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Spatchcock chicken disappointment

I've had my egg for a few weeks and have had some amazing meals. It makes the food taste like I know how to cook. I cooked two spatchcock chickens tonight and was disappointed. I put them on a raised grid, 375 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes. The thermometer showed 165 when I pulled and wrapped them. The chicken had an excellent taste but it was a little tough. It didnt fall off of the bone like I was expecting. When I pulled the chicken it was kind of tough. Any ideas?

Comments

  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    What was your egg setup?  An hour and fifteen minutes is about thirty minutes more than what it takes me to cook them?  How big were the chickens?  Have you checked your thermostat?  I cook my spatchcocks at 350 degrees, indirect in less than 45 minutes.  Now my chickens are fresh locally raised chickens and 3 to 4 pounds, and cooked high in the dome.  I brine them 12 to 24 hours ahead of cooking.  I use different poultry seasonings, but the chicken always comes out great, and never tough.  Sometimes my thigh finish temperature my end up around 190 internal degrees as the breast hit 165 degrees, but the meat is still tender and full of juices.  Also was your egg "completely" stabilized before loading the chicken onto the grill? 
  • where were you checking the temp? 165 in the breast is OK but not in the thigh/leg. It will be chewy until 185- unless you sous vide or something like that, but just grilling, 185 is the number for dark meat.



  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 25,547

    I do spatchcock very rarely but I always put the dark meat towards the back of the egg. There is a natural hot zone there

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Que_n_BrewQue_n_Brew Posts: 508
    You can also try brining them.
    PROUD MEMBER OF THE WHO DAT NATION!
  • nealcr1nealcr1 Posts: 52
    Brining will definitely cure the chewy problem.
    Medium BGE, Large BGE, Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman, Digi Q II
  • ddeggerddegger Posts: 244

    I do spatchcock very rarely but I always put the dark meat towards the back of the egg. There is a natural hot zone there

    I set mine up this way. I've never brined but always have been lucky enough to get very juicy chicken. Just did a chile-lime spatcher this weekend that was great. I also like to go indirect at~425 setup, which usually takes around an hour to get to temp. 

    One other thing to consider is that maybe you just got a bad bird. Happens every now and then that you do everything right but still get less than perfect results. Try it again - good luck! 
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 25,547
    If you are cooking the six week old fryers that we get now they really can't be chewy unless you undercook. Funny story, I made  coq au vin a few weeks ago. Bought a free range roaster about seven pounds. My wife said the chicken tasted awful. I said well it does taste a little like chicken.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Tbonez3858Tbonez3858 Posts: 52
    Imthink the chickens were three or four pounds. I had the thermometer in the breast when it was reading 165. I did have the grid raises just about flat with the felt...I'm wondering if I just undercooked them. I need to check my digital thermometer with boiling water... Does brining make the chicken salty?
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    I use a product called "chickite" which is a commercial brining product, it has a salt base plus someother "stuff" in it.  But there is no salt taste in the chicken.  From what i have read about brining, the salt displaces the bacteria in the flesh and tenderizes the chicken.
  • GaryLangeGaryLange Posts: 171
    Was it a Roasting Chicken or a Hen! I made the mistake of getting a Hen once and they are tough and terrible to eat. I do all my Chickens whole on a stand in a foil pan with apple juice and sprite. I don't cook them to the proper temp as they will be over done after they rest. Cook them to about 8-10 degrees below take them off cover with foil and put them in a cooler with some towels over them. They will finish cooking and be nice and tender and juicy.
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    For many years i bought my chickens from Sam's Club --  two to a package.  Little by little, i found just too much waste and liquid in their packaging, and they were getting too big!  Considering the cost of the water and untrimmed product, i felt the cheaper price was not worth it.  As soon as i started buying local fresh(never frozen) chicken we noticed a big difference in the taste.  The extra cost is well worth it.    
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 9,002
    Where they frozen before?  I read a study that thawing chicken at higher temperatures, like 75F can toughen the meat significantly (putting frozen chicken in a big bath of tepid water). 
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  • jeroldharterjeroldharter Posts: 383
    When I get grocery store chickens I find they are bloated and sopping with water. I put them on a cookie sheet open to the air in the fridge for a day or two to dry them out. Otherwise they are too rubbery. The nice chickens I get for more money at the butcher are much better.

    I mean to try brining but have not yet.

    160 for breast, >185 for thigh, even 200.
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 12,818
    Cooking will cure the chewy problem. I like 400 direct raised and works every time. Also I go tops 3.5 lbs
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini....

  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 1,223
    I do 400 direct raised grid as well, 180 dark 160 white and havent had a tough spatchcock yet.

                                                                        
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    Weber Gasser for the Wife. 
    Founding Member of the Green Man Group cooking team.
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • Andy_in_COAndy_in_CO Posts: 49
    My opinion is that you cooked it too long. If it is going to be wrapped in foil and let rest for a few minutes pull it when the breast is at 155-160. It will raise the other 10 degrees in the foil and be very moist. I cooked one yesterday indirect at 400 and took about 50 minutes.
  • flynnbobflynnbob Posts: 435

    Another vote for the brining.  Here is my first one and it came out great.  I will raise the gratel next time, let it sit in the fridge out of the water to hopefully crisp up the skin when cooked, and not flip it (breast down).

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1152757/my-spatchcocked-chicken-experiment#latest

     

    Milton, GA.
  • TexanOfTheNorthTexanOfTheNorth Posts: 1,961
    Imthink the chickens were three or four pounds. I had the thermometer in the breast when it was reading 165. I did have the grid raises just about flat with the felt...I'm wondering if I just undercooked them. I need to check my digital thermometer with boiling water... Does brining make the chicken salty?
    Just make sure that you give the chicken a good rinse with clean water after removing if from the brine. That will wash any salt off of the outer surface.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 816
    edited June 2013
    It sounds like something about the setup was drastically wrong. The spatchcocked chickens I've made on my BGE are the moistest chickens I've ever had my life. I've NEVER had to brine a spatchcocked chicken on the Egg. No harm doing it, but no need for me to do it.

    I cook mine indirect using the platesetter installed legs up. I put a drip pan on top of the platesetter base and the stainless steel grid on top of the legs of the platesetter. So the same cooking temperature and grid elevation as you, but indirect versus direct. The recipe I use calls for the bird to be flipped midway through. It starts breast side up, and finishes breast side down. At 375 my cooking time is typically 90 minutes, which is longer than your 75 minutes. I am guessing the chickens cooked too fast for some reason using direct heat. Perhaps with the lid closed and no drip pan there were flareups going on that you couldn't see. That would certainly explain the quicker cooking time and dryer bird.

    Jim
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Two Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • Tbonez3858Tbonez3858 Posts: 52
    Great info in this thread and I really appreciate it! I think the next time around I will brine,let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours,  raise the temp to 400 and attempt to get the bird cooked quicker. I am also going to double check my digital thermometer and make sure it is reading accurately...

    If that doesnt produce good results I will try Jfm0830s method..

    Thanks again...what a great community!
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,062
    I think you just simply overcooked it.  As said earlier an hour and 15 minutes is a long time for chicken.  It was probably ready to eat in about 45 min to an hour.  Check the temp in the breast.  When checking temp you are looking for 180 in the deepest part of the thigh, 160 in the breast.  

    A brine certainly can't hurt; but I have never brined and spatchy's come out great.  


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 
  • TexanOfTheNorthTexanOfTheNorth Posts: 1,961
    @Tbonez3858,

    I'm basically in agreement with the overcooked opinion with two observations:

    - You said the meat did not fall off the bone. In my experience that's what happens once chicken is cooked to a certain point. I've picked up the end of a drumstick before and had nothing but a bone in my hand. Maybe there is a point beyond which cooked chicken shrinks back onto the bone but your comment would normally make me think it was under not over cooked.

    - You mention wrapping the chicken after pulling it. Why did you wrap it and what did you wrap it in and for how long. I've never wrapped a spatched bird. I wonder if this affected anything?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191

    Something about brining that causes the juices of the chicken to leach out.  After two years of spatchcocking i went to brining -- not a difference -- but a BIG difference!  My buddy is the prep cook for Myron Mixon and i told him about it, and also gave him some of my brine product to sample.  Well, he didn't use it for a month or more.  All of a sudden i get a call from him, he tells me, "the wife cannot believe how much better the chicken is with this brine!".  I had to buy him a box of it, and he has talked Myron into using it at their next compitition in Washington,D.C. . 

    When you leave the table after eating this chicken, your hands feel greasy???  And that is flavor, and the chicken is full of it..

  • TexanOfTheNorthTexanOfTheNorth Posts: 1,961
    @Charlie_Tuna... I did a google search for "chickite" and did not find it. Where do you get it?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
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