How Long to Boil Chicken Tenders: Step By Step Guide

Chicken tenders are a popular and versatile cut of chicken that can be cooked in many different ways. Boiling chicken tenders is a quick and easy way to prepare them for use in salads, sandwiches, or other dishes. However, it’s important to know how long to boil chicken tenders in order to ensure that they are fully cooked and safe to eat.

In this article, we’ll explore the factors that affect boiling time for chicken tenders, how to prepare them for boiling, the boiling process itself, alternative cooking methods, and tips and tricks for boiling chicken tenders.

 

Factors that Affect Boiling Time for Chicken Tenders

Several factors can affect how long chicken tenders need to be boiled for. Here are the main ones:

Freshness of chicken tenders

The fresher the chicken tenders are, the less time they will take to boil. If chicken tenders have been in the refrigerator for a few days, they will take longer to cook. If they have been frozen, they will take even longer. It’s best to use fresh chicken tenders whenever possible to ensure that they cook evenly and quickly.

Size of chicken tenders

The size of the chicken tenders will also affect boiling time. Thicker chicken tenders will take longer to cook than thinner ones. If the chicken tenders are all roughly the same size, they should take roughly the same amount of time to boil. If they vary in size, you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Altitude

The altitude at which you are cooking can also affect boiling time. At higher altitudes, water boils at a lower temperature, which means that it will take longer to cook the chicken tenders. If you’re cooking at a high altitude, you may need to add a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

Type of pot or container

The type of pot or container you use to boil chicken tenders can also affect cooking time. A wider, shallower pot will allow the chicken tenders to cook more quickly than a deeper, narrower pot. If you’re using a deeper pot, you may need to add a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

Water temperature

Finally, the temperature of the water can affect cooking time. If you start with cold water, it will take longer for the water to come to a boil and for the chicken tenders to cook. If you start with hot water, the cooking time will be shorter. For best results, start with room temperature water and bring it to a boil over high heat.

How long does it take to boil chicken tenders?

Assuming that the chicken tenders are fully thawed and have been cut to a uniform size, the total cooking time for boiling chicken tenders is typically around 10-12 minutes.  If the chicken tenders are still partially frozen or are larger in size, it may take a few extra minutes to fully cook.  However, it’s important to always check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer to ensure that they are fully cooked and safe to eat.

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How long to boil thin chicken strips?

Thin chicken strips will cook faster than regular chicken tenders. It typically takes around 5-7 minutes to fully cook thin chicken strips by boiling. However, this will depend on the size and thickness of the chicken strips, so it’s important to check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer to ensure that they are fully cooked.

Preparing the Chicken Tenders for Boiling

Before you start boiling chicken tenders, it’s important to prepare them properly. Here are some tips for getting them ready:

Cleaning the chicken tenders

Always wash your chicken tenders thoroughly before cooking them. Rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. This will help to remove any dirt or bacteria that may be on the surface of the chicken tenders.

Seasoning the chicken tenders

While chicken tenders can be boiled plain, adding some seasoning can make them more flavorful. You can use any seasoning you like, but some popular options include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Simply sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken tenders before adding them to the pot.

Other preparation methods

If you want to add some extra flavor to your chicken tenders, you can marinate them before boiling them. Simply place the chicken tenders in a bowl with your favorite marinade and let them sit in the fridge for at least an hour (or overnight). You can also coat them in breadcrumbs or batter for a crispy exterior.

 

How To Boil Chicken Tenders: Step by Step

Now that your chicken tenders are prepared, it’s time to start boiling them. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Fill a pot with enough water to fully cover the chicken tenders.
  2. Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to high.
  3. Once the water comes to a boil, add the chicken tenders to the pot.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low to keep the water at a gentle simmer.
  5. Cover the pot with a lid and let the chicken tenders simmer for 10-12 minutes.

During the cooking process, you can check the tenderness of the chicken tenders by using a meat thermometer. Chicken tenders should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to be considered fully cooked and safe to eat. If the chicken tenders are not yet cooked to the right temperature, simply continue to boil them for a few more minutes.

Alternative Cooking Methods

While boiling is a quick and easy way to cook chicken tenders, there are other methods you can use as well. Here are a few options:

Grilling

Grilling chicken tenders is a great way to add a smoky flavor and crispy exterior. Simply season the chicken tenders, brush them with oil, and grill them over medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes per side.

Baking

Baking chicken tenders is another option that is easy and produces a crispy exterior. Simply coat the chicken tenders in breadcrumbs or batter, place them on a baking sheet, and bake them in a preheated oven at 400°F (204°C) for 15-20 minutes.

Frying

Frying chicken tenders is a popular option for a crispy exterior. However, this method is not as healthy as boiling, grilling, or baking. To fry chicken tenders, heat oil in a deep pot or fryer to 350°F (177°C), coat the chicken tenders in flour, and fry them for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.

 

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for boiling chicken tenders:

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken tenders are fully cooked.
  • If you want to add more flavor to the chicken tenders, consider marinating them before boiling.
  • To make the chicken tenders more tender, you can brine them before cooking.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pot when boiling chicken tenders. They need space to cook evenly.
  • If you want to save time, you can cook a large batch of chicken tenders and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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Conclusion

Boiling chicken tenders is a simple and easy way to prepare them for use in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you can ensure that your chicken tenders are fully cooked and safe to eat. However, if you prefer a different cooking method, such as grilling or baking, those are also great options to consider. No matter how you choose to cook your chicken tenders, the most important thing is to enjoy them!

 

FAQs

How long to cook raw chicken tenders?

If you are cooking raw chicken tenders, it’s important to make sure they are fully cooked before eating. The total cooking time for raw chicken tenders will depend on the cooking method used. If you are boiling them, the cooking time is typically around 10-12 minutes, as mentioned earlier. If you are grilling or baking them, it may take a bit longer, around 15-20 minutes, depending on the temperature and thickness of the chicken tenders.

How do you know when chicken tenders are done boiling?

The best way to know if chicken tenders are fully cooked is by using a meat thermometer. Chicken tenders should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to be considered fully cooked and safe to eat. You can insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken tender to check the temperature. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can also cut into the thickest part of the chicken tender to check if it’s no longer pink and the juices run clear.

How long to poach chicken tenders?

Poaching chicken tenders is a similar cooking method to boiling, but the difference is that the chicken is cooked in a flavored liquid, such as broth or wine. The cooking time for poaching chicken tenders will depend on the size and thickness of the chicken. Generally, it takes around 10-12 minutes to fully cook chicken tenders by poaching. As always, it’s important to check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer to ensure that they are fully cooked and safe to eat.

Can you boil frozen chicken tenders?

While it’s possible to boil frozen chicken tenders, it’s not recommended as it can lead to uneven cooking and potential food safety concerns. It’s best to thaw the chicken tenders before boiling to ensure even cooking and to reduce the risk of harmful bacteria growth.

Can you season chicken tenders before boiling?

Yes, you can season chicken tenders before boiling them. Adding seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs can enhance the flavor of the chicken. You can also add vegetables or aromatics to the boiling water to infuse more flavor into the chicken.

Can you overcook chicken tenders by boiling?

Yes, it’s possible to overcook chicken tenders by boiling them for too long. Overcooked chicken tenders can become tough and dry. It’s important to monitor the cooking time and check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer to ensure that they are fully cooked but not overcooked.