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Old 07-17-2006, 05:34 PM   #1
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Grilling and Convection

I was cooking at a church bazaar this weekend where the chicken (which marinated for a couple of days in a teriyaki type marinade) were grilled over medium heat charcoal for about 20 minutes, then put into a convection oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. The meat cooked to about 170+ temps and then were kept warm, then cut up for serving. Some feedback I got from customers was that the meat came out a little dry.

My thinking would be to insert the raw marinated chickens into the convection over FIRST over a lower heat for a period of time (~30 min?), then finish off on the charcoal grill. (my overall preference would have been to simply slow cook over the charcoals and ditch the convection oven).

Wanted to get other people's take on if they have cooked with convection oven and grilling and how they have this technique to work best.

Thanks in advance!


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Old 07-17-2006, 06:07 PM   #2
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I cook chicken breasts (bone in and skin on) completely on the grill. I get the skin crisp over high heat and cook the meat through over indirect heat at about 400F on the grill.

If you're doing whole chickens, it will take longer. Maybe a two-stage process with cooking them through in the oven and finishing on the grill is the best way to go for timing and logistics.
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Old 07-17-2006, 06:43 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply Andy

I forgot to mention that we were cooking up about 400 whole chickens. I am with you in that I prefer to cook 100% over indirect heat as a preference. It just seemed odd to me to go from grill to oven than the other way around. Thanks again! Carey
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:08 PM   #4
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Actually, smoke is water soluble ... so grilling before baking (when the meat is the moistest and before the proteins on the surface begin to denature) will get more smoke flavor into the meat. Also, by smoking the birds first - you have more control over timing the "doness" - since you're trying to reach a certain end temp.

The meat being dry was probably a combination of factors: if the birds were cooked whole vs halved (halved will cook more evenly), where the temp was taken (breast or thigh), and how long and at what temp they were held.
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Old 07-17-2006, 10:01 PM   #5
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The problem was that you cooked the chicken too long. Poultry needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. At 170-plus, the chicken is already overcooked. Factor in the holding time and carryover cooking, that chicken was simply exposed to heat for too long. Next time, take the chicken out when the internal temp. reaches 165 F. Also, besides the marinade, make a teriyaki glaze or sauce that you can pour over the chicken once it's cut up and ready to serve. This will also add moisture to the meat and hide some of the dryness.
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