Cooking chicken thighs or even drums direct has been a problem for me for a long time on my Large. I find that the fat dripping onto the fire creates too much smoke and overpowers the chicken.
My solution is simply to cook indirect, but that's an entirely different kind of cook, isn't it?
So, I have been trying to get the direct cook right by experimenting with grid height, fire size, and temperature. Enter Thirdeye's website...
He's got a great section on cooking thighs direct, with instructions that I followed very carefully. I built a small fire, which did not even cover the ventilation holes in the firebox, and stabilized it nicely at around 260 (as suggested). Cooking on the raised grid, I also opened the top vent on the Egg all-the-way, to allow smoke to escape easily.
The thighs cooked for 2.25 hours, and I turned them every 20 minutes. I marinated these thighs for about half-an-hour in a bath of citrus (orange & lime), dijon mustard, soy sauce, coriander, and a bit of cumin.
No billowing white smoke, just a steady stream. The end result was what I have been hoping for. The smoke form the direct cook added an extra dimension and richness to the meat, rather than becoming the dominant player.
This method adds another level of versatility to the Egg, and is certainly worth trying. After working on it for a while myself, I feel a bit foolish for not just following Thirdeye's advice this carefully from the very beginning. But, it's there for anyone to read, and if you are interested in being able to cook fatty meats both indirect and direct
, this is a must try - just be sure to do it exactly the way Thirdeye suggests.
The skin was not crispy, but it was bite-through for most of the pieces. It was also pretty hard to stop eating. I am almost always good for 1, maybe 2 thighs at the most. I stopped this meal at 3, and that required effort: