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Beer Can Chicken, need help

edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Hi Eggsperts! I just bought a Big Green Egg and have only cooked on it twice. Last night, I tried a recipe I found for doing beer can chicken. This is something I've cooked on my gas grill many times, and it has always been just right. I always use a remote thermometer, which I stick in the thigh and bring the chicken temp to 180. [p]The BGE recipe I used (from the internet) said to bring the BGE temp to 300 degrees (a bit too low, I originally thought). I used a plate setter and placed the Wal-Mart beer rack on a large metal drip pan, which I then placed on top of the metal grill (which was above the plate setter, of course). I closed the top, help the grill temp at 300 and the cooking time was almost 2 and half hours. Since I was using the remote thermometer, I never had to open the top of the Egg at all.[p]Finished product: Legs and thighs were delish and perfect. But the breast meat was way, way too dry. I got to thinking about the way the Egg is designed and how the ceramic top would cook the breast meat much faster than heat might get to the bottom of the beer can holder, which was resting over both the metal drip pan, the grill itself and then the plate setter. The set up I used was all wrong, I thought! I hope the Egg can do better than this! So. Now my next mission. How do I cook a beer can chicken where the thighs and legs get done and the breast meat remains juicy and not overcooked.[p]First I think the temp (300) I used was way too low, and overcooked the breast meat. Also, I think the setup I used made the top part of the bird cook faster than the bottom. Should I have put the beer can chicken holder (with chicken attached) on just the drip pan (without the plate setter) and then put drip pan (with can and bird above it) directly on the metal grill? Or should I have put the drip pan on top of the plate setter, the metal grill over the plate setter and then put the beer can holder (with bird) on the grill? Where did I go wrong?[p]Any help here is very much appreciated![p]Leebay

Comments

  • To start, I always cook mine direct at about 350/375. I never use a full load of lump when cooking chicken, just enough to maintain 350/375 a couple of hrs. Takes about 1 ½ hrs to cook. I cook 4 birds, 4# or larger if I can find them, at a time on my large. You can do 5 but it really gets crowded. I find the 2 birds in the back always get done a little sooner so watch that. I have tried putting a bag of ice on the breast for about 30 min before cooking but couldn’t tell the difference in cooking time or moisture in the breast. Good luck. Popsicle
  • PopsiclePopsicle Posts: 511
    Leebay,
    To start, I always cook mine direct at about 350. I never use a full load of lump when cooking chicken, just enough to maintain 350 a couple of hrs. Takes about 1 ½ hrs to cook. I cook 4 birds, 4# or larger if I can find them, at a time on my large. You can do 5 but it really gets crowded. I find the 2 birds in the back always get done a little sooner so watch that. I have tried putting a bag of ice on the breast for about 30 min before cooking but couldn’t tell the difference in cooking time or moisture in the breast. Good luck. Popsicle

    Willis Tx.
  • Leebay,
    I use the same setup. I hold temp @350 F dome. I usually do a 7# chicken rub down inside and out with garlic, salt, peeper and DP. I pull at 165-170 thigh temp and let sit while I make the gravy.The chickens are the juciest I have ever had.

  • amini1amini1 Posts: 105
    Leebay,[p]I would definitely cook at a higher temp and just put you beer can holder thing directly into the drip pan and cook that direct. Also, as RC Waterfront says. Pull the chicken much earlier. US Gov't recommended temp is now 165 in all parts. Cooking more than that will always make the already less fatty white meat very dry.[p]We don't actually eat dark meat so we just buy bone-in breasts and do them bone side down on a raised grill at 400 degrees with a drip pan underneath. Fill the drip pan with 1/2 a beer or so if you want the beer can chicken effect.
  • Ditto the temp of 375 or higher. If cooking indirect, don't be afraid to go to 400. It will cook faster as well. Another suggestion is to do spatchcocked chicken (butterfly it by cutting out the back bone and lay it bone side down (don't flip) and cook indirect at 375-400. Maybe I'm measuring meat temp all wrong but I put the probe deep into the breast and pull it at about 175. Turns out great every time. fwiw pp.
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