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Old 06-04-2013, 06:58 PM   #11
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Instant read thermometer, end of story. That way when you don't specify, bone in, skin on, boneless/skinless etc., there isn't any guessing!
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:04 PM   #12
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Andy's right.

There cannot be a reliable general rule because too many variables are involved.

A thermometer is the only way to assure properly cooked chicken.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:56 AM   #13
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^^^that and it's hard to tell you how it feels, it's an experience thing.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Andy's right.

There cannot be a reliable general rule because too many variables are involved.

A thermometer is the only way to assure properly cooked chicken.
Yeah, but what did people do before thermometers were redily available?
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Yeah, but what did people do before thermometers were redily available?
Cut into it to make sure there wasn't any pink and/or the juices ran clear.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Yeah, but what did people do before thermometers were redily available?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
Cut into it to make sure there wasn't any pink and/or the juices ran clear.
...or overcook it "just to be on the safe side."
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:24 AM   #17
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...or overcook it "just to be on the safe side."
I guess that would be the difference between a gourmand, and a cook. The cook overcooks the protein just to be on the safe side. The gourmand learns to cook it properly, and attempts to do so every time they cook, with, or without a meat thermometer.

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Old 06-06-2013, 02:29 AM   #18
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andy has a great point about the variables.

but, variables aside:

i'm goin' with the chief once again. besides learning the particulars of your grill like the back of your hand (umm, ouch. maybe that's a bad expression for grilling ), i learned how to check if chicken breasts or tenderloins are done while working the kitchen at our baseball field's kitchen from the head cook.

we have to crank out food so fast from a tiny it'll make your head spin, so sending out under-cooked chicken was our greatest concern.

once you've grilled the boneless chicken on each side for a few minutes, pick it up in a pair of tongs and try to bend it until it cracks a bit.

if it just bends, it isn't done. if it cracks just a little and there's no pink inside, it's done. if no juices run when cracked, you overcooked it. anywhere from just a little to shoe leather. but if you've got it right, it'll be delicious.

if you do this a number of times you'll get to know your grill, the approximate heat, and the time needed to cook various thicknesses.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:19 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
I guess that would be the difference between a gourmand, and a cook. The cook overcooks the protein just to be on the safe side. The gourmand learns to cook it properly, and attempts to do so every time they cook, with, or without a meat thermometer.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

Chief, the OP wanted 'general rules'. I contend there are no reliable 'general rules' because of the variables. Yes, a person can learn to cook it properly without a thermometer by learning the variables for himself. I contend that for the majority, this is not going to work.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:31 AM   #20
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I don't often grill chicken breasts, but when I do I drink Dos Equis.
Two beers and they're done

Seriously, you need to find your own general rules, or rule of thumb.
Bucky uses the bend or crack test, but he probably derived at this by testing with other methods (cutting into it, taking temp) and realized that the breast also cracked when it was done and barely bent when not. You need to start with a tried and proven method and then learn to recognize another trait the breast exhibits. For me it's smell. If it smells like cooked chicken, it's done to my liking.
But I still double-check it with a thermometer or by cutting into it.
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