'Tis the season ... so be sure to see our Holiday Entertaining Recipes for some terrific ideas. And, it’s not too early to start thinking about our Country Christmas menu for any of your holiday meals! For something different, how about mixing it up with our Light Southern Meal with Grilled Catfish and Watermelon Salsa! Happy Holidays!
As above, John Henry's Chicken Tickler is very good.
I also use DP Shaking the Tree, and Spice House Argyle Street Asian.
FWIW, the quality of the chicken makes a huge difference. A local farmer's market offers no-antibiotic, no-hormone fresh chickens. Probably not "free range." The better taste and texture between those chickens and anything I can find at the super markets is immediately noticeable.
Also, rotisserie chicken has the advantage of continuous self basting. There is a local vendor that has a system that is not only rotisserie, but the chicken is dunked in a both spice solution every turn around the cooker. Unbelievable flavor, and the meat pretty much disintegrates. I've tried doing that manually on the Egg, and while it was very tedious, the results were better than average.
Almost impossible to mess up. Skin on, skinless, bone in, boned, all can easily turn out great.
Assuming skin on, bone in thighs. Cut off excess fat. Mostly just to keep the inside of the Egg cleaner.
Loosen the skin by running a finger under it. Blot it dry. Dust on a little corn starch. Minimum seasoning for me is S&P and some paprika. I like some added ginger and lemon grass powder. Sometimes work various herbs under the skin. Let sit in the fridge for a few hours so the skin dries.
The skin needs some time at 450F to become crisp. I usually cook direct, raised at 350F dome, Skin up for about 15 minutes. Then flip, and cook for an additional 10. Then Flip, and raise the temp to 450F. Usually takes about another 10 min, but I do watch and take temperature so as not to get the meat over 180. Usually get crisp skin w. meat by the time the meat reaches 160.
It also works to start w. skin down at 450, and then continue at a lower temp. I've had good results, but also some burnt skin that way.
The lump will give off a heavier white smoke for 10 - 20 min. A little more if there is smoking wood in the mix. If the food goes on during that period, it is very likely the end flavor will be bitter. Put the food on once the smoke clears to thin "blue" wisps.
Do not fuss too much with getting exact temperatures. W. practice, you will get very close to what you want. For most cooks, any temp 10F +/- is fine, and even 25F doesn't make much difference.
One thing to beware is letting the temp get too high. 1st, it can take awhile to bring back down to where you want it. 2nd, the rate of temperature increase is exponential. It might take as long as 45 min to reach 450, but then 10 to reach 700. Don't walk away when the vents are full open unless you want a blue flame coming out of the top.
Have fun. Even if everything does not come out eggcellent, it will almost always be better than average.
Don't mess w. the temp, altho even just a 16th of an inch vent opening, top and bottom, will keep it going. If you want pulled pork, go to at least 195F. All I can offer is a guesstimate. At 285, I'd expect about 6 1/2 - 7 hours.