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Unread 06-20-2011, 08:16 AM   #1
NOHENS
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Default WSM cook question?

O.k....still a newbie. I'm gonna cook for about 15 people and had a few questions? Gonna do whole chickens and a butt on my WSM 18.5. First off....how many butts for 15? Next....should the butt(s) go on the bottom rack since the chicken will finish first? I plan on putting fattys, moink balls, and peppers to fill in the empty holes as munchies? Thanks in advance fellers!
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Unread 06-20-2011, 08:29 AM   #2
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With chicken and other stuff you could probably get away with 1 butt depending upon how hungy people are. I'd make sure it was 10lbs or so. And put it on the bottom.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 08:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnbish View Post
With chicken and other stuff you could probably get away with 1 butt depending upon how hungy people are. I'd make sure it was 10lbs or so. And put it on the bottom.
I agree. 1 decent size butt would be fine w/ 2 chickens.
You would probably have to do the chickens standing upright; maybe considering beer can style.
I know when I spatchcock mine, they take up the entire cooking grate on my 18.5'' WSM.

Let us know how it turns out!
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Unread 06-20-2011, 09:02 AM   #4
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O.k. thanks guys. I was planning to do the chickens beer can style. About how long before I should check chicken temp. I know size matters...no pun...but a close idea? Thanks again!
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Unread 06-20-2011, 09:13 AM   #5
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Chickens will probably only take an hour or two. Then again I've never done a whole one on the WSM.
And you always want to put poultry on the bottom. You don't want the chicken dripping on your butt.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 09:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
Chickens will probably only take an hour or two. Then again I've never done a whole one on the WSM.
And you always want to put poultry on the bottom. You don't want the chicken dripping on your butt.
O.k.. Another question then. Sorry...I was thinking if the chicken would be done before the butt....I would'nt want the butt dripping on the chicken? since it won't be cooked completely when the chicken is finished? I don't mind putting the chicken on the bottom...its not that big of a deal to get off but????
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Unread 06-20-2011, 09:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Sexy View Post
I agree. 1 decent size butt would be fine w/ 2 chickens.
You would probably have to do the chickens standing upright; maybe considering beer can style.
I know when I spatchcock mine, they take up the entire cooking grate on my 18.5'' WSM.

Let us know how it turns out!
+1 on two spatchcocked chickens taking up the ENTIRE top grate area on mine too. Just did two yesterday. But boy were they good!!!

Oh, and the two I did took exactly 2 hours running dome temp of 260-270 using RO Lump.

I am thinking I may be able to get 3 whole chickens on one grate, however! May have to give that a try next.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 10:46 AM   #8
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I would cook the butt first, then the chickens. The butt needs to rest at least 30 minutes before pulling anyway and will keep for 5-6 hours in a cooler wrapped in heavy duty foil and towels. Take it off 2-4 hours before you plan to eat to give you time to cook the chickens.

When I'm cooking for crowds, I figure 1 butt for every 10-15 people depending on what else is being served. I would cook 4 chickens, 1 for every 4 people. Easily done on the WSM with 2 on each grate.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 10:58 AM   #9
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A 10 lb butt will take up to 12-14 hours if you're cooking it low and slow. I'm not sure how long if you cook it fast and hot, but I believe I've heard in the 5-6 hour range.

If you plan on serving the butt and chicken to your guests at the same time, I would time the butt to be about done a few hours before the ideal time you want to eat. When it's done, let it rest 15 minutes or so, then wrap in foil or butcher paper, and put it in a clean cooler. It should stay warm for at least 2-4 hours, longer if you add extra insulation

Then you'll have room on your bullet to do either 2 spatchcock birds, or both birds on the top rack beercan style, and no cross contamination worries at all!

Edit: looks like gnbiker beat me to the puch!
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Unread 06-20-2011, 10:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOHENS View Post
O.k.. Another question then. Sorry...I was thinking if the chicken would be done before the butt....I would'nt want the butt dripping on the chicken?
If you are trying to time it so both butt and birds are done at the same time, the butts will be almost done when you put the bird on. you don't want raw poultry juice dripping on your butts. The grease from the butts will "marinate" your birds as they cook.

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Originally Posted by qnbiker View Post
I would cook the butt first, then the chickens. The butt needs to rest at least 30 minutes before pulling anyway and will keep for 5-6 hours in a cooler wrapped in heavy duty foil and towels. Take it off 2-4 hours before you plan to eat to give you time to cook the chickens.
And there is your answer!
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Unread 06-20-2011, 11:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
If you are trying to time it so both butt and birds are done at the same time, the butts will be almost done when you put the bird on. you don't want raw poultry juice dripping on your butts. The grease from the butts will "marinate" your birds as they cook.

And there is your answer!
THATS why I came here! You guys are a huge help!!! Thanks...and wish you could join us!
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Unread 06-20-2011, 11:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoke&Smoke View Post
A 10 lb butt will take up to 12-14 hours if you're cooking it low and slow. I'm not sure how long if you cook it fast and hot, but I believe I've heard in the 5-6 hour range.

If you plan on serving the butt and chicken to your guests at the same time, I would time the butt to be about done a few hours before the ideal time you want to eat. When it's done, let it rest 15 minutes or so, then wrap in foil or butcher paper, and put it in a clean cooler. It should stay warm for at least 2-4 hours, longer if you add extra insulation

Then you'll have room on your bullet to do either 2 spatchcock birds, or both birds on the top rack beercan style, and no cross contamination worries at all!

Edit: looks like gnbiker beat me to the puch!
I just cooked a 7.5lb butt and it took 17 hours! As I just learned the hard way give yourself more than plenty time for a butt See: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=109155
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Unread 06-20-2011, 11:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qnbiker View Post
I would cook the butt first, then the chickens. The butt needs to rest at least 30 minutes before pulling anyway and will keep for 5-6 hours in a cooler wrapped in heavy duty foil and towels. Take it off 2-4 hours before you plan to eat to give you time to cook the chickens.
That is how I would do it too. It has been a while since I've done a whole chicken, so I don't remember the timing. I always spatchcock them. Chicken doesn't benefit from low and slow, and in fact I think is better with higher heat. I would go for 300 - 350* for the chicken. I think a simple brine really helps with moistness and flavor. But, remember to let the chicken dry out in the fridge for a couple of hours to help get crispy skin.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 11:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMROCKS View Post
I just cooked a 7.5lb butt and it took 17 hours! As I just learned the hard way give yourself more than plenty time for a butt See: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=109155
Good point AMROCKS, although I have to say I usually do 9-10lb butts and about 16 hours is the longest I've ever had one take. In competitions, I try to get mine into the pit between 6 and 7 PM. That gives me plenty of time to have them done and rested for 11:30 AM turn-in the next day
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Unread 06-20-2011, 12:56 PM   #15
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I would also recommend cutting the chickens in half since it cooks faster and is easier to serve (MEANING less time and effort spent after the smoke so you can focus on guests and eating). I would also do as suggested above and aim to have the pork done 2-4hrs early so you can do the chickens on the top rack as the pork rests in a cooler.

One other note: I would do TWO pork butts since you can EASILY fit them on one grate. I always try to use most of my grate since I am already burning the charcoal and wood I might as well make the most of it. Worst case scenario you have left overs to give to guests OR keep for lunch during the week
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