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Always ruining chicken please help the newb

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  • VenomM3
    Club Member
    • May 2016
    • 23

    Always ruining chicken please help the newb

    I've read a couple articles on here on how to prepare chicken. One article did help, but the others didn't and that's why I'm starting a thread.

    Ive tried many many techniques on cooking boneless skinless chicken, but whenever I sat down to eat it I was very disappointed. I've tried grocery store boneless skinless chicken, organic boneless skinless, and even spent $30 on bell and Evans chicken from Whole Foods. Bell and Evans came out the best, but the inside was dry, tough, and tasteless.

    Yes, I know boneless skinless chicken has no fat and what I'm encountering is normal. However, how come whenever I go to a Hibachi and the chef throws boneless skinless chicken on the hibachi it tastes so much better?

    My cholesterol a little high and I've been through 2 heart transplants. I can only eat red meat once every 10 days. This is why I can I only eat lean meats.

    Should I buy farm raised delivered to home chicken? I want to get this right. I've been struggling with this for quite sometime and would appreciate any feedback. Thank you
  • Nate
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 3813
    • Quarantined
    • INFO
      ~Known as: Nate
      ~Location: Cornfield in Southwestern Indiana
      ~Credit Manager for an Agriculture Coop.

      ~Grilla Original Grilla
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      ~Maverick ET-733
      ~Maverick XR-50

      ~Stanley T-Stak mobile tool box for BBQ Supplies
      ~Slow 'n' Sear
      ~Drip 'n' Griddle
      ~Weber Rapid Fire Chimney Starter
      ~Pro-Series Probes for Thermoworks
      ~Humphrey's Rib Spatula

      ~Sweet Tea
      ~Craft Beers or whatever is in your fridge

    Digital thermometer and proper internal temps.... also dry brine will help


    • Mr. Bones
      Birthday Hat Master
      • Sep 2016
      • 8748
      • Kansas Territory
      • Grills / Smokers

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        Daily driver:Washington Forge Mardi Gras, Navy / Cobalt Blue
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        Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

      Need to know more info to be of much help...
      What kinda cooker? What fuel/how much? is a good place to start.


      • Jerod Broussard
        • Jun 2014
        • 9507
        • East Texas
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        Dry brine, cook it HOT, and stop when you get to 160 internal. I've even gone higher on the internal and still have juiciness.
        Last edited by Jerod Broussard; March 19th, 2017, 07:57 PM.


        • SoCalTim
          Former Member
          • May 2016
          • 266
          • Chatsworth Ca

          IMO, your at the point where your simply 'over thinking' things. Here's what we know, chicken is done @ 165. Cooking it @ 350 degrees is ideal, might I suggest a set of GrillGrates, they are incredible especially on boneless breast. I don't recommend any kind of woodchips or chunks on poultry - if you must, fruit wood is ok.

          A year from now (or maybe even months) your gonna look back and laugh cause by then, you'll of mastered chicken.


          • Michael Brinton
            Club Member
            • May 2016
            • 266

            Do you own The Food Lab ? The Bell and Evans is a good choice, or any air chilled chicken. Salting or brining is a must. But in the end if you over cook chicken it will always be dry. Do you own an immersion circulator (sous vide)? To me chicken much over 150-5 is dry and stringy. Kenji (in the food lab) has a pull and rest to a safe temp, pull at 150 rest eight minutes, but you have to be real certain on your temps to be safe with that. I followed this site to 160 breast and was always disappointed as well. But the safety issue of cooking to 150 and resting, which though I never really read anyone answer Kenji (pg 360-3) about why he is wrong, still nags at me just because of mistakes I could make. Sous Vide you could line up chicken cooked at temps 140, 150, 160 and see the difference without the timing and guess work. Chicken breast is a moist meat when cooked right. I personally just find higher temp 160 chicken breast to always be dry and stringy. Legs, thighs and wings, I to the opposite at least 175.
            (opps 145 is 8.4 minutes 150 is 2.7)
            Last edited by Michael Brinton; March 19th, 2017, 08:24 PM.


            • EdF
              EdF commented
              Editing a comment
              If you have to eat a lot of chicken breast because of your health, I'd go ahead and buy an Anova or Joule SV machine, and be done with it. You can, of course, finish the breasts any way you like (grill etc) for variety.
          • scottranda
            Charter Member
            • May 2015
            • 1674
            • Charlotte, NC

            Hammering the breast flatter will help with more even cooking. Agree with all the above too.

            Digital thermometer is a MUST.


            • Breadhead
              Banned Former Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 1

              Chicken breasts... definitely Sous Vide them to 140°. Then brown them in a skillet until the IT is 160°. Make a hollandaise sauce. Serve your moist chicken breasts with fettuccine Alfredo and fresh asparagus. Put hollandaise on both the chicken and asparagus.👍 A nice Chardonnay would be a nice compliment to this fine meal.😜

              That... Is my second favorite white chicken dish.👍


              • VenomM3
                Club Member
                • May 2016
                • 23

                Originally posted by Mr. Bones View Post
                Need to know more info to be of much help...
                What kinda cooker? What fuel/how much? is a good place to start.
                Weber E-210 2 burner. Propane and 200-300 degree range.


                • Michael Brinton
                  Michael Brinton commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It's going to be tough to keep boneless skinless chicken breast from going dry cooking hot on a grill. You're going to have to be Johnny-on-the-spot with pulling them off at the right time. And the thin ends will dry. Or learn to love thighs, recommended!

                • Breadhead
                  Breadhead commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Cooking chicken breasts and chicken wings is 2 completely different cooks. In my BGE I would bake chicken breasts at 350°. I cook chicken wings at 450° to get the crisp skin I want. I bake spatchcocked chickens at 400° to get the crisp skin that I want.

                • Michael Brinton
                  Michael Brinton commented
                  Editing a comment
                  He's looking to do boneless skinless breast, that's why I suggested an unusual method. Those things are unforgiving.
              • Michael Brinton
                Club Member
                • May 2016
                • 266

                http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2...ts-recipe.html this may be close to what you want. He has you pounding, brining, and then cooking the whole way over the coals. He pulls at 150 to rest. 160 if your going to fda 165.


                • Flavorsavor
                  Founding Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 245
                  • Archer Lodge, NC
                  • -Pit Barrel Cooker, Great-Grate and Turkey Hanger
                    -Weber 22.5" Performer Silver w/ Slow 'n Sear , Rotisserie Attachment, and grill grates
                    -Fireboard extreme bbq edition
                    -Maverick ET-732 thermometer,
                    -thermoworks RT600c Instant read
                    -thermoworks thermopop
                    -BBQ Dragon
                    -Chimney of Insanity
                    -BBQ Guru Party Q

                  There's a lot of good info on this thread. I'd like to throw my hat into the "temperature probe" ring. If you don't have a reliable instant-read thermometer as recommended on the website, I'd invest in one pronto. Brining and cooking to temperature are the bare-bones-basics here, and it will change your meat world!


                  • Breadhead
                    Breadhead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If you don't know what temperature your meat is actually cooking at and what the internal temperature of your meat is... you have NO CHANCE of producing a consistent good cook... period!
                • VenomM3
                  Club Member
                  • May 2016
                  • 23

                  Originally posted by Flavorsavor View Post
                  There's a lot of good info on this thread. I'd like to throw my hat into the "temperature probe" ring. If you don't have a reliable instant-read thermometer as recommended on the website, I'd invest in one pronto. Brining and cooking to temperature are the bare-bones-basics here, and it will change your meat world!
                  I use the Termaprn MK4


                  • ecowper
                    Founding Member
                    • Jul 2014
                    • 3034
                    • Maple Valley, WA
                    • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
                      Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

                      Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
                      Thermometer = Maverick ET732
                      Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
                      Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
                      Thermapen Classic = Grey
                      PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

                      Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
                      Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
                      Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
                      Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

                      Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"

                      Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

                    Personally, I vote for keeping it simple. My family likes my grilled chicken breasts (boneless, skinless). Here's what I do.

                    I buy the big dang bag of Foster Farms at Costco, which has been injected with water and kosher salt. I defrost the ones I'm going to cook in the fridge starting 24 hours ahead. BUT I keep them in a ziplock bag so that they don't dry out. About an hour before I'm going to cook them, I sprinkle each breast with approximately 1/2 tsp kosher salt (be careful here, since they are injected) and whatever rub I like. Typically I use the lemon pepper that you can buy at Costco.

                    Then I fire up my grill and set it for 2 zone. I want my indirect zone to be about 275. I cook the breasts indirect until internal temp is 155, then cook on the direct zone for about 3 minutes per side. These leaves my internal temp at 165 and with carryover we hit about 170. I've discovered that boneless, skinless breasts at 165 are a bit not done enough for our taste, but anything over 175 is over done and dry. That little bit of carryover to get past 165 does the trick.

                    Then I slice em on the bias and serve. :-)

                    Click image for larger version

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                    Last edited by ecowper; March 20th, 2017, 11:39 AM. Reason: added pic


                    • ecowper
                      ecowper commented
                      Editing a comment
                      As far as defrosting chicken breasts in the sink, I make sure the water is up over 130. They defrost in about 15 minutes. When I do it that way, they go straight to the grill.

                    • PBCDad
                      PBCDad commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I've been doing the same thing lately. Last night I grilled a steak and I stuck a frozen breast on the indirect side with the steak. The temp was closer to 325*, but all still came out great. Had to add seasoning about halfway through, didn't stick to the frozen meat

                    • ecowper
                      ecowper commented
                      Editing a comment
                      PBCDad yeah, going indirect with the chicken breast, and then just a little sear at the end, makes a huge difference.
                  • tbob4
                    Charter Member
                    • Nov 2014
                    • 2257
                    • Chico, CA
                    • BBQ's
                      California Custom Smokers Intensive Cooking Unit
                      California Custom Smokers Meat Locker
                      Santa Maria Grill
                      Vision Grill

                      Sierra Nevada IPA


                    I put a rub on my chicken breasts and inject with a well blended mixture of garlic olive oil, beer, bleu cheese or ranch dressing and a bit of chipotle sauce. I cook them low and slow (no hotter than 225) for up to two hours and then I grill hot and fast with a bit of BBQ sauce. I always have moist breasts. The SV method works really well for me now, too. I had some real problems with it at first but have it dialed in now. Over the years I have cut way down on the amount of salt in my chicken rubs. Like ecowper, I like lemon pepper as part of the rub.


                    • tbob4
                      tbob4 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      PBCDad - hahahahahaha. That's why I go to the joke page a lot here. My kid gave me a BBQ shirt that says "This Man Rubs His Meat" with thumbs pointing up. My wife won't let me wear it in public.

                    • Breadhead
                      Breadhead commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Some of my friends discourage me from wearing my MAGA hat in public too.😖

                    • Michael Brinton
                      Michael Brinton commented
                      Editing a comment
                      That's hilarious
                  • EvanRobinson
                    Charter Member
                    • Sep 2014
                    • 19
                    • Seattle
                    • "Some hae meat and canna eat,
                      -- And some wad eat that want it;
                      But we hae meat, and we can eat,
                      Sae let the Lord be thankit."
                      -- Robert Burns

                      MAK 2 Star General (w/wi-fi)
                      Weber 26" w/PitmasterIQ 110
                      Gas Grill (no brand)

                      Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 (blue)

                    I crisp chicken skin at 325, but like you, I find skinless breasts easy to dry out at 325. It's a bit of a dance: you want 325 to get the Maillard reaction browning, but you don't want it to dry out. I sometimes cook skinless breasts at 225 and rely upon rub and smoke to provide the color and flavoring, giving up the stronger Maillard reaction at 325. YMMV. Also, use a water pan. If you're having temperature consistency problems in an outdoor cooker, try using your indoor oven for experiments. You won't get the smoke flavor, but you can validate that fully cooked skinless breasts don't have to be dry. Try 225 if your oven will do it, then 275, then 325, cooking to 160 each time (with carryover, that will be 165), each with and without a water pan. See how it comes out best.

                    Finally, I echo everyone above saying you NEED a good thermometer. You NEED to know how long it takes to get a reading, and you NEED to check the temperature of both your cooker AND the meat, or you will only get more confused.




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