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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 09-01-2012, 06:46 AM   #1
toddu
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Default Attempting first chicken

Several chickens actually. Picked up some Plowboys Yardbird yesterday. But, looking for some suggestions. I was planning on either buying split chickens, or spatchcock myself. I've seen mention of lifting the skin and putting rub under there, then put skin back. Makes sense (don't eat the skin), but is that the general consensus?

I know I need a higher temp too. 300? To what internal temp?

Have about 10 people comming over.

Thanks!!!
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Unread 09-01-2012, 07:01 AM   #2
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Keep your temp above 300 for any chance of good skin. Having a rub/seasoning with a fair amount of salt on the skin along with a little olive oil or butter also help with crisp skin.

Lately I've been cooking without the skin and putting the rub/oil directly on the meat. It makes for tasty meat, but chicken just isn't the same without that skin. Using your fingers to get rub/oil under the skin is a good idea.

Also, injecting seems to be a great trick too. I tries that for the first time last night and had great results.

Look for breast temps to be about 165 without an injection. You can go up to about 170 - maybe a bit higher - with an injection. At 300* in the pit, expect it to take about 90 minutes, but internal temps are the important part.

Good luck! Post some pron if time allows!


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Unread 09-01-2012, 08:22 AM   #3
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Brining would be the best but since you are cooking today, I assume for lunch, you don't have time.
I would cut out the backbone and inject each chicken. Make a herb butter with basil and parsley and rub under the skin. Olive oil on the entire chicken, then salt and whatever rub you use.
I usually cook at 275 until the breast temp is 165. I don't eat the skin unless the chicken is fried but if you want crispy skin, increase your cooker temp to 350 during the last 15 minutes of cooking or place them under a broiler for a few minutes.
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Unread 09-01-2012, 08:50 AM   #4
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loved mine deboned and put at about 350 til done ...

havent tried spatchcock yet but might one day

i vote only fruit wood .. hickory/mesquite to me isnt as good on chicken
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Unread 09-01-2012, 09:38 AM   #5
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I've been shooting for temps of 325-350 for my chicken. I really like the Yardbird rub and a little apple wood smoke.
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Unread 09-01-2012, 10:44 AM   #6
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I'll second the vote on fruitwood... apple is great on a bird. As for internal temps, I've been getting great results taking the breast to 160 degrees, while it rests after you pull it, it should come up about five more to that "165=safe-to-eat" zone. I usually stick to about 275 in the UDS but I agree with others if you want edible skin better go at least 300. Putting the seasonings under the skin's a great way to go, and don't forget that rosemary and sage really compliment chicken. Good luck and don't forget to take pron pictures!
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Unread 09-01-2012, 11:43 AM   #7
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I have the hardest time getting my chicken skin crispy. I use a vertical roaster, separate the skin before cooking, oil and salt the bird. I cook around 350-375 until the breast is 165. The skin is consistently rubbery. Any suggestions?

Sorry for the hi-jack. Good luck with you chickens todd, let us know how they come out.
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Unread 09-01-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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If you are spatchcocking or halving the chix, place dark meat over the known hot zone. As and example, a UDS with no diffuser is hotter in the center, so place white meat towards the outer edge. In an offset smoker, the dark meat would be placed towards the firebox. Reverse flow offset.. I don't know? Whichever end is warmer.

For skin issues, try setting chix naked (unwrapped) in a frost free fridge for several hours to overnight in attempt to wick moisture from skin before cooking.
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Unread 09-03-2012, 08:58 AM   #9
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Ok, I think everything was a success. A few observations before the pics. I had to use both racks on my WSM for the amount of food I was making. I thought it would be better to put the pit probe on the bottom rack, but I think I should have left it on the top rack. The Guru was think temps were much less than they were, and seemed to struggle to keep the lower rack temp up to ~325 (dome temps were >350). When I wanted to crank things up towards the end, I just removed the guru and opened up all the vents.

Also, I had to move the chicken top to bottom/bottom to top as the top was coming to IT much quicker than the bottom. Quick rotate and everything completed at the same time (assuming this is "normal"???).

Some pics -

I used to make a dip of Rotel, Velveta, cream cheese and sausage. I thought hmmmm.. maybe a good fatty.

WP_000013.jpg

Cooked it up and started some Mac and Cheese.
WP_000015.jpg

Bought whole birds and prep'd them.
WP_000011.jpg

WP_000014.jpg

Almost done!!!
WP_000016.jpg
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Unread 09-03-2012, 09:08 AM   #10
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great looking bird.. bet that will be tasty.. Love plowboys you should try the new fins and feathers great stuff..
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Unread 09-03-2012, 09:41 AM   #11
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Chicken looks great!

The difference in temps is fairly normal. That lower rack is much closer to the water and the heat comes around the water pan and hits the top rack harder than the lower rack. Combine that with the fact the top rack is closer to the dome and gets more heat radiated back at it from the dome.
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