Maverick probe placement

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by thesmayway, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. thesmayway

    thesmayway Fire Starter

    I smoked a chicken quarter tonight as a trial run for family vacation. I can't seem to get probe placement right on chicken. When I can just about bury the probe in a brisken or butt it works great. On stuff like chicken thighs and now this quarter I am not getting a good reading. Is the only good way with a small bone in piece of meat to use an instant check thermometer? If you've had success with a maverick wireless where do you put it and how far do you need to go in to get a reading that is not picking up the smoker internal temp?

  2. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I typically do not use my Maverick for Chickens.  But if you do you will want to run the probe at an angle into the breast so that the tip is about 3/4 of the way through but not touching the bone.

    I do highly recommend Spatchcocking the Chicken first, your chicken will cook much more evenly.

    Good luck and Smoke ON!

    - Jason
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Either into the thickest part of the breast or where the thigh is the thickest between the thigh & breast.

    I usually go in at an angle, starting about halfway down the breast & pushing it into the thick part toward the neck.

    Just imagine what the breast looks like when you take it off the bone.

    In the middle of the thickest part is where you want the probe.

  4. thesmayway

    thesmayway Fire Starter

    What about on leg quarters that are drum and thigh only? How far does that probe need to be in to only pick up meat temp and not smoker temp?

    Sounds like an instant read might be the better option

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
  5. I've just about quit using my Mavericks, primarily because the setup on the new one is such a PITA, but more so because I'm now doing most smoking on a Weber Performer using a Vortex. The built-in thermo on the Weber give me a good indicator as to CC temp and a Thermopop gives me great readings on anything I'm smoking.

    I don't try to use thermos with chicken or pork ribs because I can't get what I consider trustworthy readings. As I've gained more experience, I find that I can get a pretty good feel for how well they are done by touching or holding them with tongs. If I am uncertain, I will use the Thermopop to probe and get readings.
  6. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    If the breast is done, the thighs should be done.  If you are only cooking thighs and legs, you want to follow the same advice as above, to insert and an angle into the thickest part.  Legs....yeah use an instant read.

    Smoke ON!

    - Jason
  7. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I use Thermapen  with chicken, steaks & brats.  Quick and accurate,  You can check a couple of different places, and still not lose much juice from meat.

    Especially with small pieces of meat, like chicken, that MAY have not all cooked the same.  I'll check every piece of my chicken and fresh sausage, like brats, in multiple places,  before deciding on doneness. 

    Now... I only do the multiple probing at "the end of cook".   No sense in poking holes in too early or too often..
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  8. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    I too only use my Maverick on some foods, mostly big pieces of beef and pork. Chicken -- whether cooked in a smoker or in some more conventional cooker -- is tough to temp, no matter what method because of the heat conduction of the bone, and the relatively short distance from outside to inside.

    I therefore totally agree that the Thermapen is the way to go, because you can feel if you've hit a bone, and you can work it in and out a little bit and watch the temperature change. Yes, you do have to open up the smoker and you lose some heat and smoke, but smoking cooks so slowly that it you "overcook" a little, you'll hardly notice it.

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