Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
We hope you all got to celebrate those tasty food holidays last week, we sure enjoyed them! We are even more excited about the beginning of fall, for so many reasons, but mainly for experiencing the cool, crisp air while being outside cooking up the best recipes the season has to offer. We especially love these Beer Pork Tenderloin and Ground Beef Acorn Squash recipes! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Weird Spatchcock Chicken

dawsonhulldawsonhull Posts: 101
edited September 2012 in Poultry
I did my first Spatchcock chicken a few days ago - 5.3 lb, indirect, with a drip pan below, at about 375 for about an hour. I checked the temperature after that hour and it was 180 in the thighs and a little over 170 in the breast. I cut into the skin right by the thighs and clear juices ran out.

I let it rest for about 5 mins or so, and then attempted to carve it - it wasn't pretty, but oh well! It definitely looked juicy and delicious.

As we began to eat the breasts, we thought the texture was weird - it was almost spongy. The taste was fine, color was white, but the texture was just slimy and spongy. Any ideas what I did wrong? Has anyone else had this problem?

The dark meat seemed fine - we used that for quesadillas the next day and they were incredible! Just the breasts were weird...

Thanks for your input!

Comments

  • I did my first Spatchcock chicken a few days ago - 5.3 lb, indirect, with a drip pan below, at about 375 for about an hour. I checked the temperature after that hour and it was 180 in the thighs and a little over 170 in the breast. I cut into the skin right by the thighs and clear juices ran out.


    I let it rest for about 5 mins or so, and then attempted to carve it - it wasn't pretty, but oh well! It definitely looked juicy and delicious.

    As we began to eat the breasts, we thought the texture was weird - it was almost spongy. The taste was fine, color was white, but the texture was just slimy and spongy. Any ideas what I did wrong? Has anyone else had this problem?

    The dark meat seemed fine - we used that for quesadillas the next day and they were incredible! Just the breasts were weird...

    Thanks for your input!
    Silicone implants maybe? Lmao. Sorry I couldn't resist.

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,177
    edited September 2012
    Could it just be that you are used to overcooked, dried out chicken breast meat? There is a tremendous difference with egged chicken.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,239
    That's a little bit overcooked, but it shouldn't impact the texture that badly.  I would try again with a smaller chicken - maybe a 4 pounder.  I cooked a large chicken for my first spatchcock cook and found it similar to yours.  I started buying the smaller chickens and the problem went away.  Cook to 160 internal breast temp.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Spatchcock chicken on ceramic cookers comes out unbelievably juicy.  Methinks you just aren't used to it. 
    The Naked Whiz
  • If your thermometer is OK and you took the temp at the right depth, it was cooked, no question of that. If your thermo is off and you took the temp too deep, to close to the breast bones, it may have been on the edge of being cooked, although you said the dark meat had clear juices. 
    I do mine like NOLA's smaller birds and with a grid of about 375. 60 minutes is about right and the breast temp is about 160. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 14,160
    edited September 2012

    Cook lots of spatchcock chicken. I always cook direct at 400 / 425 raised.  Also I looks for 3.? lbs birds and if think of it in time (50/50 on this) i leave uncovered in fridge overnight. Also like the 160 breast......

    ps: same with turkey except look for 11.5 to 12 lb birds.

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

  • Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
    edited September 2012
    hmmm... "weird" indeed.

    By "spongy" do you mean "rubbery?" The texture WILL change if it is undercooked, as well as overcooked.  You said the meat was 170, which is more than hot enough to be properly cooked - remember that the temp keeps rising after you take it off, so it's possible you overcooked it.

    If you removed the chicken at the low end of being "done" (ie, low 160's), then it might have that texture.  But again, you said the temp read as 170, so by that time, the texture should be fine cuz the muscle fibers have began separating, producing that "chickeny" texture we all know & love.  Also, as I said, if it's overcooked, it can have what some call a "rubbery" texture.  "Spongy" or "rubbery" are somewhat subjective, which makes it hard to tell if you've over cooked, or under cooked the meat. 

    FWIW, my target temps are 165 for breast, 180-185 for thighs (actually, as long as the breast hits 165, I usually remove the chicken even if the thighs aren't quite to 180 yet cuz it's technically "done" anyway). 

    So, piggybacking off of a few other suggestions: 

    1. are you sure your thermometer is correct & calibrated? 
    2. Did you place the probe in the deepest / thickest part of the meat? 
    3. Are you sure your probe wasn't hitting a bone (this can throw off the reading)
    4. Did you marinate your chicken?  Sometimes, marinades/brines can change the texture, especially if they are acidic (ie, vinegar, lemon, etc)
    5. Is the chicken the same as what you normally buy (ie, do you normally buy factory-farmed chickens then decide to get a free-range, antibiotic free, etc)?
    6. Was the chicken skin-on, or skin-off?

    I've also been told that "old" chickens are tougher, dryer, and rubbery, though unless it states on the package that it's a "young" chicken, I dunno how you'd tell??

    Just some questions to help narrow things down a bit...

    HTH,
    HH
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • My wife also thinks the chicken comes out weird when I barbecue on the egg.  I also think that we are so used to eating chicken thats done on a gas bbqs and its dry that when we bbq on egg it seems different.
  • Thanks for the input, everyone! It could be that I'm just not used to the texture. But I've grilled some chicken breasts before and didn't notice it. Maybe "rubbery" is a better word to use. It's possible that my thermometer was off - the battery was going dead on it when I was trying to use it - display was fading. It's not a thermapen or anything - just a digital meat thermometer. I think what I'm going to do next time is cook a slightly smaller bird and try again.

    To answer @Hillbilly-Hightech's questions:

    1. Thermometer may have been off as battery was dying.
    2. I think I did place it in the deepest part - and went about an inch in.
    3. Didn't feel a bone.
    4. No marinade - just dry rub - used BGE Gourmet Seasoning.
    5. This was actually the first time I've bought an entire chicken (besides getting cornish hens precooked from the grocery store near the check out line - pre-Egg of course!). We normally just by frozen breasts. I have cooked those on the egg and they turned out great - or so I thought. Maybe my perception of chicken is just warped from it being too dry.
    6. Skin was on.

    Here's a picture of the finished product. Looked great from the outside! Most of it was good - just parts of it were sort of weird.
    IMG_1992.JPG
    2592 x 1936 - 2M
  • hmmmm, well most definitely try it again w/ new batteries. 

    And I know this sounds odd, but sometimes we get chickens that just aren't "right" - could be the diet they were fed, the way they were raised, their age, any hormones / chemicals they were given, etc. 

    Regarding the age, to expand on what I suggested earlier, I recall my grandparents commenting about old farm animals (chickens, pigs, cows, etc) and wild game (deer) not being as good to eat as younger ones. 

    So hopefully the next time things will be better!

    Best of luck!!
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,507
    A 5.3-lb bird certainly isn't a "young" one, although I don't know where the cutoff point is, if there is such a thing.  
    And the extra juicieness in egged chickens and even butts has taken me a bit to get used to, too.  
    _____________________________________________
     
    I Know Why The Egged Bird Sings.
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • bigphilbigphil Posts: 1,358
    I've done a few chickens all have been way juicy and my family has noticed a texture difference in them but i think its because they are  juicer than any other chicken we've had from the gasser even skinless boneless breasts have a decidedly  different texture over the gasser or oven and are juicier . keep doing them you wont miss the old way of making them or the dried out texture and for the record we have 6 in our family so i always go for the 4.5 pound ones or bigger 
    Large Big Green Egg , XL Big Green Egg . BBQ Guru, Weber Kettle, Weber Q grill for road trips.
  • I will definitely try again! It makes me a little nervous for thanksgiving when I am going to be responsible for the turkey. I will have to practice some before then so it's not a flop! That would be a bad day to mess up...

    Thanks again for the help!
  • gte1gte1 Posts: 375
    I do mine raised direct. I did one indirect and found the texture of the breast a little as you described. Try direct raised next time and see if it makes a difference.
    George
  • I think that's what I'm going to do. I haven't done anything with a raised grid before. When you do that (without an aftermarket adjustable grid), do you have to have two grids - one lower with bricks or something on to elevate the other one - or can you just elevate the main grid on the fire ring?
Sign In or Register to comment.