Pink Chicken!

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Pink Chicken!

Postby dannysmith43 » 07 Sep 2015, 11:58

Hello,

After a bit of advice please...

Came accross this a couple of times recently and wondered if it's a familiar site. I always ensure my chicken is cooked through when doing thighs, legs and wings. I know how long roughly stuff needs to be cooked on the BBQ (with experience). The last couple of times I've found the chicken meat to have a pinkish tint to it. Oddly enough, it's more on the outside, rather on the inside, this is when NOT smoking btw the way.

So I usually do the wings, thighs and legs indirect for bout 40 minutes. Get the grill to 350f-400f and turn them after 20 minutes. Once that's done, I'll give them a 5 minute sear on side to crisp up the skin and bottom.

I've even been sticking the Thermopop in and check them, so I know they're 170-180f internally (difficult with the smaller pieces). The only thing I think could have create the pinkishness is that they were marinated in garlic, salt pepper and rosemary. When I stuck them on the grill, I threw the rosemary into the fire to try and extract the flavour...only little bit. Would like cause a "smoke ring" type effect on the chicken?

40 minutes at 350f must be cooking them through right?!

Thanks for looking!

Danny
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Re: Pink Chicken!

Postby JEC » 07 Sep 2015, 15:45

If it's at temperature and the pink is on the outside it's likely to be from the smoke from your fuel and any extra bits you add to create smoke.
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Re: Pink Chicken!

Postby Toby » 07 Sep 2015, 18:57

Agree with JEC, sounds like smoke from the charcoal or other fuel you are using. As long as you probe in a couple of places and its reads high there wouldnt be a problem
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Re: Pink Chicken!

Postby essexsmoker » 07 Sep 2015, 19:36

I have a smoke ring on my chicken all the time. I smoke it but you can get the ring from the fuel especially if fat drips down.
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Re: Pink Chicken!

Postby aris » 07 Sep 2015, 20:50

Any nitrites or nitrates near your marinade? I.e. From bacon or other cured meat? Nitrate contamination could cause this too, but most probably a smoke ring as has been said.
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Re: Pink Chicken!

Postby wade » 08 Sep 2015, 13:33

You mention cooking time several times. You cannot really tell when chicken is done simply by time as it will depend on a lot of variables - including the initial temperature of the chicken, its size and also whether it is whole, spatchcocked or portioned. By specifying a time then, yes you may be lucky and cook it to perfection, however you are more likely to over or under cook it. You really need to get out your trusty instant read digital thermometer to determine when it is done. So long as all parts of the chicken get up to at least 74 C it is done (though I usually take mine up to 80 C). Even when cooked to a safe temperature you can still get some pinkness apparent in the deep joints.

As has been said above, you can also sometimes get pinkish tinge to the flesh as a result of the rub and the smoke. So long as the meat has reached the safe cooking temperature this is not a problem.

Once you get into the habit of cooking by temperature and not by time you will be amazed how consistent your cooking suddenly becomes.
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Re: Pink Chicken!

Postby dannysmith43 » 08 Sep 2015, 14:01

Thanks for the responses.
I guess that anything that generates smoke (cooking fuel, the rosemary) created the pinkness on the outside. I had the left overs for lunch yesterday I am still alive, so I'm sure your all correct!
It was just weird, because I know when I smoke to expect the "smoke ring" but when I don't I've always had white chicken.
I do love my Thermopop but I find hard to get a good reading from the small chicken wings! I also tend to following 40 minutes indirect / 5 minutes grilling for pieces (wing, thighs and legs) @ 350f and it's usually spot on. Should really trust my instincts more!
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Re: Pink Chicken!

Postby aris » 08 Sep 2015, 17:00

You can also get some pinkness around the bone when the chicken has been previously frozen. Not sure of the science behind it, but the chicken may well be cooked and safe, but when you cut into it the bit near the bone is blood red. I prefer to use fresh chicken for BBQ.
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Re: Pink Chicken!

Postby slemps » 09 Sep 2015, 08:19

What you are seeing is indeed what we call the 'smoke ring'. However, you don't actually need any smoke for it to form.

It is the reaction of myoglobin in the meat with gasses produced during combustion (but not the smoke).

See detailed info here:

http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_techniq ... _ring.html

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Re: Pink Chicken!

Postby QueFrescoPaul » 10 Sep 2015, 08:50

The smoke ring is one answer. The other is down to modern farming methods as explain in Myth #1 below:-

Myth #1 - "Chicken is done when the juices run clear"

No longer true. We consume so much chicken these days, it is intensively reared and it saddens me to say that in many cases these birds are fattened up before their bone structures are properly formed. Some of these chickens never walk in their short life-time.

For the same reason, when cooking, blood can seep out of the poorly formed bones and taint the meat. Your chicken could be perfectly cooked despite there still being traces of blood so if you're not using a BBQ thermometer you could be completely over-cooking your bird.

Use a free range bird however and your chicken should have well calcified bones.


After that...get a thermapen and probe near the bone. Look for 75C and then there's no argument
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