Author Topic: Placing temperature probe in whole chicken  (Read 8417 times)

Offline gbritten_nh

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Placing temperature probe in whole chicken
« on: June 11, 2011, 02:41:33 pm »
I did a brined whole chicken (around 4.4 LB) in the smoker.  I knew from the rate of temperature climb when I first started I did not have a good probe position, it was too fast.  I repositioned the probe many times and fdound lower temperatures, but eventually everything I could find was around 160 so I pulled it from the smoker, though it was an hour short of my expected 4 hours.  Then when I got it in the house, I found it was not done, so I decided to finish it in an oven (preheated already in case).  I eventually got a temperature of 175, and pulled it again, but when I went to cut off the leg, there was still blood there, so it is now back in the oven and I will work from time from now on, and use the "loose leg test" on the leg not cut.  I placed the probe as best I could in the thick part of the thigh on the inside, but this was not easy.

What is the best probe placement technique for whole chickens, why did my probe positioning not work?

Using an ET732 meat probe, and also an instead read dial thermometer to confirm it at some points.

Offline muebe

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Re: Placing temperature probe in whole chicken
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2011, 03:15:41 pm »
You should take it at the breast. Insert it at the thickest part and push all the way until you hit bone then pull it back out just a tiny bit. You want it as close to the bone as possible but not touching it. If you make contact with the bone then you are going to get a higher reading than actual IT. Also make sure that your chicken is evenly thawed. If some parts are frozen they are going to cook slower than the rest of your bird.
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Placing temperature probe in whole chicken
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2011, 02:24:24 am »
I place my thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, inserting from the inside of the leg and smoke/cook until 162°F - 165°F. If after moving the probe around and you found lower temperature, then try to recall where you finally located the probe; for the next time you smoke chicken. I'm not sure why you had a hard time placing it there.

For a second reading, an instant read dial thermometer if calibrated correctly works great, but if not calibrated then you will not get an accurate reading. Have you checked the accuracy of the dial thermometer?

Was the meat just red, or were the juices bloody. To check to make sure if it is just the meat or if it is the juices; touch the area with a white napkin or paper towel. If you don't see any red on the paper the meat is done. Today's chickens are processed at a much younger age. Because they are younger you may notice reddish meat particularly around the bone area even when they are fully cooked. Also the low and slow method style of cooking makes this more pronounced.


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Offline gbritten_nh

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Re: Placing temperature probe in whole chicken
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2011, 09:43:13 am »
I may have had difficulty because I trussed the 2 legs together, though I cut that before it went in the oven.

There were red juices inside the cavity, and when I first cu inside the thigh.

But, when I judged it done with the loose leg test it turned out it was perfect, breast still moist.

I used a modification of the Smoked Chicken recipe on the recipe site, I brined 3 hrs in 1 C Kosher Salt, 1 C Brown Sugar, 4 Q water.

The I mixed 3 T EVOO with 3 T Jan's rub and brushed this on, planned 4 hrs of Apple but got only 3.  Then transferred to the oven @ 350 for about an hour, as it turned out.

Sorry, no pics, too many other things going on today for that.

The skin had a good texture, not rubbery, but not super crunchy in most places either.  I will definitely be doing this again, maybe I will try it on a roaster?  I think I will plan on the oven finish from now on, seems better than rubber skin.

Any suggestion whether a largish broiler (4.3 Lbs) or an even larger roaster is best for smoked chicken?  Either provides enough for the family, ony question is how much is leftover, this did not have much!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 09:53:35 am by gbritten_nh »

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Placing temperature probe in whole chicken
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2011, 12:54:14 pm »
If you like white meat, the larger birds are better to smoke/cook. I prefer the dark meat, so I generally will not cook a whole chicken.


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Offline freakaccident

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Re: Placing temperature probe in whole chicken
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2011, 07:25:04 pm »
I did a bone in turkey breast today and used my Maverick remote thermometer and the Auber PID.  One in each breast.  I noticed that the Maverick read 14 degrees hotter than the Auber.  I put my trust in the Auber and it came out perfectly.  I did notice that the Maverick probe is quite long and the Auber is much shorter.  I'm not sure how far the temp thing inside the probe goes back into the probe on the Maverick but I am guessing it goes back more than halfway and that it was reading some of that as air temp.  I had the Maverick about half way inserted which put it in the thickest part of the breast.  The Auber was nearly completely in the breast.   IF that's the case then the Maverick probe is too long for accurate reading on poultry. 

I will be doing a brisket next week and I will do some testing.  I will run the Maverick halfway in for a couple hours and see what it reads then I will shove it in all the way.  I will have the Auber at the same depth the whole time and will make sure it is where the Maverick will end up.  If my theory is correct and the Maverick is accurate then the Maverick should drop in temp and nearly match the Auber. 

Ill report back