You’re in a huge hurry, you’re trying to conserve gas, or maybe you’re just too lazy to wash enough pots. All of these are likely reasons to want to cook steak (I’m referring to it as beef from now on), and chicken together in the same pot or pan.
But is it healthy? Is it safe? Will it affect the taste?
Can you cook raw steak and chicken together in the same pot or pan?
Unfortunately, the answer is not a straight yes or no. There are some important things to note first.
According to the USDA, you can cook chicken and beef together in the same vessel as long as the temperature is high enough for the both of them to get rid of their food-borne bacteria.
Chicken is safe to eat if it reaches a temperature of about 165⁰F. Beef on the other hand must reach a temperature of about 145⁰F to be safe for consumption.
Note: That only applies to fresh beef and steak, if it’s ground, it’s supposed to be cooked to a temperature of about 160⁰F.
You can see the issue here; beef and chicken require different temperatures. Cooking them together in the same pot means that when the chicken is safe to eat, the beef is already entering the zone of being slightly overcooked.
Technically you can cook the two of them together in the same pot or pan, but it’s not recommended because, apart from the difference in required temperature, chicken and beef have different cooking methods and techniques. See why the answer isn’t very straightforward?
What about raw beef and chicken? Can I mix them together?
The whole idea of mixing raw beef and chicken works very well when you’re grilling or BBQ-ing. However, you need to take into consideration the temperature because if you mess it up, you might end up serving your guests an undercooked plate of salmonella with a touch of E.Coli.
Be sure to check if the temperature is constant and also regularly check on your beef and chicken mix. The type of grill and cooker also plays a huge role in your food as some are made for commercial uses, while others are made for domestic usage.
What about the internal temperature?
The internal temperature is also a very important point to take note of. Your chicken or beef (with internal temperatures of 165 and 145⁰F respectively) is said to be truly cooked once their insides finally hit those temperatures. It shows that the heat was able to thoroughly circulate through the meat and cook it properly.
However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you might end up burning the outside till it’s black, whereas the inside is still undercooked. To be on the safe side, it’s best to cut the meat open and into pieces so that the heat will be able to circulate easily.
Also, if you’re going to grill two types of meat with different cooking temperatures, like in this case, beef and chicken, since chicken has a higher cooking temperature than beef, you should start grilling the chicken first of all and allow some time to pass before you add the beef.
What’s the best way to cook beef and chicken together in one pot?
Cut the beef and chicken into pieces so that the heat will be able to circulate through them easily. This also saves gas by reducing the time it’ll take for them to be cooked.
When you’re done with that, the next step is to precook the two of them. You’ll have to do them separately so they can cook and get softer at their own pace.
However, the method you’re going to use is heavily dependent on the recipe.
Is it possible to marinate raw beef and chicken together?
If you want to serve beef at the highest level of tenderness, it would have to marinate in 24hrs time. However, if you can’t wait that long, you may cut it into much smaller pieces.
On the other hand, chicken could take from 2 to 24 hours to marinate. This is influenced by the thickness of the chicken being marinated, as well as the style and procedure of marination.
With these differences, if you want to marinate the two of them together, you’d only be able to do it when you’re stir frying.
How do you cook raw chicken and beef together in the oven?
Like the other methods, if you’re baking, ensure you pay good attention to the temperature settings. It’s a good thing ovens are practically designed for that.
Never forget that both of them vary in cooking temperature and stuffing them in the same oven will, let’s just say, not end well.
So here’s something you can try. Let’s say you’re going to bake beef and chicken together in the same oven but you’re worried about the temperature difference.
Remember chicken needs to reach 160⁰F, whereas beef needs to reach 145⁰F, that’s a 15⁰F temperature difference. You can put the chicken in the oven first, and then use a meat thermometer to check on it until it rises to about 13 to 15⁰F.
Once it’s reached that temperature, you can then add the beef. The two will rise at the same rate and by the time the beef is it 145⁰F, the chicken would have also reached the 160⁰F mark since it already had a 13 to 15⁰F headstart. Makes a lot of sense right?
How to cook beef and chicken together in a slow cooker
Since you’re using a slow cooker, you don’t need to pre-cook anything because the equipment cooks the meat from the beginning.
Unlike the others, there aren’t much precautions to be mindful of. All you need to do is cut the beef and chicken to smaller sizes which can fit into your slow cooker, add the required spices, and let them slow cook at their own pace.
Disadvantages of cooking beef and chicken together
- If you cook the two together, since one will take longer than the other, while the chicken is still cooking, the nutrients in the beef could start eroding slowly due to prolonged exposure to heat.
- Beef and chicken have different flavors which could merge if they’re cooked together. I don’t know about you but it’s not very good.
Conclusion: Can You Cook Raw Beef and Chicken Together in the Same Pot or Pan?
You can, but I’ll advise you not to do it if you don’t have any culinary bone in your body, it’ll just end up becoming a recipe for disaster.