Why are my chicken legs bloody?

Discussion in 'Grilling Chicken' started by rsnovi, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. Hello All,

    I tried some chicken legs on my PG500 pellet grill for the first time.  I cooked them indirect for about 30 minutes at 300 degrees and then moved them over to the charbroiler.  I check their temp when I moved them over to the charbroil and they were at 135 degrees.  I thought I actually left them too long on the charbroiler as they were 175 - 180 when I pulled them off the grill.

    I had to finish some burgers so I let them rest.  While resting red blood came running out of the legs.  I thought they were well past the done temp of 165, but they were bloody.

    They tasted like the best chicken I have ever cooked, but my guests and somewhat myself were hesitant to eat them because of the blood.

    Any ideas?
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Answer They were not done, Why? could be many different answers. 1st thing calibrate your thermometers to make sure they are right on. second  check your thermos again, At  175 - 180  at the thickest part of the meat and not touching the bone. there is no way they should still be bloody.
  3. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I agree with eman, I think something is out of calibration.  The only other explanation would be that the chicken cooked faster than the bone and you have some blood from the marrow...and that is a long shot. 
  4. If you checked the temp over the grate that could be your problem. The pg500 is so hot at grate it throes off temps. I pull things to zone 4 and let them sit a min before probing them
  5. Thanks for all the responses.

    I received a Thermapen for fathers day and it was the first time I used it.  I didn't test it with ice water or boiling water since I just read the calibration certificate, but maybe I should double check it.

    I did check the temperature with the meat while it was on the charbroiler, but again after I brought it in the house after seeing the blood.  Both readings were similar.  The meat was pulling away from the bone quite easily so I ate one leg.  I hope I don't get sick.
  6. dert

    dert Master of the Pit

    Was it fresh or frozen?

    Chickens are really young at harvest these days, 10-12 weeks. The bones have not fully calcified and will leak marrow, esp if they are brined and hit with high temp.

    Counter intuitive I know, but these frozen birds when cooked to "over done" will look bloody.
  7. I bought them from the butcher and froze them right away.  They were some meaty legs.  I just hit them with some salt and pepper.

  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  9. dert

    dert Master of the Pit

    Funny you cited that one, I've worked with Dr. Snyder here in Minneapolis.

    I have worked with Tyson on this same issue for our retail fried chicken program....
  10. Thanks for sharing. At least I feel better about eating it.
  11. inkncraig

    inkncraig Newbie

    What the main reason is. You cooked it indirect. And at to low a temp. The meat only absorbs the heat, but it really doesn't cook al the way through. Like the other guys said. It wasn't done. To avoid this again. I find that cooking over direct heat does the job the direct heat really penetrates the meat and burns up the blood. skin down for 10 and then flip and leave alone for another 40-50 minutes. I cook it about it 325. First time I made the mistake. We wouldn't even touch the dark meat.
    nygiant likes this.
  12. nygiant

    nygiant Smoke Blower

    Glad you guys posted this along with those pics. I did leg quarters a week or 2 ago. Cooked indirect for a little over an hour, can't remember temp, maybe 275. Took the temp on all the pieces at multiple points and got anything from 165 to 180.

    Got to the center near the bone while eating it and it looked EXACTLY like those pics. I almost through up. Dumped my whole plate in the trash and was mad the rest of the night. So disappointed and actually said I will not cook chicken again.

    Now that I read this thread I feel a lot better. I just could not see how it was raw at 180.

    Great thread and great info!
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Heat is heat whether indirect or not.... temp is temp.... read the link below.....

  14. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Interesting article Dave.  BUT, I can tell you true that this child won't be eating any chicken that's still bloody.

  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The article wasn't intended to make you eat "bloody" chicken... It was intended to explain why the meat "seems" bloody, yet is perfectly safe to eat...
    When our folks were growing up, there was no such chicken that weighed 6#'s or so at 5-6 weeks of age... all their chickens were eaten a 12-16 weeks of age...
    Cross breeding and feed improvement have made chicken affordable... along with that adjustment have to be made... if you want to make adjustments....
    I'm not promoting.... just providing facts....
  16. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

    I like how they state that we need to eat bloody chicken, like we do beef. But the beef I eat isn't bloody, even at medium rare. The red juice in my steak isn't blood but a mixture of water and a protein called myoglobin.
  17. inkncraig

    inkncraig Newbie

  18. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

  19. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All good advise .  I have one more suggestion . Start a "Log Book " of your cooks and record everything done , this will help you figure out what your problems

    are and you can adjust the technique on the next cook.

    Hope all this helps and ...
  20. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I noticed a similar thing last time I made firehouse chicken. It looked bloody but it was cooked & tasted good.

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