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Old 10-13-2004, 04:40 PM   #1
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How long do you cook whole chicken per pound?

I just entered the realm of roasting whole chickens. (Finally go over my fear -as a former vegetarian-of cleaning the chicken.) Anyway, I made this recipe once before and am making it a second time. The recipe calls for a 3-3.5lb chicken and says to cook it 50-60 min. When I went to the store to get a chicken, the smallest one they had was 4.25 lbs. The previous time, I was able to get the specified size.

Is it safe to say that chicken should cook about 18 min per lb (a rounded number based on a 3-3.5 lb chicken cooking for 50-60 min)? The recipe instructs to cook it at 425 deg. Should I cook the chicken about 1 hr and 15 min?

Also, I'm roasting red potatoes along side the chicken. Should I put them when I put the chicken in or add it later?

Thanks.

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Old 10-13-2004, 05:11 PM   #2
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I tend to cook on a lower temperature for longer - for that size chicken I would clook for 2 hours at 325°. Maybe even 2 1/2 if necessary, or somewhere in between. Just cut the potatoes in bigger chunks - but if you are rally worried - put them in the with the chicken for the last 1 1/2 hours.

I also like to cover my chicken tightly - really makes it juicy - then the last 30 minutes turn the heat up or put it on broil to crisp up the skin.
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:30 PM   #3
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thanks kitchenelf......

i'll try it at the lower temp. my oven is preheating now. it's perfect timing for a 2-2.5 hr roasting time as it's 3:30 here in CA and we generally eat at 6pm.

THanks again!!!!!!
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:30 PM   #4
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I've settled on the high temperature roasting method of Barbara Kafka in her cookbook ROASTING.

She calls for cooking the chicken in a 500F oven!

Cut off the wing tips, place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan - no rack.

Place the chicken in the oven feet first. Near the bottom of the oven.

After 10 minutes, quickly open the oven and unstick the chicken from the pan. Continue to roast for a total of 40-45 minutes. Use a thermometer to check the temperature. It should be above 165-175 F in the breast and thigh.

Rest it, covered for 10 minutes and carve.

One caution. This method produces a lot of smoke. Have the vent hood going full blast and open a window.
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:47 PM   #5
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FSIS recommends cooking whole chicken to 180 °F as measured in the thigh using a food thermometer. For approximate cooking times to use in meal planning, see the following chart compiled from various resources.

APPROXIMATE CHICKEN COOKING TIMES
TYPE OF CHICKEN WEIGHT ROASTING
(350 °F) SIMMERING GRILLING
Whole broiler fryer+ 3 to 4 lbs. 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hrs. 60 to 75 min. 60 to 75 min*
Whole roasting hen+ 5 to 7 lbs. 2 to 2 1/4 hrs. 1 3/4 to 2 hrs. 18-25 min/lb*
Whole capon+ 4 to 8 lbs. 2 to 3 hrs Not suitable 15-20 min/lb*
Whole Cornish hens+ 18-24 oz. 50 to 60 min. 35 to 40 min. 45 to 55 min*
Breast halves, bone-in 6 to 8 oz. 30 to 40 min. 35 to 45 min. 10 - 15 min/side
Breast half, boneless 4 ounces 20 to 30 min. 25 to 30 min. 6 to 8 min/side
Legs or thighs 8 or 4 oz. 40 to 50 min. 40 to 50 min. 10 - 15 min/side
Drumsticks 4 ounces 35 to 45 min. 40 to 50 min. 8 to 12 min/side
Wings or wingettes 2 to 3 oz. 30 to 40 min. 35 to 45 min. 8 to 12 min/side

+ Unstuffed. If stuffed, add 15 to 30 minutes additional time.
* Indirect method using drip pan.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:12 PM   #6
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I roast a chicken for 20 minutes per pound of weight at 350°F. I roast my birds uncovered, and baste with the pan juices every 20 - 30 minutes. I have a lot of kids, so I usually try to get a 6# bird. As the little ones get bigger, I'm going to have to go to either two birds at once, or, a small turkey.

Edited to add:
I don't stuff my birds. If I want stuffing, I bake it in a separate pan. If you want to stuff your bird, you need to cook it until the stuffing IN THE BIRD reaches 180°F. This usually results in an overcooked bird, which is why I bake my dressing in a different pan.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:28 PM   #7
 
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Some good advice and tips coming out here, and all can benefit from the reading...

The bottom line on how long to cook has got to be based on a meat temperature probe (I love my digital!), as this is going to tell you absolutely when its "done" enough to take out of the oven.

I'll dispute, to a certain extent, Rainee's previous comment...

In my "training" the dark meat has to cook to 180 degrees, the white to 160 degrees.

Meat being cooked will continue cooking after its removed from the oven, (short of being doused in ice, as you would with shrimp) and it is quite safe to pull the chickens and turkeys when they are ten degrees below their target temperatures, as long as you leave them in the pan (and perhaps cover them with tinfoil) (get your meat probe in there and prove it to yourself, if you don't want to take it from me!) It follows that if you take it out of the oven at 180, and leave it to sit, waiting to carve, it will plainly overcook and be dry....

In order to avoid the issues of breast meat having to be cooked less than dark meat, read the "Thanksgiving Recipe" list for my explanation of "flipping the bird" (EEKS! take it literally, not figuratively!) as a technique to get really juicy white meat that is both delicious and of course perfectly safe to eat

There are a lot of lines on what temp to start your bird at, and 450-500 is not news to me...you pre-heat the oven, and turn it down after 20 minutes or so, as opposed the steady 325 heating/cooking that has become "conventional", but honestly, there's not a terrible lot of difference, especially compared with differing the recipe methods (beer butting, brining, etc...I'd really encourage an investment of 6 oz of Scotch in that soup can...the taste is indeed fantastic...

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Old 10-14-2004, 08:12 AM   #8
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My comments come the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Which I think says 180 for the thigh and 170 for the breast.
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Old 10-14-2004, 08:29 PM   #9
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The bacterial strains that cause us problems are killed at around 150 degrees. However, it takes much time at that temperature to do the job. To be safe, the white meat must achieve a temperature of 160' F. held for at least 15 minutes.

Unfortunately, when the white meat is raised above 165', the meat begins to dry and toughen. At 170, it's still edible, but not quite as good as it is at 165. The dark meat of course, having more natural oils in the flesh, remain more moist and tender at the higher temperatures. Also, the white meat cooks more rapidly than does the dark meat. It is less dense and requires care to avoid overcooking. I recomend the Alton Brown method of inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and pushing the tip close to the thigh joint, but not touching the bone. Spread your favorite seasonings, and a bit of oil onto the skin, cover the breast with aluminum foil, shiny side up, and placing onto a cooking rack. Insert the bierd into a 450 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Add 2 cups of turkey broth to the pan. Reduce the heat to 350 and cook until the thermometer reads 140 degrees. REmove the foil and cook until the thermometer reads 155. Remove from the oven and allow the bird to rest for twenty minutes. Cut the entire turkey breast from the carcass and slice against the meat grain. This makes the slices more tender and gives everyone an equal share of the skin. Your knive must be very sharp. Fan the slices out on a platter and spread the drumsticks, thighs, and wings around the white meat. Garnish with parsley, or kale.
Serve imediately and hot.

This method gives me the juciest and most tender turkeys I have ever made. I used to rely on the pop-up timers that go off at 180'. My turkeys were always dry.

For safety's sake, USDA has to recomend the high temp, to avoid lawsuits. But in reality, the meat is safe at 160 to 165.

Pork is now considered safe at 155.

If you butcher your own bird, you could even eat it rare as it's the critters that live in the colon that cause us all the problems - salmonella, e-coli, etc. If the colon and intestinal tract remain unbroken, and no feces touch the meat, there is no concern. But with the mechanical butchering and cleaning of comercial producers, there is no surety of unruptured colons.

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Old 10-16-2004, 09:54 AM   #10
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i would highly recommend a good meat thermometer, like one from wiliams sonoma. it has a probe on a long heat proof cord which is inserted into the bird, or roast, and plugs in to a counter top readout/control pad. it will give you the exact temp of the thickest part of the meat.
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Old 10-17-2004, 02:34 AM   #11
 
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The comments, as always "very interesting"...

Bearing in mind, of course, that I come from a country so cold that once I saw a lawyer with his hands in HIS OWN POCKETS, and you probably won't get sued to death as you seem to in the states, its germane to note that the Rare/medium/well done thing really applies only to beef, as pork and poultry cook out very differently...

My "instructor", a chef, butcher, buyer and teacher pointed out that in the fifty odd year "scare" about undercooked pork causing "trychicanosis" or whatever (I'm no speller!) there was not a single case in North America, and we've all been eating our pork well overdone and dry, which is indeed regrettable...

Its much the same with birds, and if you pull the bird from the oven, as I suggest, and insert your meat probe, cover with tinfoil (or not) you will observe the meat temp advancing at least ten degrees, which will explain a lot of dry turkeys, especially in white meat, where the bird is neither brined nor "flipped"...

Perhaps this is another instance where the USDA condemns Canada's Pharmecieutical industry until they lack a flu vaccine...and are now locked up on Dubya's policies as a result...noting very few of us die off from either our turkeys or our Health Care system...which indeed seems the envy of USA Democrats

I exist on the principle that "you only live once" but I'm living long...

Steak "Tartar" anyone?

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Old 10-18-2004, 10:54 AM   #12
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Thanks, everyone. Great advice.

The chicken came out amazing!. I cooked it at about 350deg for about 1.75 hrs and then at 450 for about 30 min. Juice, crisp on the outside.

I don't have a meat thermometer, but I do have an instant read thermometer that has guidelines for meat on the case. is it essential that I actually have a meat thermometer or will the regular instant read one suffice!

Thanks!
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:44 AM   #13
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The instant read will work, but every time you poke the bird, the juices will run out and into the pan, rendering the final product more dry. The "keep it in the cooking meat" type of thermometer will allow you to see at a glance how well the meat is done without letting out the juices.

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Old 10-19-2004, 12:58 AM   #14
 
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Six of one, a half dozen of the other Goodweed...

If you punch a hole through the skin, it leaks through the whole cooking process, if you do it late with the instant read, its probably only minutes...

I remain suspicious of the "keep it cooking" thermometers, I've no interest in how steel heats, but rather how meat heats...and those thermometers are darkly eyed with suspicion by this writer...

In fairness, both likely work, but the in place one will be that much more wonky...how many times does it get "cooked" before it fails?

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Old 10-19-2004, 11:51 AM   #15
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I'm with Andy M. on high heat roasting. 500 for the whole time.

Fantastic!!

Line the bottom of the roasting pan with thinly sliced potatoes (will absorb the fat) to avoid the smoke.
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Old 10-19-2004, 06:41 PM   #16
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Jenny - great idea with the potatoes! And good to 'see' you around!
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:33 PM   #17
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Lifter;

The meat thermometers, both instant read and keep in the meat, work by the same mechanism. That is true of both the digital thermometers and their analog counterparts. First, let me qualify my expertise in this field. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Lake Superior State University, with my senior sequence comprised of Control Systems.

Now, the digital thermometers work through an electronic componant known as a thyristor. The amount of current that passes through the componant is proportional to the temperature of its p-n junction. That is, the hotter it gets, the less resistance it has. The current is supplied by a battery, feeds through the thyristor, and powers a device (a transducer) that transforms the current into the digital numbers we see on the gauge. It is good for literally tens of thousands of cycles before breaking down. It is usually made of a silicon wafer doped with both positive ions on one side, and negative on the other, hence the p-n nomenclature.

The analog thermometers work on the priciple of material expansion/contraction characteristics relative to temperature. All materials expand and contract based on the ambient temperature of their surroundings. Metals tend to expand and contract rapidly due to there natural conductive properties. In the thermometer, two metals are joined together with welds to form what is know as a bi-metalic strip. The two metals have differing know expansion rates. As the strip is heated, one metal explands more rapidly than does the other, forcing the strip to bend at a predictable rate. The needle mechanism is spring loaded, with the end of the bi-metalic strip touching one side. The bending of the strip moves the end of the needle over the marks on the thermometer face. The thermometer is carefully calibrated at the place of manufacture to assure a reasonable degree of accuracy.

That same bi-metalic strip is what controlls many home furnace temerature controls, most toasters, toaster ovens, etc, and have a useful life of I don't know how many years. My furnace control is the bi-metalic strip type and has worked without fail in excess of thirty years now. I expect my toaster to last another ten years at least. The technology is very reiliable, if not quite as accurate as its digital cousins.

As for juice leakage, when the thermometer probe is inserted into the raw meat, there is virtually no pressure to cause fluid spillage. As the meat temperature rises, the outer surface heats first. The individual tissue cells swell, effectively sealing against the probe. There is very little fluid loss. A good way to check this is to examine the meat right around the probe. If the meat is clean, that is free of coagulated and cooked blood, then there has been little or no fluid loss. To prove this, pan fry a pice of meat. When the meat starts getting hot, poke it and immediately turn it so the pierced side is against the pan surface. You will notice that cooked blood darkens the pan surface and the meat around the pucture.

I tried the instant read thermometer along side my in the meat thermometer. I made the mistake of grilling with smoke without covering the glass of the stay-in thermometer and it became unreadable due to smoke stain. The roast was very juicy looking and I thought it should be done. When I poked it with the instant read thermometer, juices literally gushed out of the roast and fell into the fire. I lost much of the liquid that could have been used as a gravy base after carving.

Try it for yourself. Before I share my information, I make sure that I speak from experience and often, from the results of experimentation. I'm just that kind of guy. I have to know why things work as they do.

But I'm also the kind of guy, who when presented with a differing opinion, eagerly looks at the opposing point of view. That's often how I learn new things, and make my own knowledge base greater.

Now I can't really say that enough meat is lost, when poking with an instant read thermometer, to justify a great discussion on the topic. But then again, I'd just rather not take the chance. I don't like dry meat. I suspect that there isn't a great difference in end product though.

Oh, and know that I often respond to discussions this way. I am a scientific kind of guy. I have been so for as long as I can remember. But I am humble as well. I have much to learn in the world of cooking, and life in general.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North :D
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Old 10-20-2004, 12:11 AM   #18
 
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Neat, Goodweed!

I'm 25+ years into elevator control systems, and you don't need to explain a thyrister to me, let alone bi-metallic strips, and a quick read through of your synopsis says you are pretty close to the mark...

Of course, I have any number of observations on your dissertation, but its kind of late, and am at the end of a 13 hour work day, so would prefer to form a reply in a few days, on the same level...perhaps we should do this off the Board, as it could get technical, and bore most readers stiff, but whatever you think?

Best Regards

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Old 10-20-2004, 10:39 PM   #19
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Elevators - Lifter. Clever.

My email is *e-mail removed and I would love to discuss this topic with you. Let me know where I err. I'll either support my hypothesis and observations or not, depending on your input. In any case, it should be interesting and informative. I look forward to the idea exchange :D .

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Old 10-26-2008, 09:52 PM   #20
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roast chicken

I roast my chicken at 20 minutes per pound. I season the inside of the cavity with salt, pepper and onion powder. I then put a celery stalk cut into 3 parts into the cavity along with 1/3 cup margarine (I use one stick of marg. for the entire recipe) Under the skin of the bird I put 3 pads marg. I season the outside of the bird with the pepper, salt and onion powder and put the remaining marg. around the outside of the bird. My bird turns out moist everytime. I always use a meat thermometer! The high temp cooking method sounds interesting, I think I might give it a try.
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