How to Troubleshoot These 4 Under Cooked Dishes

Published Categorized as Journal

Find yourself facing a pan that you slaved over for hours – only to discover your dish is under cooked? I’ve got you! Here are fixes for 4 dishes you might not have cooked enough.

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How To Troubleshoot These 4 Under Cooked Dishes

Table of Contents

Bacon

Even I have had problems figuring out how to tell if bacon is undercooked. This can be especially challenging if you’re not a fan of crispy bacon (let me know in the comments if you’re in this team!).

How To Tell If Bacon Is Undercooked

  1. As bacon cooks, its color palette changes completely. From light grayish pink and creamy off-white, your bacon will turn a deeper red in color and the fat becomes yellow or golden. When your bacon’s color begins to change, make sure to monitor it more closely. If the color is still too pale/creamy, it’s likely to need more time on the pan. Well-cooked bacon is likely to have some fond or bits from the rendered fat caramelizing on it, so keep an eye out for that as well.
  2. Bacon shrinks during cooking due to the evaporation of moisture in the meat. Because bacon shrinks so quickly, it has a tendency to puff up – usually, the edges will curl and your bacon will start looking ’wavy’. The fat on the bacon might also take on a ruffled appearance. Either way, shrinking and puffing are sure-fire signs that your bacon is well on it’s way to being done!
  3. During the cooking process, the heat of your pan will cause the fat on your bacon to render away. Because so much fat melts away (giving your bacon that lovely distinct flavor), the strips of fat on your cooked bacon may look much, much thinner.
  4. Raw bacon is wet and slimy to the touch, whereas cooked bacon is generally quite dry – especially if you dabbed away the grease with a paper towel.
  5. Cooked bacon should lift easily from the pan, without dangling or drooping off the sides of your spatula as it will be much stiffer than raw bacon. The only cooked bacon that should ever dangle are bits of bacon that have come loose, not the whole slice.

How to Fix Under Cooked Bacon

It’s actually quite easy to troubleshoot undercooked bacon. In fact, there are several ways to cook your bacon properly.

Here’s how you can make sure your bacon reaches the desired level of crispiness:

  • If you originally cooked the bacon in a skillet and it’s still undercooked, simply return it to the pan. Cook it over medium heat, turning frequently, until it reaches your desired level of crispness. Be careful not to overcook.
  • If using an oven, preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C). Place the undercooked bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a wire rack. Bake for a few minutes, checking frequently, until it’s as crispy as you like.
  • The microwave works well if you need a quick fix. Place the undercooked bacon on a microwave-safe plate lined with a paper towel. Microwave on high for 20-30 seconds at a time, checking after each interval, until it’s done to your liking.
  • If you have a grill available, you can finish cooking your bacon on the grill. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Place the bacon directly on the grill grate or on a piece of aluminum foil if you’re worried about flare-ups. Grill for a few minutes, turning once, until crispy.
  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to finish cooking the bacon. Set the air fryer to 360°F (182°C). Place the bacon in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until it reaches your desired crispness.

Hopefully these tips will help you salvage undercooked bacon and enjoy it just the way you like!

  • Keep an eye on it: Regardless of the method, keep a close eye on your bacon as it finishes cooking. Bacon can go from undercooked to overcooked very quickly.
  • Drain the fat: After cooking, place the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease for a better texture and flavor.

Is it Safe to Eat Undercooked Bacon?

Taking a bite of your undercooked bacon is generally not considered safe.

Bacon is made from pork, and consuming undercooked pork can pose health risks due to bacteria and parasites such as Trichinella and Toxoplasma gondii.

If you’re unsure about your bacon’s doneness, it’s better to err on the side of caution and cook it a bit longer until it reaches the appropriate texture and temperature.

Full blog: How To Tell If Bacon Is Undercooked

How To Troubleshoot These 4 Under Cooked Dishes

Pizza

You sit down to take the first bite of your favorite pizza decked out in delicious toppings only to realize that your dough isn’t quite finished. 

How Do You Tell If My Pizza Is Undercooked?

A pizza that is undercooked may take on several characteristics.

  1. First, the dough will likely be light in color. This is one of the first and most prominent signs that your pizza dough isn’t cooked. Cooked pizza dough will take on a golden brown color. Uncooked pizza will often look pale and pasty.
  2. Aside from the color of the external layer of dough, comes the dough underneath the pizza. It’s this part of the pizza that is most susceptible to being undercooked. Therefore, it is imperative that prior to serving your pizza you lift the crust and ensure the bottom is golden brown and firm. If the bottom is soft, squishy, and pale, it is an indicator that the pizza isn’t quite yet done.
  3. Third sign that your pizza is undercooked is texture and taste. Hopefully, you will have discovered that your pizza isn’t fit for consumption long before it enters your mouth. If not, you’ll notice a very soft, chewy, or gummy texture on your uncooked pizza that will taste like eating squishy raw dough, rather than the cooked dough that you’re used to.
  4. Lastly, you can observe the top of your pizza and how the toppings appear. Are the cheese and meat and other toppings raw? Though this isn’t the best way to judge your pizza especially when it comes to determining the doneness of the dough. Still, if the toppings look hot and well-cooked, chances are that the dough is done as well. Still, you’ll want to check the dough using the methods just mentioned to ensure that this is true since looks can be deceiving.

How Do You Bake an Undercooked Pizza?

You’ll want to take steps to remediate the problem before deciding to throw it out. In most cases, undercooked pizza can be easily solved, but to do so requires making a few adjustments.

To reheat an undercooked pizza:

  1. Adjust your oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the pizza on the lowest rack.
  2. Cook the pizza at 3-minute intervals in this position and this temperature.
  3. Frequently check the crust from the bottom to ensure that it is properly cooked before eating. This will allow the bottom of the dough to get done without burning up the toppings and thereby ruining your pizza entirely.

Can You Eat Undercooked Pizza?

If your pizza came out looking more raw than cooked out of your oven, eating it is not recommended, especially if it contains toppings that need to be cooked to a safe temperature, like certain meats.

The raw dough can contain harmful bacteria like E. coli, and undercooked meat toppings might harbor bacteria such as Salmonella.

Additionally, undercooked pizza with insufficiently heated toppings can lead to an unsatisfactory taste and texture (soggy pizza, anyone?).

It’s important to ensure that pizza is thoroughly baked, with a crisp and golden crust, and that any meat toppings are fully cooked to avoid foodborne illnesses.

Full blog: Undercooked Pizza

How To Troubleshoot These 4 Under Cooked Dishes

Brownies

Now we’re getting into dessert territory with a common treat that gets undercooked – brownies. Brownies are quite a challenge to bake and even the most experienced and practiced baker can make a mistake when it comes to brownies. In our excitement to dig into these bad boys, sometimes the insides turn out raw instead of the fudgy brownies of our dreams.

If you have made a batch of undercooked brownies and have only just noticed that they may be undercooked, check out these tips.

Gooey vs Undercooked

Gooey and undercooked brownies can appear similar, but they have distinct characteristics and implications for taste and safety.

Gooey brownies are intentionally moist and soft, typically achieved by adjusting the baking time and temperature to slightly underbake them, which allows the center to remain soft while the exterior is cooked. This is a desired texture for many brownie lovers.

In contrast, undercooked brownies are often the result of insufficient baking time or incorrect oven temperature settings, leading to a batter-like consistency in the middle that can be unappetizing and potentially unsafe due to the raw eggs in the mixture.

While gooey brownies are safe and delicious when done correctly, undercooked brownies should be returned to the oven until they reach a safe, palatable level of baking.

How To Tell If Brownies Are Done

The toothpick test and the temperature checks are great ways to tell if your brownies are done as well as undercooked.

When you are cooking brownies it is key that you leave them time to set properly. Brownies will still cook once you take them out of the oven. Leaving the brownies for at least 30-45 minutes after you take them out of the oven will give them time to set properly. This is when you should cut the brownies.

How Do You Fix Undercooked Brownies?

There are a handful of ways that you can fix undercooked brownies and even ways to fix undercooked brownies that have cooled.

  1. Some of the methods to fix undercooked brownies may cause dryness. This may have to be something that is accepted and it can be masked by serving with other ingredients like chocolate sauce, ice creams and cream. These ingredients will soak into the brownies, disguising its dryness. If you hate the idea of dry edges, you can always cut them off and only serve the inner pieces of the brownie baking tray. When placing your undercooked brownies back into the oven, you can cover it with tin foil, which will protect the brownies from burning.
  2. It is possible to fix undercooked brownies by using a microwave. This method is quick and easy and works! The best way to microwave brownies is to microwave individual slices at a time for 30-40 seconds. This will ensure all areas of the brownies have been heated to a safe temperature. Microwaves are known to not do a very thorough job when heating everything evenly. Cutting the brownies in smaller pieces will help. Although, a microwave, unlike an oven, will cook the brownies from the inside out, meaning they are less likely to burn. Microwaving brownies will keep your brownies moist and avoid dry edges.
  3. Another method of fixing undercooked brownies is to place them in the fridge. This is a great method for when fudge brownies are too gooey. Using this method means that the brownies do not need to cook for longer. If the brownies look too gooey and unsafe to eat, cook them for longer rather than using this method. Using the refrigerator method of saving your undercooked brownies will harden this chocolate confection, but not bring the ingredients to a safe consumption stage and will not actually cook the eggs and flour for longer. Place the brownies in the fridge for up to one and a half hours. This will make the brownies more chewy rather than gooey.
  4. You can also fix undercooked brownies by placing them in the freezer. This will make the brownies go completely solid and firm. Just like the fridge method, this will not cook the brownies so only use this method if you think the brownies are safe to eat.

Can I Eat Undercooked Brownies?

No, I wouldn’t say that they are safe to eat. This is due to egg and flour being used in the brownies mixture.

Raw eggs have risks of carrying salmonella, which is bacteria that will give you horrible food poisoning. Uncooked flour can also contain bacteria that can cause you to be sick.

But if you have eaten undercooked brownies, try not to panic as food poisoning from badly cooked chicken and fish is more common!

Full blog: Undercooked Brownies

How To Troubleshoot These 4 Under Cooked Dishes

Cheesecake

More dessert – how to tell if your cheesecake is undercooked and how to fix your undercooked cheesecake.

Signs Your Cheesecake is Under Cooked

  • Gooey center
  • The base will move from the sides
  • Wet
  • Overly sloppy

How To Check If Cheesecake Is Undercooked

It can be quite a tricky task when knowing how to tell if a cheesecake is undercooked. After all, cheesecakes take hours to make, and hours to set in the fridge before they end up looking like the cheesecake we love and know.

  1. The jiggle test is the perfect place to start. Tway you perform the jiggle test is to gently shake the cheesecake tray. When you have given the cheesecake a little shake, if the cheesecake mixture starts to seep from the sides, this is an indication that the cheesecake is undercooked. If the center of the cheesecake is the only place to jiggle, this means that the cheesecake is perfectly cooked.
  2. Another method you can use is to press the cheesecake down from the top of the cheesecake with your finger. If you place your finger in the middle of the cheesecake and press lightly, you can tell by the texture of the cheesecake if it is undercooked. If the cheesecake feels firm then the cheesecake is cooked. If your finger easily becomes part of the mixture once you have pressed down, then the cheesecake is undercooked.

How To Fix Undercooked Cheesecake

Often you may think that your cheesecake is undercooked, but it may have just not set properly.

Letting your cheesecake set is vital, especially in the overall process of making this dessert. You can let your cheesecake set in the fridge or where there is a cool temperature. Your cheesecake may need a few hours to set, as it will still be runny once it has left the oven. The cool air in the fridge will allow the cheesecake mixture to start to firm up. Most likely, your cheesecake will start to look a lot more cooked once it has had time to set.

It is best to allow your cheesecake to set for at least 4 hours in the fridge. If you can allow your cheesecake to set in the fridge overnight or for 8 hours, that would be ideal.

Try slow cooking your cheesecake. You will not need a slow cooker for this. You can use your normal oven.

Set your oven to a lower temperature and place the cheesecake back in. Allow the cheesecake to cook again, but for a longer period of time as a lower setting. The extra cooking time will likely be between 20-30 minutes when slow cooking your cheesecake. Keep checking on the cake to see if it is ready, as you do not want to overcook the cheesecake.

You may be expecting that cooking a cheesecake is like cooking a regular cake, but this is incorrect. With cakes, the normal procedure is to bake the cake in the oven until it is a golden brown color. When you are baking a cheesecake in the oven you do not need to wait until it turns a golden brown color on top. This is actually an indication that the cheesecake is burnt. The cheesecake will be cooked if it is still a pale color.

Water bath baking your cheesecake is a method that uses hot water in order to cook your cheesecake to perfection.

To give your cake a water bath, you will need to fill a large pan with hot water. Once done, you will then place your cheesecake in this baking pan, which will be wrapped up in protective foil. Water bathing your cheesecake is the perfect method for when your cheesecake has fully cooled down and you have just realized that you have undercooked it.

A water bath for your undercooked cheesecake can cook the cake through, making sure that the cheesecake does not crack.

What Happens If You Eat Undercooked Cheesecake

For safety and the best culinary experience, cheesecake should be baked until the edges are set but the center is still slightly wobbly.

Eating undercooked cheesecake poses health risks primarily due to its raw ingredients, such as eggs and dairy, which can harbor bacteria like Salmonella. Additionally, undercooked cheesecake often has an unpleasant, runny texture and an inconsistent taste, as the center may not set properly while the edges overcook.

You don’t want to dive into that.

Always ensure that your cheesecake is properly cooked to enjoy it safely and at its best flavor and texture.

Full blog: Undercooked Cheesecake

How To Troubleshoot These 4 Under Cooked Dishes

Undercooking is Solvable!

Fret not! With these methods for properly salvaging and cooking these 4 dishes, you don’t have to face any health risks or emotional distress over serving something raw to yourself or your loved ones.

Let me know if you have other tips to share!

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind CooksDream.com, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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