Sous Vide chicken still might have an occasional pink/red spot

In the General Sous Vide Questions Forum
Hi guys,
I have a Sous Vide Supreme and cooking my boneless chicken breasts to somewhere between 140F and 146F, for about 2 hours. It comes out perfectly white through and through, except for maybe a real small pink/redish spot.
I can't tell if its because its not cooked properly, or if its something else. An example of what I am talking about is on the site I have pasted below. If you look about a quarter of the page down, there is a chicken breast cooked and sliced. The piece on the very left has two small pinkish spots, and those are what I see.
http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/sous-vide-basics-low-temperature-chicken.html

To be honest, its kind of embarrassing. Its hard to proclaim that the chicken is cooked perfectly when it has the occasional pink spot. Can anyone tell me what it is?

Thanks, John


6 Replies So Far

This just happens sometimes with sous vide chicken (or even traditional chicken), it's still cooked to the proper temperature and is 100% safe to eat assuming you followed your 140F+ for 2 hours at least.

If you want to remove all red spots then you'll have to turn up the temperature, though the taste will suffer the higher you go. I know some people cook sous vide chicken at higher temperatures because it tastes more "done" to them, but there is no difference in safety.
Jason is correct. As long as you follow the time/temperature guidelines for sous vide chicken, it should be perfectly safe. The red spots are where blood vessels are and are typically near the bone area of the meat. There is a good explanation of this phenomena here: http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Bloody-chik.html
Thanks guys, my fears have been allayed. I do believe the chicken is cooked properly and now I have an adequate explanation as to why there is the occasional pink/red spot in the chicken. Thanks very much for the quick responses :-D
One thing I'll mention is that, safety aside, white meat tastes very good cooked at 140 but at that temp dark meat will taste "raw" even though it's been pasteurized. My experience has been that dark meat must be cooked to 148 or higher. I've settled on 150. Also, I prefer dark meat to be cooked a bit longer than needed for safety; the texture mimics traditional cooking methods while leaving the chicken juicy.
I am going to do my first chicken breast sous vide tomorrow. It weighs 498 grams which is over 1 pound. I should mention that it is ONE-HALF of a breast. It is boneless and skinless. Given its size, will it be done in 2 hours at 140 degrees? Thanks!
That's one impressive breast! For the specific cooking time, you can check out our sous vide thickness ruler but in general 2 to 4 hours is good for most chicken breasts.


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