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Unread 02-08-2013, 07:44 AM   #1
jmoney7269
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Default Chicken Skin side up or down? Big cook need help

I have to cook 90 halves this weekend and 20 sausage links. My question is about the chicken, I have always cooked skin Side up Hott and fast. I plan on cooking @250 for about 3 hrs on these chicks for a rich smoked oak flavor. The halves are 1.25 lbs each fresh on ice. But after watching this video, I'm having second thoughts. Looks like this guy is onto something. Says skin side down acts like a bowl catching juices making the chicken better. Any opinions welcome
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Unread 02-08-2013, 07:52 AM   #2
RangerJ
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side by side taste test? do one of each prior to kicking off your large cooking event and you decide. I'm a fan of a bit more heat these days though to at least try to crisp the skin.

I suspect your audience will have a knife and fork, not like all of us at comps eating with our hands, I'm sure they will be fine either way.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 07:55 AM   #3
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I always start skin side down on hot fire and adjust accordingly throughout cook
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Unread 02-08-2013, 08:05 AM   #4
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They will have a knife and fork, I was just thinking that since the vault is indirect that any opportunity to make them juicier would be worth it. I know that the top and bottom racks run hotter on a dry cook, so I will have to rotate the racks
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Unread 02-08-2013, 08:12 AM   #5
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I cook HnF skin side down flip after 30 min, in a hour or so its done. I don't think you should change your cooking style or plan, try that on your practice runs when your not doing 90 halves brotha.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 08:17 AM   #6
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I've always done skin side up, then flip towards the end to crisp the skin.

Never had an issue. I do brine all my chicken though.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 08:18 AM   #7
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I have always started my chicken skin side down. I find it to be a juicier bird and you get the crisp skin. You can also mop or season as it's cooking. Just when it's getting close to done, I flip to get some grill marks/color and finish it off. I have always had good results with this. i usually do this with a whole chicken, not halves. I split the bird at the breast and leave it intact at the spine. Pressing the bird flat I run a couple skewers through across the bird to keep it laying flat on the grill.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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Nice video.
I think the key to juicy birds is the brine.
Is anyone familiar with the zipper cut that is mentioned?
Cooking low and slow would be good for a cook and hold event vs a hotter temp, single serving time IMHO.
The video doesn't show the skin but i would guess it to be soft and rubbery.
I would try a practice run if you have the time.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 08:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
Nice video.
I think the key to juicy birds is the brine.
Is anyone familiar with the zipper cut that is mentioned?
Cooking low and slow would be good for a cook and hold event vs a hotter temp, single serving time IMHO.
The video doesn't show the skin but i would guess it to be soft and rubbery.
I would try a practice run if you have the time.
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I do 4 "zipper" cuts on a spatchcocked bird. 2 in the tenderloins and 2 in the thighs. All due to this video I watched months ago.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 09:07 AM   #10
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Cooked these at 275 on my Safe. Started skin side up for 1 hour and then flipped skin side down for remainder of cook. I did brine prior to smoking with pecan. Very juicy and tender--white meat as well. You might try skin up until you get the color you want and then flip.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 09:22 AM   #11
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I start skin down and flip after about 45 min to finish. I get a good rendering on the skin without getting the underside over done.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 09:45 AM   #12
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Hooknbull,
Them some nice birds. That's about the color I'm looking for, just a light smoked color. I'm not using any plowboys, my buddy I'm getting them through is seasoning them for $.15 lb extra and they got good smoked chicken. I dont wanna go Hott and fast Because I do feel that the drippings burn rather than sizzle @325-350 and my vault is gonna be full to the brim. Was thinking about adding a small water pan inside as RangerJ suggested on the drip pan just to get a little steam, but not too much since the chicken will make plenty IMO. Thanks for all the replies gentlemen!
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Unread 02-08-2013, 09:47 AM   #13
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Chicken is pretty forgiving imo. I've had great results HnF and LnS, skin up/down, and have never brined or spatchcocked. (I plan on spatching next bird).

So, I think your plan will work. All I would do is go high at the end to crisp if necessary.
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