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Half chicken, first time... help me not screw this up!

acegg77acegg77 Posts: 90
edited March 2013 in Poultry
Butcher cut a whole chicken in half and I'm going to cook it tonight (froze the other half.) I brushed some Newmans vinegar/oil salad dressing on it, on advice of an experienced BGEer who sold me the egg. I bought some split bricks at Home Depot, wrapped them in foil and put 3 of them on the fire ring so I can cook raised-direct (which everyone here says is the preferred method.) How long will half a chicken cook? Do I need to set a drip pan on the coals to catch any fat? Naked Whiz says 375 degrees for a whole chicken? is that about right? Whole Foods chicken is expensive. I don't want to "butcher" it... or I'll never hear the end of it from my very expensive wife!!!

Comments

  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 2,138
    edited March 2013
    375 will work, it should take close to an hour. Cook to temperature though, I would check the breast and leg separately. 160 for breast and 180 for the thigh. I would cook it bone side down and check the temperature after about 40 minutes.
                                                                        
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    Large BGE 2006, Small BGE 2014, Mini Max on Pre-Order
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    Johns Creek, Georgia




  • acegg77acegg77 Posts: 90
    edited March 2013
    The result: fantastic. You would not believe. (Well I guess many of you WOULD believe.) I put some cherry wood chips (soaked for about an hour) on the coals as I added the chicken. I also added some poultry seasoning that I bought at my dealer's store. 

    Got a lot of smoke with the wet chips... held the temp at around 375 although it did drop to 350 which surprised me... but I raised it again. Cooked for an hour... let it rest for 10 mins... outstanding. I wish I had taken a pix... but you've seen these pix over and over again on this board... skin, which had a bit of "crisp" to it, was a dark-to-golden brown... and the flavor of the breast area had a nice smoky taste... not a charcoal taste (which wife does not like.) 

    I had doubts about the egg... since cooking chicken with the plate-setter yielded ho-hum results... but cooking this half-bird with the raised-direct method...  resulted in a truly outstanding meal.

    Thanks for the help. 


  • MickeyMickey Posts: 14,612
    No need to soak wood next time. Sounds like you did it right.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015 http://saladoeggheadgathering.blogspot.com

  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 2,138
    :D
                                                                        
    _________________________________________________

    Large BGE 2006, Small BGE 2014, Mini Max on Pre-Order
    Founding Member of the Green Man Group cooking team.
    Johns Creek, Georgia




  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 3,951
    Chicken is sort of the proof test that the Egg is better.  Glad you had a great cook.
    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,054
    +1 on no need to soak the chips.  You did half a spatchcocked chicken.  Next time try a whole spatched one.  Nice cook.
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  • acegg77acegg77 Posts: 90
    So why do so many people say to soak the chips? If you put dry chips on, won't they go up in smoke too quickly?
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,554
    The water cooks off before you get any smoke out of them.   They have to burn to generate smoke.  Water can only get to 212 max temp.  Wood needs (remember Fahrenheit 451?)...couple hunnert degrees hotter.  So the water just cooks off, doesn't make smoke.
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  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,554
    Plus, you can soak them for hours...the water barely penetrates more than 1/16 an inch on the cross-grain.  End grain maybe 1/4"
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,912
    acegg77 said:
    So why do so many people say to soak the chips? If you put dry chips on, won't they go up in smoke too quickly?
    In a cooker that does not have controlled air flow that can snuff the fire completely, you may want to soak, a gasser or a Webber kettle. In the egg, you do not need to as the burn is very well controlled. small fire that burns down will provide a 350 grid. 
    Try an indirect as well. I do them both ways, smaller birds direct raised, the big ugly ones indirect at 400-425 grid. Indirect uses a drip pan, direct no. If you put a drip pan under a raised direct, it is in fact an indirect. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
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