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BOTCHED Spatch!!

NightwingXPNightwingXP Posts: 436
edited February 2012 in EggHead Forum
Ok, so I have already done one Spatch chicken last weekend and absolutely loved it. Was driving home from work yesterday and thought to myself: I could hit the grocery store real quick and get a chicken and have a Spatch ready when the wife gets home. Hit the store. Got the chicken. picked up the daughter from the sitter and raced home. Once there kid was cranky, dog was wound up and was trying to light the lump in the middle of all this. Got the Squirt settled down and grill it. Spatched the chicken and rubbed it down with some Famous Daves Rib Rub. The egg was all over the place with temp. I managed to get it to about 350 and threw the chicken on. Was a windy rainy day so had to have the DW open about 1/3 of the way and bottom damper open also about 1/3 of the way. Put the probe for my Maverick 72 in the chickey and waited for it to hit 160 in the breast. Temp fluctuated alot between 300 and 400 for the cook. Got it somewhat stabilized at about 390-400. After about 45 min the alarm went off and breast temp was 160. Went out and  checked it with a dial probe thermometer. Said it was about 154 in the breast. Gave it 10 more minutes ( for a total of 55 minutes) and then probed the breast and thigh/drumstick. Breast was about 170 and thigh/drumstick read almost 190. Got it inside and the covered in foil to rest. Cut it up to eat potatoes I also put on the egg and dug in. GASP!!!! Breast meat was running clear and looked cooked but had an almost crunchy/gelatinous texture and the drumsticks/thigh quarters were not done. Bloody and raw in the middle where the drumstick met the thigh. I was crushed. The first Spatch I made was so good and this was so bad! Also the bottom of the bird was fairly burnt but not inedible. My mental status has spiraled downwards since this. Dying to do another cook but now I am trying to figure out what the hell went wrong. We have had bad chickens before that didn't cook right and breast meat was bad on. Was this just a bad bird or did I screw something up? Imput appreciated for this floundering newbie Egger. Thanks!
Only 3 things in life matter. Family, Steelers and my BGE!!


  • Free range?


    Caledon, ON


  • walleyvwalleyv Posts: 147
    Sounds like my first spatchcocked chicken.  I picked up a baking hen instead of a fryer.  My dog could hardly get it down.
  • Here's a pic pf my vents. It was rainy and breezy but was surprised that I had to keep my vents open this much to keep temp around 400.
    Only 3 things in life matter. Family, Steelers and my BGE!!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited February 2012
    red at the joints is common, and no real indication of whether it's done or not.  chickens are grown so fast and killed so young, that their bones have no chance to mature.

    that's no joke. it's a known industry wide problem, because consumers equate pink/red with underdone.  chicken can be grown and slaughtered these days in about half the time it used to take to grown one to the same size.

    juices clear, and anything over 160, and it is done.

    i usually look for 200 in the thigh or drumstick when i'm cooking them separately.  i just find the texture firmer.  but when roasting a whole bird, usually end up somewhere around 180-190 in the legs, 150-160 in the breast.

    sometimes you'll see that frozen birds are said to exhibit the red/pink joints.  it's really a result of immature bones in the birds.  very soft

    frankly never had an issue with wind and vent settings.  can't really blow 'into' the lower vent.  maybe the draft is increased if the uppr vent is getting exhaust sucked out, but i have never seen it.

    did a PP cook overnight during a storm which dropped 27 inches by morning.  egg was pegged to 250 the whole time. 

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I think I will chalk this up to a bad bird then Strike. Will admit it kind of shook me at first. I really try to closely analyze my cooks so I know what I'm doing. When I have a bad result it tends to screw me up until I wrap my head around it. When I cut into the thigh/drumstick joint it was a little bloody, pink and smelled raw. Not good. We threw it away and did not want to risk eating since my daughter is so young (3). Thank god the potatoes turned out! Thanks for the feedback.
    Only 3 things in life matter. Family, Steelers and my BGE!!
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,560
    When undercooked, I find the meat looks undercooked too.  The texture just looks funny to me.  If it was undercooked, any chance part of the bird was partially frozen when you bought it?

    Were you using the stock grate height?  I used 350* - 375* and the grate is up at the felt line.  If you're running hotter and closer to the coals that could explain the bottom being burnt.

    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 6,325
    With a cook named BOTCHED, it has to be good!  
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,325
    From here the fluctuating temp was due to too much ash, funky lump, or diddling with the daisy wheel and bottom vent.

    Look up Mickey's method to cook a spatchcocked bird and 1 - raise the grid, 2 - cook at 400 - 425F dome, and 3 - remove the daisy wheel and use just the bottom vent, it will hold 400F just fine.

    If you do that and straighten out your lump/ash then go do whatever you can think of to screw it up and you won't be able to.
  • LoggerLogger Posts: 306
    When cooking chicken, I prefer to buy the bird a couple of days before I cook.  That gives me 2 things to do:
    Completely thaw it in the fridge and season it the night before the cook.
    I think Stike and Ragtop probably hit the nail on the head.
    OKC area  XL - Medium Eggs
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