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Mistakes When Grilling Broilers

Here are some common mistakes and an explanation of how to correct each of them.

Fire too hot -- Broilers must be cooked on a low to medium heat to prevent burning. Normally, when cooking fewer than six halves, allow one pound of charcoal to cook each chicken half. Use only one layer of coals. The coals should touch each other and should cover an area a little larger than the area covered by the broilers being grilled. Occasionally, in covered grills, a few coals need to be added as a partial second layer. The heat is controlled in a covered grill by adjusting the air vents in the bottom and top of the grill. Keep these vents about three-fourths to fully open during the latter part of the grilling. Gas grills usually have to be set on low to grill broilers, and electric grills should be set on about 300o to 350o Fahrenheit.

Trying to cook too quickly -- Unlike steak and pork chops that can be grilled in 10 to 20 minutes, broilers require a grilling time of at least 1 and one-half hours under near ideal conditions. If you have trouble keeping a good fire, the cooking time can require 2 hours.

Using a tomato basting sauce -- Nearly all commercially prepared barbecue sauces have a tomato or ketchup-like base. Using such products while grilling broilers almost always results in burning and a poorly finished product. If you insist on using the tomato-based barbecue sauce, baste the broilers with only cooking oil during the first three-fourths of the cooking period, while the coals are hottest. Then mix a little oil with the barbecue sauce for the last 30 minutes of cooking, after the heat has subsided. This helps prevent burning.

Having the grill rack too near the fire -- With open top grills, the greater the distance the chicken is from the fire, up to 18-inches, the better. A distance of only 6 to 10-inches may be possible with small grills. Unless the fire decreases considerably, keep the grill rack at the highest setting throughout the cooking period. With closed top grills, 5 to 10-inches between the fire and grill rack is adequate, because the heat is easier to control.

Not using enough salt -- Broilers readily take up seasoning, and salt is one of the main seasonings. Salt the broiler halves thoroughly before cooking by opening the spout on the salt box and sprinkling salt over the moist broiler half. Use approximately one tablespoon of salt per half. Salt the broiler halves until you are sure you have used too much, and you may have enough. Most of the salt washes off during cooking. If you elect not to salt the broilers before grilling, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of salt, depending on the salt content of the ingredients, to the recipes shown later. Heat and stir the mixture until the salt is dissolved.

Refer to the publication Grilling Mississippi Broilers for additional information on the cooking of broilers on an outdoor grill.

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Dressed in a pink T-shirt and blue jeans, broiler grower Teresa Dyess stands next to two wagon wheels in front of a barn on her family farm.
Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Poultry October 20, 2017

In three days, Teresa Dyess shifted her business focus from produce to poultry.

The change began two years ago with an offhand remark from her husband, Joe Dyess.

 “He told a broiler grower in Wayne County we wouldn’t mind building pullet houses because we wanted to diversify our farm,” she said. “We didn’t think any more about it, and then the next day a poultry processor called and offered us a contract. A banker came the next day, and everything fell into place.”

Lanette Crocker, coordinator for the MSU Extension Service in Wayne County, said Teresa Dyess’ adaptability has helped her maintain success through the farm’s transition.

Hen flock inventories grew after the poultry industry recovered from the 2015 avian influenza outbreak, increasing the number of eggs on the market and driving down the price. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
Filed Under: Poultry August 4, 2017

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi's poultry industry remains healthy with a strong demand for broilers and a positive outlook for the remainder of 2017.

Filed Under: Avian Flu March 30, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All Mississippians who raise any species of poultry are being urged to follow strict biosecurity practices and review new requirements regarding sales and exhibitions.

Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that while avian influenza is not a threat to human health or food safety, an outbreak would endanger backyard flocks and the state’s nearly $3 billion commercial poultry industry.

Choosing the right breed of chickens for a backyard flock is an important decision. From left, Tripp, Luna and Charlie Sanders examine chicks for sale March 8, 2017, in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
Filed Under: Poultry March 16, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Families willing to host a flock of feathered friends reap the benefits of fresh eggs delivered daily just outside the door.

What started several years ago as an underground "urban chicken" movement has become much more common and widely accepted. Today, raising backyard chickens has gained popularity nationwide, boosted by interest in locally grown foods that avoid the energy use and carbon emissions typically associated with transporting food.

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