Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 28, 2012 02:44 PM

Need help placing meat thermometer in chicken

Please bear with me as I am very new to this. I've been trying to bake chicken using a meat thermometer. I have tried breast, thigh, and drumstick, all with bones in. I have a leave-in-the-oven thermometer that I put in the bird before it goes in the oven. Sometimes this turns out to be fine, other times the chicken is raw in the middle. I cook to 165-170 or more, since I've been having problems, and I still get raw.

I suspect I am putting the thermometer in wrong. I try to put it through the thickest part of the meat, down to the bone, then pull up a little bit. At this point, I can't find anything that describes how to do this properly. A photo would be a godsend.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You need to insert it parallel to the skin, not perpendicular. So for the breast, insert near the wishbone and aim toward the butt, going in usually a couple of inches, not beyond the thickest part of the breast. For the dark meat, go into the thigh, parallel to the thigh bone from the "knee" toward the "hip". In no case should the thermometer touch the bone.

    In addition to the meat thermometer, you should have an oven thermometer too. Well worth the cost, which should be under $10. Mine's brand is CDN, I think. It sits on or hangs from the rack, or sticks to the oven wall with its magnet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious

      Thanks a bunch. I'll try the oven thermometer, too. My apartment has an old oven with no window.

    2. If you got it at Williams Sonoma take it back- they're crap. One of those thermometers caused the only 2 times I have ever overcooked a chicken.

      I was taught to twist the end of the leg, when it comes loose it's ready.

      1 Reply
      1. re: weezieduzzit

        Maybe I need the kind that overcooks it. I have a Taylor. Not fancy, but I tested it with boiling water.

      2. Three more things:

        One, calibrate your probe thermometer using ice water. It should read 32 degrees F, +/- 1 degree.

        Two, if you're temping in the breast, cook to 150 degrees F. Carryover will take it to about 155 degrees F, which is perfectly safe to eat and will yield much juicier, better textured breast meat.

        Three, if you're ever in the market for another probe thermometer, consider the ThermoWorks probe thermometer. It is super accurate and very reliable. It's the best one out there and it's only $24. Actually, right now they're on sale for only $19, or $16 if you buy two or more.