In this recipe, kids will learn how to “pull” (or shred) chicken and toss it with a sweet and tangy sauce for an (indoor) BBQ dinner—no grill required! Kids will learn about temperature and practice using a thermometer to make sure their chicken is perfectly cooked. Serve these sandwiches with pickle chips, coleslaw, lettuce, and/or sliced avocado!
[GET THE RECIPE]
What You’ll Need
½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
¾ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
Share with kids that temperature is a measurement of how hot something is. Our bodies can feel when something is hot or cold (for example, you can feel a cold drink in a glass in your hand or warm air on your face when you go outside), but to measure exactly how hot or cold something is, you need to use a tool called a thermometer. Most thermometers have a probe on one end (usually a skinny part with metal on the tip), and a way to read numbers on the other end (sometimes on a number line or dial, and sometimes on a digital display). Higher numbers mean something is hotter, and lower numbers mean something is colder. In the United States, the Fahrenheit scale is most often used to measure temperature, and in other parts of the world, the Celsius scale is used. Ask kids:
- Can they think of times when they’ve used or seen a thermometer before? (Examples include: in cooking, at the doctor’s office, when checking the weather outside)
- Do they know which temperature scale (Fahrenheit or Celsius) is used to measure temperature where they live?
Tell kids that temperature plays an important role in cooking. In this recipe, heat is added to the chicken to cook it. Eating raw or undercooked chicken breasts can make you sick. To make chicken safe to eat, you need to cook it to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Help kids to use a thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken in step 4 of the recipe.
To learn more about temperature and to give kids an opportunity to practice using a thermometer, challenge them to measure the temperature of other items around the kitchen, such as:
- Cold, warm, and hot running water from the faucet
- Milk or juice straight from the refrigerator
- Water with ice cubes in it
- Ice cream or frozen yogurt in the freezer
Just make sure to clean your thermometer probe in between each use—no one wants ice cream in their orange juice!
Take It Further
Social Studies (Regions of the United States):
Depending on what state or region of the United States you’re visiting, you’ll likely see different barbecue sauces—and different cuts and cooking methods of barbecued meats. Some styles of barbecue sauce, like the one you’ll find in Kansas City, are thick, sweet, and tangy. Others feature mustard (South Carolina) or vinegar (Eastern North Carolina) as main ingredients. Kids can check out this video to learn about different styles of barbecue—and barbecue sauce—from 10 different states.