Can You Cook Chicken And Beef Together?

We all know the classic choice; chicken or beef? If you are cooking, you don’t have to choose! However, this poses another question, can you cook chicken and beef together?

With chicken and beef requiring different cooking times and temperatures cooking them together can prove challenging. 

There are a variety of recipes and cooking methods for chicken and beef, and it may seem like a time-saving method to just cook them at the same time.

However, chicken poses the biggest risk for salmonella and can cross-contaminate, so what to do?

The USDA does not recommend cooking chicken and beef together. Chicken requires higher temperatures to reach 165°F to eliminate the risk of salmonella found on raw chicken. Because of this, it is not advised to cook chicken and beef together. Cooking chicken and beef separately is the best practice to prevent cross-contamination from raw and undercooked chicken.

If this is not possible then keep reading for some of the ways to safely cook chicken and beef together.

How To Cook Chicken And Beef Together

Suppose you want to cook chicken and beef together. In that case, you can take steps to ensure everything is cooked correctly and efficiently.

Here are some ways to help you create a chicken and beef dinner without worry.

Follow The Recipe

You may have a chicken and beef dish in mind or already have a recipe. While most cooks (professionals and home cooks) tend to wing it with measurements, cooking instructions should be examined more closely.

Even if you know what you want to make or something close to it, finding a recipe similar to your dish can help determine how to cook chicken and beef together.

Uniform Cuts

Any culinary school student learns one of the first lessons is how to create uniform knife cuts. This isn’t just to make the food look good; it has a practical function.

Cutting your ingredients into similar sizes ensures that all the ingredients cook evenly, regardless of thickness. 

Cutting the chicken and beef into same-sized pieces can help ensure they cook simultaneously, eliminating the risk of undercooked chicken with overcooked steak.

Batch Cooking

Chicken and beef require different times and temperatures to thoroughly cook. Cooking the proteins separately is the best way to ensure the chicken and beef are fully cooked.

Cooking in batches is another excellent way to cook different proteins for the same dish.

Can You Mix Raw Chicken and Beef?

Even though both proteins will be eventually cooked, it is best to be cautious and keep raw chicken and beef separated. Salmonella that can be found on raw chicken could cross-containment the beef.

If you are marinating or seasoning chicken and beef, do so separately and keep away from cooked dishes or vegetables.

Can You Cook Chicken And Beef In The Same Pan?

To answer this, we need to determine the type of dish and the cooking method. If you are making stir-fry and using a wok, then cooking chicken and beef together is acceptable.

Cooking in batches, using a larger pan, or decreasing recipe amounts can eliminate this problem.

Can You Cook Chicken And Steak Together In The Same Pan?

It is not recommended that chicken and steak be cooked together in the same pan. Given the limited size of most frying pans, overcrowding of the ingredients can become an issue.

Cooking chicken and steak at the same time has a high potential for cross-contamination if both proteins are not given the appropriate time needed to fully cook.

When cooking chicken and steak, cook one then the other. This will allow the chicken and steak to fully cook before being mixed together for the final dish.

Can You Cook Chicken And Steak Together For Fajitas?

It is not recommended that chicken and steak be cooked together, even for fajitas. The chicken and steak should be marinated and cooked/grilled separately.

Chicken needs to be fully cooked to 165°F before it can be eaten and/or mixed with the fully cooked steak.

If you choose to grill the chicken and steak for the fajitas keep the two proteins separated and use different tongs for each protein.

This will prevent cross-contamination from the raw chicken to the steak. If grilling vegetables as well, keep them as far from the raw proteins and use a separate pair of tongs.

Mexican fajita skillet meal with steak and chicken.
Mexican fajita meal with steak and chicken

Cooking Chicken And Beef In Slow Cookers And Crock Pots

Slow cookers and Crock-Pots are perfect for one-pot meals where all the ingredients are thrown in at the same time.

So does this mean that chicken and beef can be cooked together in a crock-pot or slow cooker? 

Most slow cooker and crock-pot chicken and beef recipes will instruct you to put both proteins in at the same time. However, some will add them at different steps in the cooking process.

The safest way to cook chicken and beef together in a slow cooker is to cut the proteins into similar sizes to ensure both will fully cook at the same time.

Can You Cook Chicken And Steak In A Crock-Pot?

When cooking chicken and steak together in a crock-pot the steps are similar to cooking chicken and beef.

To prevent cross-contamination from undercooked chicken, start by cooking the chicken first, then add the steak.

Cutting the chicken and steak into same-sized pieces can also help the proteins cook at the same rate.

If you are following along with a written recipe, follow the instructions on how to handle cooking the chicken and steak in the same dish.

Cooking Chicken And Beef In An Oven

Can chicken and beef be cooked together in the oven? For this cooking method, it is better to side with caution and not cook them together in an oven.

Because of varying cooking temperatures and times between chicken and beef, the risk of cross-contamination is too high.

It is better to cook the two proteins separately in different vessels when using the oven roasting method.

To cook chicken in the oven, the oven temperature needs to be between 325°F – 425𝆩F for the chicken to reach 165°F, the time depends on whether you are cooking the chicken whole or in pieces.

Cooking beef comes down to the internal temperature you are going for, i.e medium-rare and medium.

For example, a small ribeye roast needs to cook approximately for an hour and a half in a 350°F oven to reach 135°F for medium-rare.

Can You Eat Chicken And Beef Together?

Chicken and beef can be eaten together and is a common protein combination found in recipes and on restaurant menus.

As long as everything is handled and cooked correctly, the only thing you risk by eating them together is a full stomach.

Just remember everything in moderation and be sure to include plenty of delicious vegetables with your meal.

Cooking With Turkey, Lamb, And Pork

Not every meat and poultry combination has to be chicken and beef; what if you want to cook turkey and chicken together? Or perhaps lamb and beef?

We also can’t forget pork, which is an excellent complement to beef and chicken dishes.

Regardless of the combination, you decide on, you will need to follow some of the guidelines we discussed.

Let’s take a closer look at how chicken and beef can be cooked with turkey, lamb, and pork.

Cooking Turkey And Chicken

Turkey and chicken are an easy combination to cook together. Like chicken, turkey needs to be cooked to 165°F to safely consume since it too can carry salmonella and poses cross-contamination risks.

Because of these identical guidelines, chicken and turkey can be cooked together. Can you cook turkey and beef together?

If turkey is going to be the poultry of choice to pair with beef, then treat it like you would chicken.

Turkey poses the same cross-contamination risks as chicken, so handle turkey the same way you cook chicken and beef.

Cooking Lamb And Beef

There are tons of recipes from various cuisines that cook lamb and beef together, such as stews, shepherd’s pie, greek style meatballs, and even burgers.

Lamb and beef can be cooked simultaneously and in the same pan, perfect for one-pot cooking.

Cooking chicken and lamb together requires the same level of caution as if you were cooking chicken with beef.

Batch cooking, same-sized cuts, and preventing cross-contamination will ensure that chicken and lamb can safely be cooked together.

Greek style meatballs
Greek meatballs made of minced beef and lamb.

Cooking Pork With Chicken And Beef

Pork is always a great addition to any meat-based recipe, and when it comes to cooking and handling it is similar to both chicken and beef.

In recent years, pork was deemed safe to eat when it reaches 145°F (medium-rare), but if you prefer fully cooked pork, then it needs to reach 160°F.

To cook pork with either chicken or beef, cooking separately and then combining will be the best method.

Mixed meat fondue with pork or veal and beef
Mixed meat fondue with pork.

Can Cooked Chicken And Beef Be Stored Together?

If the chicken and beef are already in the same dish, such as a stew or casserole, as long as everything is fully cooked, they can be stored together. If cooked separately it is best to store separately as well.

This is because chicken has a shelf life of 3-4 days, while beef is approximately 5 days, so if they are stored together, there is the risk of expired chicken contaminating the beef.

It is also important to remember not to leave food sitting out on the counter for more than 2 hours; this is how harmful bacteria will grow. Proper cooling and storing methods help prevent bacteria growth in your leftovers.

Some ways to safely cool and store leftovers are dividing everything into smaller containers or setting food in front of a fan.

When it comes to storing cooked food should always be kept away from raw meat and poultry, preferably on a top shelf in the refrigerator. 

Chicken And Beef Recipes 

Now that you have the tools you need, all that is left is to apply them. Some delicious and classic ways to prepare chicken and beef are Asian stir-fry, fajitas, stews, and grilled kabobs, just to name a few. 

Grilling is a great way to cook chicken and beef and doesn’t require a recipe. Choose your favorite marinade or season and fire up the grill.

Grilling chicken and beef makes it easy to keep the two proteins separated while monitoring their individual cooking temperature. 

Here are a few chicken and beef recipes to get you started:

Beef and Chicken Fondue – Pillsbury

Chicken and Beef Brunswick Stew – Taste Of Home

Steak and Chicken Fajitas – Food Network

Final Considerations

When cooking chicken and beef together, it is best to avoid cooking them at the same but remember that proper handling and cooking of the chicken is the key.

Keeping the raw proteins separated, cooking in batches, same-sized cuts, and monitoring cooking temperatures will help eliminate the risk of cross-contamination. 

For any recipes that require cooking chicken and beef together, follow the instructions carefully, this will ensure everything will safely cook together.

If you decide to switch the chicken or beef for turkey, lamb, or pork, remember to follow the same handling and cooking steps for cooking chicken and beef. 

Hopefully, this article has helped you feel more confident about cooking chicken and beef together. Now go make something delicious!

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