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Old 06-06-2013, 12:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
Yeah, but what did people do before thermometers were redily available?
There used to be a lot of food-borne illness with its associated intestinal discomforts. Or, in some cases, death.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:15 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
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.
I agree with you Andy. The key to my statement was that those who want to put in the effort, can learn to safely cook chicken to perfection, with, or without a thermometer. And like you said, the great majority of people will settle for overcooked chicken, with burnt on bbq sauce, and say it's the best chicken they've ever eaten. And it probably is.

And that's what makes a gourmand, a gourmand. He/she wants to make the best that can be made, with the tools at hand. Most people don't want to put that much effort into their cooking. But they sure like it when someone else will do it for them.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:45 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
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.
lol, only a guy with canis in his name would say he uses his nose to know when things are perfect.

but otherwise, you're right about me, and i'm sure others as far as knowing when things are done by cutting nto them.

but since that kills the idea of letting a whole piece of flesh rest to reabsorb the juices, i decided to learn how to cook "proteins" by sight, touch, and some manipulation thereof instead of guessing at variables such as time and relative temp and distance from the heat, and without using a thermapen (who carries a thermapen with them on camping trips, picnics, etc. ?)

it started with steaks; doing the thumb poking test. then it was on to fish/seafood: just barely opaque is good enough. you need good light for that.

but it also goes for when ribs are done, by lifting them with tongs to see how they droop or break.
so the chicken thing seemed to fit along the same lines when i was taught the technique.

so yeah, temp probes are nice, but whaddya gonna do if you don't have one?
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