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Food & Wine Ground >> False temp. readout question


6/17/08 2:15 PM
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Cousin Eddie
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I ran into a problem the other night while making beer can chicken on the grill, and was wondering if anybody had insight as to what went wrong.

Pulled the bird out of the freezer and put it in the fridge, where it spent two days, then pulled it out that morning to rinse off and put on the rub. It then sat on the counter, ready to put on the grill, for about two hours. Then, I put it on the grill (indirect) for 60 minutes. Then I put my remote-readout thermometer probe in the thickest part of the thigh, and waited until 180 degrees (about another 12 minutes). This is, step-for-step, how I've done it for years with no problems. When I hit 180, I took it off the grill, and let it sit for 5 minutes, and started cutting.

However, from about 1/4 inch in, everything on both breasts was still raw. I'm 100% sure it was completely thawed when I put it on, and I made it to 180 in the thigh, I can't figure out what happened. I've narrowed it down to either my thermometer malfunctioning (unlikely), or the possibility that the probe was touching bone. However, I'm not sure if that would give a false temp reading or not. Would this cause my problem? If not, what else could it be?

Thanks in advance.
6/17/08 4:09 PM
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shibbytastic
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Touching bone would give a bad reading. Also Check your thermometer in boiling water.
6/17/08 4:13 PM
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Cousin Eddie
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Good idea. Like I said, I'm pretty sure the thermometer isn't the problem, I've never had issues with it before, but that's a pretty easy check, just to make sure. Kind of embarassed I didn't think of it on my own, LOL.
6/18/08 9:14 AM
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crescentwrench
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Yup, bone will conduct the heat right from the tip of the leg into the interior.  I shoot for just past the very middle of the thigh.  I don't know if it's the right way to do it, but I go in at the angle I think will pass the center mass, push until I hit bone.  I note where the probe depth is and pull halway back out.  I've had pretty good success that way. 
 
Also the boiling water test is a good thing.  I blew out a probe one time with a too-hot oven and it registered my turkey's thigh temperature as being 710 degrees. 

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