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Spatchcock Vs whole Chicken

what is the advantage of spliting the Chicken as a aposed to cooking the Chicken whole I have done plenty of whole Chickens in my LBGE and everyone of them come out awesome so somebody please tell me what I'm missing 
2 Large Eggs and a Mini 2 Pit Bulls and a Pork shoulder or butt nearby and 100% SICILIAN
Long Island N.Y.

Comments

  • I'm in the whole chicken camp myself.  The taste difference seems pretty negligible.   The only difference I see is where you want more bother - setting up the plate-setter for whole chickens indirect, or hauling out the backbone for direct spatch.

    The spatch makes the inside carcass bones a little crispier which can be nice, but I don't taste a difference in the meat.   Best chicken you will ever eat either way!

    New Brunswick, Canada

  •  Bigwings to me it seems like more work to Spatchcock  removeing the back bone Im happy doing the whole bird thanks for your info 
    2 Large Eggs and a Mini 2 Pit Bulls and a Pork shoulder or butt nearby and 100% SICILIAN
    Long Island N.Y.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,169
    Spatch'd is usually quicker. Using direct heat on a thinner mass that can be flipped helps brown the outside, while spending less time letting the juices steam away.
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 13,571

    I always get a better cook of the bird with spatchcock chicken (same with turkey).

    No platesitter as I always cook direct/raised.  And time is cut way back after you learn a knife will cut out the back bone faster than scissors.

    The biggest reason is as @henapple said: "It's just cool to say "spatchcock".... Especially like William Shatner".

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

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,685
    easier to start the cook skinsidedown direct for that crunchy skin with a spatchcocked bird
    :))
  • when I do whole Chickens I go plate setter legs up @350 and it takes like 1 1/2 hours to reach 165 inturnal temp and the skin is always a beautyful golden color and nice and crisp maybe my next bird I will try spatchcock and see what I like better 
    2 Large Eggs and a Mini 2 Pit Bulls and a Pork shoulder or butt nearby and 100% SICILIAN
    Long Island N.Y.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,685
    i think it has to do with what your shooting for with the cook, a roasted style bird or a bbq bird. with the roasted your looking for a nice uniform golden colored bird. with the bbq even some slightly burnt sections are good, especially if sauced. this is just a whole breast but you get the idea.

    image

    image
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 1,598
    Spatchcock seems to be better for me as well and only takes an hour raised direct. I am not sure why.
                                                                        
    _________________________________________________

    Large BGE 2006, Small BGE 2014, Adjustable Rig R&B, PSWoo3, Thermapen.
    Weber Gasser for the Wife. 
    Founding Member of the Green Man Group cooking team.
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 13,571
    +1 @JRWhitee  on only an hour cook for the spatchcocked chicken. I can do a spatchcocked 12lb turkey in 1 1/2 hours.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • JRWhitee said:
    Spatchcock seems to be better for me as well and only takes an hour raised direct. I am not sure why.
    Like @fishlessman says, spatched is a grilled bird, whole indirect is an oven roasted bird, albeit a wood fire oven. 
    I cut the back bone out and I use poultry shears, takes seconds. We use the trimmed parts for broth and a treat for the dog. If doing 2 or 3 birds, I part them out to fit on the grid with legs thighs going on first, then breasts then wings. Seldom do a whole bird. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • henapple said:
    It's just cool to say "spatchcock".... Especially like William Shatner.
    +1
    LBGE April 2011 • SBGE December 2012 •  XLBGE December 2013
    Location: Jasper, Georgia
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,079
    IMHO spatch cooks quicker and more evenly, ie the breast isn't dried out befoer the legs and thighs are done. Shouldn't really be any taste difference if you keep the rub and sauces the same between the two unless you are pouring on the smoke . Spatchcock takes less than 20 seconds, with sharp kitchen shears cut up one side of the backbone then the other to remove. Flip over so bones are facing down and push down on the breast until you hear the keel bone crack. Easy peasy. Honestly can't say that I remember the last time I did a whole bird on the Egg, 'cept for a honking big turkey that would have been to big to spatch (it was given to me, I'm not a fan of buying big turkey myself and neither is @Mickey)

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

     

  • Griffin said:
    IMHO spatch cooks quicker and more evenly, ie the breast isn't dried out befoer the legs and thighs are done. Shouldn't really be any taste difference if you keep the rub and sauces the same between the two unless you are pouring on the smoke . Spatchcock takes less than 20 seconds, with sharp kitchen shears cut up one side of the backbone then the other to remove. Flip over so bones are facing down and push down on the breast until you hear the keel bone crack. Easy peasy. Honestly can't say that I remember the last time I did a whole bird on the Egg, 'cept for a honking big turkey that would have been to big to spatch (it was given to me, I'm not a fan of buying big turkey myself and neither is @Mickey)
    +1 I prefer spatchcock for the same reasons. And, it IS easy peasy.
    Brighton, IL (North East of St. Louis, MO)
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,530
    I think that spatch does have some advantages.  All of the meat and skin is facing upward, so you will get more even cooking and crisping of the skin.  

    If you just set a bird on the grid with breast up:
    image

    The thighs and part of the wings are tucked up under the bird and I found they often end up rubbery.  Spatchcocking the bird will expose all all of these areas. 

    I think it is worth a try if you haven't done it.  It's really not hard either.  Like @Skiddymarker said once you get the hang of cutting out the backbone it doesn't take long at all.  


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 
  • Removing the bone is easy, so it's not a big determining factor in deciding to go whole, but indirect at 400 for about an hour produces such incredible results it's become my go-to method.  And I find the thighs get to 180 about the same time as the breast gets to 165 so nothing dries out.   The first one I cooked whole I burned my eye while carving with the juice that spurted out!

    @SmokeyPitt, not sure why anything would get rubbery, it's always been tender for me.   Is it possibly a matter of bad timing, getting a bad bird when you tried that method?

    New Brunswick, Canada

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,530
    edited September 2013
    BigWings said:
    Removing the bone is easy, so it's not a big determining factor in deciding to go whole, but indirect at 400 for about an hour produces such incredible results it's become my go-to method.  And I find the thighs get to 180 about the same time as the breast gets to 165 so nothing dries out.   The first one I cooked whole I burned my eye while carving with the juice that spurted out!

    @SmokeyPitt, not sure why anything would get rubbery, it's always been tender for me.   Is it possibly a matter of bad timing, getting a bad bird when you tried that method?
    I meant the skin that is on the bottom can be rubbery/soggy.  The meat from these areas is usually fine; but IMO spatchcocking produces more evenly browned/crispy skin.  To be honest I think the only time I have cooked a whole bird on the egg it was a turkey in a pan, so the pan probably contributed to this because the bottom of the bird is actually sitting in juices.  I have done whole chickens in the oven but those were also in pans.  I'm not sure I have ever cooked a whole chicken on the grid.  I have always used spatch or vertical roasting.  I'm game to give this a try sometime. 

    When you cook a whole bird do you just throw it on the grid?  Do you flip it at all during the cook?  



    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 
  • as I said before I do the whole Chicken plate setter legs up at 350 on a V-rack and the bottom of the bird is just as crisp as the top but I am going to try a spatchcock the next time I do a Chicken and will report back what I think after the cook 
    2 Large Eggs and a Mini 2 Pit Bulls and a Pork shoulder or butt nearby and 100% SICILIAN
    Long Island N.Y.
  • I've done a spatch a couple of times and don't do them anymore.  I'm more of a wholebird guy, I think it's more flexible, I can do more with it and it takes up less real estate.  I tend to do very little birds, not the BIG roasters so I could imagine a spatch helping with discrepencies of cooking times of a spatch vs a whole bird but it doesn't affect me.  For turkeys, I have a work around trick to ensure the breast and the legs finish at the same time.  
    If I'm in a rush to cook the bird, I simply butcher it in to 8 pcs.
    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • LS has a technique my son has started to use, he does his chicken on a poultry holder, like a beer can, but inverts the bird, that is he has the feet up with the rack/holder in thru the neck cavity. Because it is indirect, higher in the dome is hotter so the leg/thigh gets more heat, which finishes them with the breast. Also helps with real estate, easy to invert 3 or 4 on a large. 
    I'm a believer to use whatever works for you. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • I find that it's easier to cut up a spatchcock after its cooked. Frequently, we eat only one half and the rest goes in the frig for snacks at a later date. Simple.
    Dave - Austin, TX
  • I find that it's easier to cut up a spatchcock after its cooked. Frequently, we eat only one half and the rest goes in the frig for snacks at a later date. Simple.
    Don't mean to beat this to death, but when we bring home chickens I often spatchcock them and then cut them in half, freeze separately as with only two of us we seldom eat a whole bird. if we have three or more, two halves cooks just like a whole. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • I'm in the spatchcock camp as well, but I've had good results with both. 

    I'm very curious about @Mickey comment about knife being faster than shears. Shears are pretty darn quick. What are you doing to make the knife method so fast?

    Cheers
    B_B
    Badger at heart, living in SoCal

    Carlsbad, CA
  • I'm very curious about @Mickey comment about knife being faster than shears. Shears are pretty darn quick. What are you doing to make the knife method so fast?


    Cheers
    B_B
    I use a CCC (Cheap Chinese Cleaver) and can get the backbone out in under a minute. Never occurred to me to use the shears. Cleaver cost me $10 at an Asian market. Dangerous tool....
    Large BGE -- Greensboro!


  • I can prep a spatchcock in under a minute, If i'd time it it might be under 30 seconds.  And then cook it in under an hour, perfectly moist and crisp skin in the dark meat and white meat.  I'd never go back to whole chicken. I can run some kitchen scissors up both sides of the back in seconds, grab the bird in two hands and pop it flat, rinse it under the sink and boom, done.

    AND THEN,  

    I can tell everyone "I just spatchcocked that bird"


    Just try it, 425 raised direct, its amazing


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 13,571
    I'm in the spatchcock camp as well, but I've had good results with both. 

    I'm very curious about @Mickey comment about knife being faster than shears. Shears are pretty darn quick. What are you doing to make the knife method so fast?

    Cheers
    B_B

    No trick and just seconds quicker. A good heavy SHARP knife works ( got this off the forum). I find easier for me to snip the cartilage at the breast rather than laying down and pushing.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • Spatchcock allows for more even cooking throughout the bird
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,087
    I've done spatch a few times and now I either just cut the chicken in half or do it whole.  Cutting in half allows more flexibility of placement over the fire (I do raised direct) as I try to ensure the leg quarter has more direct exposure since it needs to cook to a higher temp.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • For me the skin of the bird as a whole is more crispy which I like.  The is due primarily to the bird being flat as opposed to a spherical mass.

    LRG BGE

    Columbia, SC

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