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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 05-15-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
CarlWayne
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Default Smoked a few whole chickens in the past couple of months.

Almost all of them were very fatty and unpleasent. I have bought different brands and still the same thing. Is there any way of choosing a bird with less fat? Sorry im still new to this.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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My rule for smoking birds... BRINE FIRST ALWAYS!!! The best smoked/grilled birds have always been some organic free range bird we got from a local farm... But the others aren't too bad... except when I had the steam propane smoker... (rubbery skin)
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Unread 05-15-2012, 11:22 PM   #3
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I've had really good luck with the purdue "extra meaty" birds in the green and yellow wrapper if you can find them.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 12:08 AM   #4
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I wonder about your process. All chickens have a fair amount of fat. Even the pasture raised ones that I buy. You have to cook them at either a high enough heat, or long enough cook, to get them done right. Brining is a good technique to insure a moist bird.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 12:57 AM   #5
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Sounds like you are not cooking them hot enough. I cook mine at around 300 degrees until the thigh is about 165 or so. Most chickens are fatty, so you need to cook them hot and fast to render the fat and get that good crusty skin.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 06:00 AM   #6
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Yep, like others have said. High heat is key with chicken fryers. I'm talking 325-350 degrees here, at least that's what I cook mine at.

Then I might even towards the end of the cook move them down closer to the coals, allowing the skin to crisp up even more.

You can cook them low and slow, but it takes longer, when I cook mine high heat we're talking like an hour and a half, two hours maybe, and they're generally done. I haven't done any in about a year now, but I just got four from Sam's Club I'm actually gonna do in an hour or so.

When it's low and slow, the "rubber chicken" skin might be there, but you can also get around this by searing the skin closer to the coals towards the end of the cook.

I do highly suggest high heat cooking on the fryers though, definitely my favorite.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 08:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retired trucker View Post
Sounds like you are not cooking them hot enough. I cook mine at around 300 degrees until the thigh is about 165 or so. Most chickens are fatty, so you need to cook them hot and fast to render the fat and get that good crusty skin.

Completely agree!
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Unread 05-16-2012, 08:32 AM   #8
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I'm starting to believe chickens don't smoke well. The skin restricts the smoke from flavoring the meat- unless cooked high the skin will be rubbery. Even with beer can chicken the meat is moist but mostly flavorless. The best way to prepare chicken is indirect on the grill and then crisp the skin at the end IMO.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 09:13 AM   #9
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I did a beer can chicken with root beer and I thought it was moist and very flavorful. I also have heard people using grape or orange soda or even like whiskey and coke for a different flavor.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 09:21 AM   #10
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Beer can chicken with some aromatics along with your liquid of choice in the "can" cooked at 325+ turns out an amazing bird in my opinion.

I usually use pecan when smoking chicken.

As others have mentioned you definitely want some heat to get everything to render properly.

If I am going for crispy skin I will either kick it up to 400+ at the end or finish over a direct fire. Rub a little canola oil or even better, butter onto the skin and that will also help crisp it up nicely.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 09:32 AM   #11
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Call me crazy.... I prefer to skin & remove most all the fat. Then brine for at least 6 hours. Pat dry and rub with EVOO and S&P (maybe a bit of celery seed and/or cilantro) and then on the grill/smoker ~300F with a bit of apple or cherry. The bird picks up plenty of smoke. Prolly 'cause the skin isn't in the way... Cheers!!!
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Unread 05-16-2012, 09:38 AM   #12
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I'm having so so results with my BBQ Cornell Chicken as well. The recipe calls for halving the birds, but we simply spatchcock them for the grill. I am going to try a different tactic now. We will do the marinade, then spatchcock. But I will smoke them for one hour at 200F or so. Then I will kick the charcoal grill up to 300F to 350F range and finish them. Spatchcocked, the chicken tends to lose fat easily and cook quickly.

We also trim some of the fat off the bird, particularly around the tail end. The birds here are not as big as the ones in the States, but the fat ratio seems about the same.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 11:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamiltont View Post
Call me crazy.... I prefer to skin & remove most all the fat. Then brine for at least 6 hours. Pat dry and rub with EVOO and S&P (maybe a bit of celery seed and/or cilantro) and then on the grill/smoker ~300F with a bit of apple or cherry. The bird picks up plenty of smoke. Prolly 'cause the skin isn't in the way... Cheers!!!
That's what I've been thinking of doing.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 11:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatoosh View Post
I'm having so so results with my BBQ Cornell Chicken as well.
My experiment with cornell cx produced a bland bird. Must be hype. Try roadside cx instead.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 11:26 AM   #15
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Beer can is a myth, spatchcock em and enjoy. 225 degrees, bone down and go to town. I don't brine small birds like chickies.
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