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Unread 12-09-2013, 09:36 AM   #1
HankB
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Default Poultry doneness and joint looseness

I'm wondering about poultry doneness and some of the signs that can be seen as the bird cooks, particularly with something like a turkey where a little overdone results in a dry breast. Here are the signs I see:
  • Meat pulling back on the drumstick. And like ribs, when the meat pulls back, it is not done but is getting close. I've also noticed that if the birds are cooked low 'n slow there may be no pull back.
  • The drumstick to thigh joint loosens.
  • The thigh to body joint loosens.
  • The upper wing to body joint loosens. At this point, the breast will be dry.

Have any of you noticed this and if so, do you use any of these signs to determine when the bird is done? I'm not really that confident that when I stick a thermometer in the breast or thigh that I'm getting the least done part of the bird. Sometimes when I carve a bird the juices coming out of the area between the thigh and body are a little pink and I'm worried that it is not done enough.
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Unread 12-09-2013, 09:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HankB View Post
I'm wondering about poultry doneness and some of the signs that can be seen as the bird cooks, particularly with something like a turkey where a little overdone results in a dry breast. Here are the signs I see:
  • Meat pulling back on the drumstick. And like ribs, when the meat pulls back, it is not done but is getting close. I've also noticed that if the birds are cooked low 'n slow there may be no pull back.
  • The drumstick to thigh joint loosens.
  • The thigh to body joint loosens.
  • The upper wing to body joint loosens. At this point, the breast will be dry.

Have any of you noticed this and if so, do you use any of these signs to determine when the bird is done? I'm not really that confident that when I stick a thermometer in the breast or thigh that I'm getting the least done part of the bird. Sometimes when I carve a bird the juices coming out of the area between the thigh and body are a little pink and I'm worried that it is not done enough.
I go by internal temperature. I look for 160-165 in the breast and 170-175 in the thigh. I always probe in the thickest parts of the breast and thigh as well.

What I do notice when the bird is done and I'm carving it up is that the drum stick, thigh bone loosed. The wing is loosened a bit but not as much as the thigh and drumstick.
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Unread 12-09-2013, 09:49 AM   #3
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Yep always go by temp...if i had a dime for every time i lose or almost lose a quarter pulling my birds i'd have lots of money.
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Unread 12-09-2013, 10:07 AM   #4
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Temp will never give you a bum Steer on poultry. The leg wiggle can be fairly accurate but will mislead you. I call it on whole & 1/2 birds when I can grab the Drum stick and twist it 360 in the socket if I don't have a temp stick handy.
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Unread 12-09-2013, 10:57 AM   #5
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As others have said, go by the temp. I shoot for 165 in the breast.
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Unread 12-10-2013, 08:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okie Sawbones View Post
As others have said, go by the temp. I shoot for 165 in the breast.
And, don't worry about the pink color of the juice. It is not a sign of undercooked.
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Unread 12-10-2013, 09:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
Temp will never give you a bum Steer on poultry. The leg wiggle can be fairly accurate but will mislead you. I call it on whole & 1/2 birds when I can grab the Drum stick and twist it 360 in the socket if I don't have a temp stick handy.
I think Bludawg just confirmed he does in fact own a thermometer!!!!
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Unread 12-10-2013, 09:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captndan View Post
And, don't worry about the pink color of the juice. It is not a sign of undercooked.
Exactly. Even the meat might be pink, but it is done unless you hear the chicken cluck once or twice.
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Unread 12-10-2013, 11:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironmanerik View Post
I think Bludawg just confirmed he does in fact own a thermometer!!!!
I do and they have their uses like on poultry or roasts & smoking bacon where you don't want it to come out like a saddle fender made from the hide of a very old Bull. But I gayrontee you will never see it if I'm cooking what I consider BBQ ( Brisket, Butt, Clod, Shoulders, Ribs)
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Unread 12-10-2013, 04:47 PM   #10
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Default poultrey doneness

i don`t know if this is alowed but go to www.amazing ribs .com meathead has a real good peice on how to tell when poultry is done
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Unread 12-10-2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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I just wait for the button to pop up and take it out of the oven
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Unread 12-10-2013, 05:07 PM   #12
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Juice color is a myth.

I'm with Blu, thermometer for poultry, and my temp targets are lower than stated here, so feel safe because once you have been ten minutes at 135f you are no longer at bacterial risk, you are just targeting the texture and doneness you want.
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Unread 12-10-2013, 09:10 PM   #13
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I used to cook 600 to 700 chicken halves. If you lift the wing and it pops loose is one thing we looked for. Second test was grab the drumstick bone. If it spun easy the bird was done.
I confirmed this by checking the thigh with my thermo pen. All thighs were 190 to 195 internal. The breasts were still moist and we sold out every fall during our little fair.
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Unread 12-10-2013, 09:32 PM   #14
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If you brine your bird for a bit, you can take the temperatures higher and have a more tender yet juicy bird. I take mine to 185 or 190 in the thigh and can easily remove the leg. The breast doesn't dry out this way but the skin can get tough if cooked at a low temp.
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Unread 12-10-2013, 09:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
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i don`t know if this is alowed but go to www.amazing ribs .com meathead has a real good peice on how to tell when poultry is done
I found it at http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...run_clear.html. (Links that are pertinent to the discussion and not obvious shilling for another site are acceptable here. (If in doubt, you can ask a moderator. I do when I'm not sure.)
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