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Original Q, Issue #020 --doneness, pork, sauce, texas, reviews
July 01, 2009

Get Another Drink and Try Again

In the spirit of good BBQ we will strive for the best. Whether bought, borrowed, or stolen... we will tweak, adjust, and otherwise perfect existing BBQ recipes into Original-Q.

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Table of Contents

Recent Website Additions and Updates

*Is it Done Yet?
*BBQ Pork Recipes, the Southern Choice
*BBQ Sauce Recipes, Pick Your Style
*The Texan Barbeque
*BBQ Reviews

Editors Qs
*Hipshot answers reader's questions

BBQ questions only please. I don't know everything.

Recent Website Additions

Is it Done Yet?

Is it done yet? How can you tell when your meat is done? That's a tough question. You don't want to serve a steak that is underdone, and definitely not overcooked. So how can we tell?

Is it Done Yet?

BBQ Pork Recipes, the Southern Choice

BBQ pork recipes are found in use throughout the South. It has been that way since colonial times. Maybe that's why the Pilgrams had turkey for the first Thanksgiving. The pig wasn't done yet.

BBQ Pork Recipes, the Southern Choice

BBQ Sauce Recipes, Pick Your Style

BBQ sauce recipes come from different parts of the country in different styles. Pick your style and create your own BBQ sauce.

BBQ Sauce Recipes, Pick Your Style

The Texan Barbeque
101 N Main St.
Algonquin IL 60102

Absolutely the best ribs in the area!! Tradition in my house is to have their ribs every New Years Eve. They...

The Texan Barbeque

BBQ Reviews

Here is the place to submit your BBQ reviews. As simple as writing a letter. Just write it out and send it.

BBQ Reviews

Editor's Qs

Carol writes:

I boil my chicken before I put it on the grill. But I am finding out that it comes out dry and hard. What could be the reason for this? I boil it a little so that the time spent on the grill is shorter. Is this the wrong way to do it?


Thank you for the question!

I have never boiled a chicken before grilling it. So, I won't be a voice of experience on this one. But... let me give you my reasoning for not boiling.

Boiling a chicken creates a wonderful broth that is full of flavor. That flavor must come out of the chicken, thus leaving less flavor in the meat.

There is an advantage to this, though. The chicken is cooked before it's grilled (less time on the grill), and the risk of salmonella illness is greatly diminished.

I would never be so bold, though, as to tell you not to boil chicken before you grill it. Actually, that's the way a lot people do it. It's just my preference not to boil (avoid any flavor loss).

The only reason I know, that it might be turning out hard and dry, is that it gets overcooked. Somewhere throughout the combination of boiling and grilling, it dries out. That's one of the primary concerns of all grillers... keeping in the moisture.

Regardless of which way you go (boil or not boil), try making use of an instant read thermometer. A cooked chicken breast should read about 170 degrees. Some people even say that's too done.

Remember too, that the chicken's temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees after coming off the grill. So, take it off a little early and let it rest for a few minutes.

If you want to continue parboiling (pre-boiling), here is a more gentle way you might want to try. It should create a tender seasoned chicken for you. Just keep an eye on the temperature so you don't overcook it.

Fill a large pot 1/4 full of water and add the same amount of soy sauce. Add 1/4 cup sesame oil, and 1/2 cup rice wine. You can also add other seasonings as well if you would like. Bring it all to a boil. Add the chicken (whole, halves, or quarters) and bring it back to a boil. Then, turn off the burner. Cover the pot and let the chicken sit for about an hour.

Grill the chicken until it's mostly cooked, turning often. With 5 minutes or so cooking time left, brush with your favorite BBQ sauce. Once again, turn often. Use the instant read thermometer to help you determine when the chicken is done.

Good luck Carol. I hope this was helpful.

Carol's reply

Salmonella illness? - I never knew that could come from grilling. This is the first time I am hearing about this. Is this a factor people should consider before grilling? Do you have more information about salmonella and grilling?

And thank you for your advice....

Hello again,

Not to worry Carol. The danger of salmonella illness comes from the chicken, not the cooking process. That is a potential problem with raw chicken no matter how you decide to cook it.

Everything you've heard about salmonella and chicken still applies to grilling, just as it does cooking indoors. The main concern with chicken is safe handling procedures (to avoid cross contamination), and temperature. Bacteria can really thrive between temperatures of 45 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, salmonella and bacterial growth have nothing to do with grilling. The risk of food-borne illness is there whether you grill or fry the chicken.

That's why it's so important to use an instant read thermometer. The internal temperature of cooked chicken should be above 150 degrees (high enough to kill the bacteria) and less than 180 degrees (low enough to keep it from becoming too dry and tough to eat).

The Challenge Continues.

I don't want to give you the idea that I can't be stumped, but... let's see what happens.

BBQ questions only please. I don't know everything.

All the Best

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