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Spatchcock question

JohnMcJohnMc Posts: 74
edited July 2012 in Poultry
I tried my first spatchcock chicken a few weeks ago and dried it out a bit.  Several of the posts indicated 350-400 direct for an hour.  Had a 5 lb organic Costco chicken and threw it on at about 325, came back in about 45 minutes and I'd overshot a bit.  Pulled it off and it was good but not as juicy as the brined lo and slo I'd done before.  I realized when I re-read the posts that everyone was saying direct raised or elevated and I didn't elevate any. Ready to try again in a few hours. How high should I elevate the grill to get a better slower cook where I can still expect it to take around an hour.  Also, do I need to pull the chick early and let it rest like my beef or pork or serve immediately?  I appreciate any advice you might have.

Comments

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,004
    Do you have anything to raise the grate? You want to get it about level with the gasket. If you don't have anything, 3 beer cans (or coke cans) resting on the fire ring and the grate on top of that should get it high enough. Cook the chicken to temp, not time. I generally pull when the breast is about 160, tent and allow it to cruise up to around 165. Dark meat can stand to be cooked much higher, even 175-180 won't be a problem for legs and thighs.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

     

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,004
    And there ain't nothing wrong with brining it first.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

     

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 13,495
    edited July 2012

    I spatchcock all the time. Always at 400 and direct and raised. BUT, I always do about 3.5lb chickens and if need more I will do 2 or 3 birds. Same on turkey with an 11 lb or close size. Just like and get good results from the smaller birds. Never brine and try to leave uncovered in fridge overnight (not a must). I also never oil the bird. Just some of what I do.

    Also if the legs get done a little early, I just pull them off. Never had the brest get done early.

    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,640
    Just make sure the cans (beer especially) are empty:)
    Louisville
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 13,495
    edited July 2012
    Just make sure the cans (beer especially) are empty:)
    I this a post from you own knowledge of cans
    :-O
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,640
    Just make sure the cans (beer especially) are empty:)
    I this a post from you own knowledge of cans

    :-O
    More like a thirst for beer-now the soda cans ...who cares :)>-
    Louisville
  • probe1957probe1957 Posts: 206
    Did my first spatchcock last weekend.  Indirect with a drip pan.  350 deg dome.  Cooked 'til the breast was 160 degrees.  Came out absolutely perfect.  Wife said it was the best chicken she had ever eaten.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,761
    I bought a big, big chicken for my first egg chicken roast.  Cooked it to 160 breast temp.  Excited, I let it rest and dug in.  Resembled shoe leather more than chicken.  Neighbors dogs were very grateful. I've since only been buying smaller chickens and haven't had he dry shoe-leather problem since.  Of course, I'm not saying all large chickens are bad, but I've never had the problem cooking the smaller ones. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,044
    I also do mine indirect at 350 and find that is the best way for me. The skin browns very nicely and the chicken doesn't burn on the bottom.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • JohnMcJohnMc Posts: 74
    Thanks guys. Folled all the good advice and had a great result.  I elevated the rack...didn't have any empty beer cans so used these...

    image
    Rubbed with olive oil, lightly seasoned with kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne flakes, garlic powder, mustard powder, chopped basil & rosemary...
    image
    Cooked direct on raised grill at 340 dome (surprised that grill temp was about 450 until breast at 160, then pulled tented.  Baked some naan with olive tampinade and cheese for appetizers...ans some ABT's some with cream cheese/basil/jap jelly/...
    image
    some with artichoke stuffing.  Cooked until chicks were 160 breast and pulled/tented while we slurped down mega martinis and ate the appetizers.  Chickens were awesome, very moist and flavorful.  Is there a reason my before pictures are always OK but my after cooking pictures suck?  Maybe has to do with the martini thing?  Anyway, a very successful cook and I really appreciate all the help from everyone on the forum.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited July 2012
    @johnMC: a note about your original question (because it sounds like you did well your second try).

    times given in any recipe are going to be guesstimates.  only thing you cook to time is  three-minute egg.

    having tried everything i can (not on purpose!) to destroy meat, i can tell you that the only thing that dries out meat is overcooking it. salt, pressing on it while cooking, turning with a fork, etc.... none of these things can dry out your meat in any appreciable way. overcooking WILL though.

    use a meat thermometer to make sure your meat temp is what you want when you pull it off the grill. 

    brining helps, especially if you tend to like the meat more well-done, but it is a not required for 'moisture' if you keep close tabs on the temps.  you can brine for flavor too, of course.

    the 'solution added' you see on packages (usually pork) is a brine of sorts too.  since americans want little or no fat, tend to WAY overcook, and never takes temps, the industry has gone to using 'solution added' to help keep us from totally wrecking our meat.

    but the BEST thing you can do to ensure moist meat is take internal temps properly.

    if you take the chicken breast off at 155, you'll have the most moist chicken you can imagine

    as you found, the raised grid slows things a little, makes it more gentle.  that makes for a wider window of time to catch the internal temp where you want it

    glad the second try was much better for you
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • JohnMcJohnMc Posts: 74
    oops, guess I haven't figured out how to post pictures huh?
  • JohnMcJohnMc Posts: 74
    oops, guess I haven't figured out how to post pictures huh? @stike thanks for the advice. I have one brining for tomorrow. Plan to cook it standing up, lo and slo whilevdoing some ribs. Will take your advice and oull at 155.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    155 is a little 'low' for some folks.  if you let it rest,it will cruise higher.
    i have yanked them off in a drunken have at 185 and they have still been moist (just not for long).  the BGE is very forgiving, w/r/t chicken breast
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • BooshwayBooshway Posts: 10
    What does it mean "pulled tented"?  Just a rookie trying to figure this thing out.  Starting to get the big head though, had the egg for a week and did a pork butt and a flat brisket.  Family and friends think I am a master chef!  The  BGE is great!!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    'pulled' means pulled off the grill. 'tented' means resting under foil.

    resting under foil is actually a little odd.  it keeps cooking if under foil.  the skin (on chicken) will get softened by the steam, too.

    i don't tent when resting, especially steaks or roasts.  you actually WANT it to cool.  the food is going to rise in temperature anyway, no sense encouraging it with foil.  and you actually want it to go down in temp after the carryover (rise).  that will help retain juices when you cut into it. 
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • BooshwayBooshway Posts: 10
    Thanks stike.  Going to cook this bird this afternoon.  Should I set her out of the fridge to get he up to room temp prior to going on the grill?  Not sure if I m going direct or indirect.  I got a raised grill yesterday and also a cast iron grill for steaks.  Our BGE is becoming very popular!!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you don't need to warm up a chicken.  beef is cooked to lower temps, and beef cuts are generally thicker (roasts for ex) and/or cooked quickly over high heat.

    you warm the beef so that the center isn't ice cold when the surface looks ideally 'done'.  likewise, if you wanted a pink/warm center, you'd have to overcook the exterior of the beef for much longer than is necessary to cook the exterior, because you're trying to heat up the cold center.

    chicken is somewhat different.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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