook chicken rolls to the full 165°F throughout.

What About “Pink” Chicken?

Sometimes even when chicken is fully cooked to a safe internal temperature, it can still have a pinkish tinge. This pink color is not an indication of undercooking, but rather a natural reaction between the iron and meat compounds upon exposure to heat. The takeaway is that color is not a reliable way to judge doneness – use a food thermometer instead. As long as the internal temperature reaches 165°F, the chicken is safe to eat even if it has a pinkish hue.

Tips for Cooking Chicken Rolls to 165°F

Here are some useful tips to ensure your chicken rolls cook to the proper internal temperature:

  • Use a food thermometer – This is the only way to accurately determine the internal temperature of chicken rolls. Thermometers should be placed in the thickest part of the roll and allowed to equilibrate before reading.
  • Cook at high enough heat – Cooking rolls at too low a temperature may cause the exterior to dry out before the interior reaches 165°F. Use moderate to high heat around 350-450°F.
  • Don’t crowd the pan – Overcrowding can cause improper heat circulation and uneven cooking. Leave space between each roll.
  • Flip/rotate occasionally – Flipping rolls while cooking allows even exposure to heat for thorough cooking.
  • Check temperature in multiple spots – Test rolls in a couple spots to ensure no cold spots below 165°F.
  • Allow rolls to rest 3-5 minutes before serving – This allows the temperature to evenly distribute for complete doneness.

What If Chicken Rolls Are Undercooked?

If the internal temperature of cooked chicken rolls does not reach the full 165°F, they should not be eaten. Returning them to the oven or grill to cook longer may dry them out. For safety, it is best to discard undercooked chicken rolls and cook a fresh batch fully to 165°F.

Can You Microwave Chicken Rolls?

Chicken rolls can be cooked or reheated in the microwave, but special care should be taken. Microwaves can heat food unevenly, resulting in cold spots where bacteria can survive. Follow these tips for safe microwaved chicken rolls:

  • Arrange rolls in a single layer on a microwave-safe dish, and cover with a lid or vented plastic wrap.
  • Microwave on High for 2-3 minutes, flipping rolls halfway through. Allow to stand 2 minutes before checking temperature.
  • Check internal temperature in multiple spots with a food thermometer to ensure even heating to 165°F.
  • If needed, continue heating in 30 second intervals on High, checking temperature each time, until 165°F is reached.
  • Let rolls stand 2-3 minutes to allow heat to fully distribute before serving.

What About Leftover Chicken Rolls?

Properly stored leftover chicken rolls can be safely reheated, but they still require thorough cooking to 165°F. Here are some reheating methods:

  • Oven: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place rolls on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Heat for 15-20 minutes until 165°F.
  • Skillet: Place rolls in a skillet with 1-2 Tbsp oil or butter over medium heat. Cook rolls about 5 minutes per side, checking internal temperature.
  • Microwave: Follow microwaving instructions above, reheating rolls fully to 165°F before serving.

Always check temperature with a food thermometer. Don’t just rely on the time – leftover chicken rolls may take longer than fresh rolls to reheat to a safe internal temperature.

How Long Do Cooked Chicken Rolls Stay Good For?

Storage Method Chicken Roll Shelf Life
Refrigerator 3-4 days
Freezer 2-3 months

Store cooked chicken rolls in airtight containers to maximize freshness and shelf life. Use frozen rolls within 2-3 months for best quality. Discard any rolls that develop an off odor, flavor or appearance.

Food Safety Practices for Chicken Rolls

In addition to cooking chicken rolls properly, follow other food safety practices to prevent illness:

  • Wash hands and surfaces before and after handling raw chicken.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw chicken separate from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Refrigerate prepared chicken rolls within 2 hours of cooking.
  • When reheating rolls, heat fully to 165°F.
  • Discard chicken rolls left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.

Key Takeaways

  • Chicken rolls should reach an internal temperature of 165°F throughout when cooked.
  • Use a food thermometer to accurately determine doneness – color is not reliable.
  • Cooking to 165°F kills potentially harmful bacteria for food safety.
  • Leftover and microwaved rolls need to be fully reheated to 165°F.
  • Practice proper food handling when preparing chicken rolls.


Chicken rolls can harbor dangerous bacteria when undercooked, so it is essential to cook them to the recommended safe internal temperature of 165°F. Use a food thermometer to verify doneness, as color is not a reliable indicator. Cook rolls at high enough heat to ensure the interior gets hot enough to kill pathogens. Leftover and microwaved rolls should also be fully reheated to 165°F before serving. Following proper cooking temperatures and food safety practices helps minimize the risk of foodborne illness from chicken rolls.