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Newbie wants to do a bunch of chickens.

Husband and I are newbies.  Have been reading the forum.  We have a big bash coming up in about a month and I need to do 2 legs of lamb and 5-6 chickens.  Was thinking of doing one or the other on the XL BGE.  Indirect heat like I would if I was using an oven. Can I do 6 chickens at a time?  Will they take more time to finish or would I just let the egg come up to temp for a good while to build thermal mass?  Any other input.  Hopefully we can make a few test runs with smaller cooks before then.

Comments

  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 6,286
    If you have the ability to cook on 2 layers - with a swing grate or adjustable rig or whatever -  and you halfcock (spatchcock then cut in half) the chickens I think you could probably fit 6 on your XL.  Hopefully, others who own some of these setups will chime in soon.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 7,939
    I have done like @Foghorn suggested and got 2 1/2 chickens on my large on a single grid. With a second level I have done 16 quarters at a time with a little room left. You should be cool with a XL

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    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 6,286

    The 2nd grid on an XL swing grate (and others) is the size of a large grid - 18" diameter.  So if @Mattman3969 can do 2 1/2 on that, you can do the other 3 1/2 on lower grid.  If you don't have a 2nd level, it sounds like you are limited to about 4 if you halfcock.  I'm not sure how many beer can chickens you can fit on a XL.. although the answer seems to be "at least 10"

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/634165/x/p1

     

     

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 7,939
    If you don't have a 2nd level go to Lowes buy a 18" Weber grid and some 5 - 6" bolts and make a redneck raised grid and cook you some serious chickens. Here is mine image

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    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 1,690
    Based on my cook tonight, I recommend going indirect with a drip pan.  I found the juice dripping into the fire and burning gave a greasy smoke taste to the chicken.  Beyond that, if you can reach and maintain the temp, 6 chickens at once should not be a problem.  I have an XL,  did a 2-layer grate with a weber 22" grate (Amazon) held up by 3 small flower pots (Home Depot).  Works for me!
    XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • Thanks all!   I was thinking of the beer-can/vertical mehtod....but have never done that on any grill. These ideas for raised grill are great.  Would you move the birds around or will they all cook evenly pretty much? 

    We are doing more learning this weekend.  Think I'll try a spatchcock trail run.  Will attempt to post pictures :-)  
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 6,286
    edited August 2013

    "Would you move the birds around or will they all cook evenly pretty much?"

    Good question.  In general the food higher in the dome will cook a little faster if you are cooking indirect and have room for airflow.  However, most people do their chickens raised indirect.  If you do this, it would be reasonable to expect the chickens on the bottom grate to get more radiant heat and potentially potentially be "crisper" (if not watched closely that could be "burnt") and the chickens on the upper grate might cook significantly slower due to the impact of a completely full lower grid restricting airflow. In other words, in a raised indirect two level set-up one should consider the temperature gradient between the place 1 millimeter below the lower grate vs the food on the upper grate - as it might be a very large gradient. 

    So, the short answer is that I would probably move the chickens around every 15 minutes or so - especially if doing the halfcock version with a full lower grid. 

    I'm curious to see if others have better input or insight as I am just speculating based on a cook where I filled the grid with chicken wings and they got overcooked on the down side while dome temp was reading 275 - 300...

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

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