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First time using Direct on chicken

tomgio12tomgio12 Posts: 3
I’ve got 8 cooks under my belt - all indirect (brisket, ribs, butt).  Doing a spatchcocked chicken for the first time and have read that direct or indirect can work.  I’d like crispy skin, so think direct is the right route, but I don’t have a raised grid.  Will that present a problem?  Should i just keep a close eye and do at least 1 turn?  FYI, I did an overnight dry brine and will use a basic dry rub (Simon & Garfunkel), and know the IT needed.  Thanks in advance for any help!


  • JethroVAJethroVA Posts: 1,112
    I use empty cans balanced in the slots where the platesetter legs go hold my grid higher. 
    Richmond and Mathews County, VA. Large BGE, Weber gas, little Weber charcoal. Vintage ManGrates. Little reddish portable kamado that shall remain nameless here.  Very stable genius. 
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,307
    You can also put more distance between the cooking grate and the fire by putting in less lump than usual.

    "raised grid" seems to be mentioned a lot when talking about direct cooks.  I am not convinced it is necessary as often as it is recommended. Try it at normal grid height and keep the fire under control.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
  • tomgio12tomgio12 Posts: 3
    JethroVA, thank you for the hack.  And jtcBoynton, thanks for the guidance.  All very helpful.
  • kaybeekaybee Posts: 120
    Or if you have a second grill grate, improvise some spacers (I use pieces of smoking wood stood on end).

    Place the second grate on top of the spacers which are placed around the outside of the egg on the bottom grate.
  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 482
    edited May 2018
    I get much better results using an elevated grid. My homemade elevated grid cost around $20.00 using a Weber grid, four stainless bolts, nuts and 8 washers.
    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser and too much Griswold cast iron cookware.
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 8,496


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • JohnEggGioJohnEggGio Posts: 554
    Just my $.02, if you can’t raise the grid, I would fully breakdown the chicken to individual parts, rather than a whole spatch.  Better chance to get even doneness.
    Maryland, 1 LBGE
  • BentgrassBentgrass Posts: 423
    Raised grate, direct, ( like 375), and I don’t flip.  Skin up.  Have found that I don’t even open the lid until it’s been on for about an hour.  That’s the first temp check. IMO
    Good luck- you’ll love it !
    1. Bettendorf, Ia with lots of time in Chattanooga, Tn.  LBGE, plate setter, ar, Looft lighter, maverick et-735, Rutland gasket, Smokeware SS cap, Kickash basket, and lots of cast iron.
  • tomgio12tomgio12 Posts: 3
    Thanks everyone for the helpful comments.  I’m just put her on.  I don’t have anything to raise, so this go around will be at firebox level with a low lump volume for some buffer.  Last question:  I’m clipping a thermometer at grate level for the first time (it’s a day of firsts for me!). Any thoughts on following that or the dome gauge for the target vessel temp?  I’ll of course measure IT for final decision.  So far the grate level is 25* higher than dome, so it’s manageable.
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 8,496
    No need for grate thermo on higher temp cooks.  Go buy the dome temp gauge, that is what the majority of the recipes call for in the Egg.  

    BTW direct heat over 325-350 can kill probes.  FYI.  


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • baychillabaychilla Posts: 387
    The best skin I've had off a BGE was using a J. Kenji Lopez-Alt/Binging w/Babish recipe and a rotisserie.  Spatchcocking even at higher temps has always yielded rubbery skin for me.
    Near San Francisco in California
  • UncleBillyUncleBilly Posts: 221
    You’ll find that grate temps and dome temps can have significant variation.  Egg recipes are almost always based on dome temps.  I have a couple of Maverick thermometers and only use them to monitor meat temps on low & slow cooks.  The grate temp is prone to rise and fall over the course of a cook and you can drive yourself crazy trying to adjust the vents to keep it steady.  Check your dome temp occasionally and otherwise just let the Egg work it’s magic.
    XL  Central Ohio
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,307
    I also find that my cooking grid is often full of food items being cooked and there is no room for correct placement of a temp probe on the cooking grid.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 8,632
    I'm also a fan of raised direct. There is no way you can't find something to raise your cooking grate. Google search, images below.
    raised cooking grate bye

    But you will be fine cooking stock starting with a modest fire as suggested above. Start skin side down and spin your cooking grate every 15 or 20 minutes to help even out your bird. But don't open your dome any longer than you have to. When you get good color on the skin and it's rendered nicely, Flip it over.
    I like to start skin side down even cooking raised direct. If you do opposite the the skin can get thin and split easier trying to flip it. Just my preference.

    Thank you,

    Galveston Texas
  • TerrebanditTerrebandit Posts: 1,750
    Looking good Darian.
    Dave - Austin, TX
  • Just welded this up for raise direct cooks.  Perfect for poppers, shrimp, bacon wrapped chicken livers, and even French fries!

    Land of OZ-Hays Kansas

    BGE XL++Flameboss 300 WiFi++Blackstone 36"++Custom Gravity Feed cabinet smoker++2 Weber Kettles

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