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Thermometer placement for stuffed meats

ChanningJohnson Posts: 40
edited January 2012 in Poultry
So, I did Pepin's deboned chicken. Everything went well until I took it off and realized I overcooked it. I used my wireless thermometer and put the probe in the stuffing, in the middle of the whole roll of chicken. I was curious before I started how accurate this would be. The meat is on the outside, of course, and I was worried that would be done before my temperature registered my target temp in the middle. But since the stuffing is covered in chicken juices I figured you would want that at a safe consumption temperature, too. 

I cooked indirect, legs up on a well-preheated plate setter with a drip pan below at 350 degrees. The breast was up and the stuffing side was down.

Anyways, I pulled at 161 (expecting it to go to 165 while resting) and although I've had worse, the chicken was definitely way too dry. I stuck my thermapen in different parts of the chicken after dinner and was still getting temperatures from 170 in the legs to at least 165 in the breast. I stuffed the bird with sauteed spinach and mozarella, so I was wondering if there was any chance that a piece of mozeralla melted at the end of the probe where the fat in the cheese could insulate it from the high temperatures in the rest of the bird. Or was I putting the probe in the wrong place all together. I should have double checked it in multiple places with thermapen after an hour to get a better idea. 

I would love to get some thoughts on this before I try the deboned chicken again or stuffed loin or anything else. The thermometer seems to work fine. And I've done beer-butt chicken and even boneless, skinless chicken breast and they've been perfect and delicious every time using the same probe. Except this time.


  • Squeezy
    Squeezy Posts: 1,102
    edited January 2012

    Odd that no one chimed in ... have never tried anything like that, so am unable to comment with conviction.

    Perhaps someone has thoughts on this ....?

    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ... BGE Lg.
  • Little Steven
    Little Steven Posts: 28,817
    I don't know either. Your probe placement was correct, you want 165 in the stuffing cause the cold chicken liquids leach in. Lower temp might help. It wasn't free range was it?


    Caledon, ON


  • burr_baby33

    I have done about 5 Pepin deboned chickens.  Never had a dry problem.  I love the recipe and have used a few different stuffings, always moist.  I cook until I get 160 in breast and 180 in legs.  When I check the area where the stuffing is, that temp is same as meat.  Little Steven might have hit on it...free range.  Mine were not.This is my favorite chicken recipe.  The deboning is very easy if you follow Pepin step by step.  I'm going to do one tomorrow, love it.

    Recommend you do another one.  I think you will get a good result, use LS's suggestion, no free range.

  • ChanningJohnson
    Thanks, everyone! The chicken wasn't free range, but I'll try again. I'll choose a stuffing without cheese just to see if that makes a difference. And I'll certainly be checking it with the thermapen earlier in the cook to get a few different readings in the bird.