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Help with my Beercan Chicken

After so many kind and helpful comments on my first post, I'm sure that I'll get even more this time.
I'm looking to get a nice finish on the skin of my beercan chicken. I'm using a BGE ceramic throne, with a hoppy IPA, onion, minced garlic, thyme and rosemary in it. A nice rub on the chicken (used a honey bbq), temp set at 275-300. Put some veggies, pepper, a bit more IPA and a dash of rub into a drip pan on the conveggtor, and smoke for a minimum of 2.5 hrs. Checking for breast temp of 165, thigh/leg of 170.
Have done this twice. The first time, the meat was excellent, but the skin was rubbery and inedible. The 2nd time, I spritzed a mixture of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and some more IPA (common theme?) every :30 after the first hour. Skin was crisper, but still not what I'm looking for (think Publix rotisserie). The meat was great then as well and I probably shouldn't be complaining; but I'd like a nice bird with crispy and tasty skin.
Thoughts?
"There are a million ways to surf, and as long as you're smiling, you're doing it right"

Large BGE - FL

Comments

  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 5,483
    I don't do beer can chicken, so I won't be much help. That said, spritzing the skin and introducing moisture will not help your desire for crisp skin. I typically do spatchcock raised in the dome and that yields nice crisp skin
    ~ John - https://www.instagram.com/hoosier_egger
    (2) XL BGE, LG BGE, KJ Jr, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 1,037
    edited April 16
    This method works great for me:

    Gently separate the skin from the meat using your fingers and a spatula. 

    Add a generous coating of coarse S&P, then put in refrigerator, uncovered, overnight. I had tried various rubs for this step. The result was rubbery skin every time. 

    Lightly dust with rub immediately before placing the bird in the BGE. (Or just go with S&P.)

    Setup:

    325 degrees dome temperature, indirect, no liquid in drip pan. I highlighted "no liquid in drip pan" because this also caused rubbery skin every time. 

    Sometimes I add wood chunks. Sometimes I don't.

    I go to 160 degrees at the thickest part of the breast, then rest for 5 - 10 minutes.
    Large Egg, PGS A40 gasser and way too much Griswold cast iron cookware.

    Somewhere in Colorado.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 11,721
    Dust your bird with a 50/50 mixture of baking powder/cornstarch (if the bird's been previously brined/dried in the frig) or 33/33/33 mixture with salt added if the bird's not seasoned.  And bump your temp to at least 400º.  
    I've also given up on the beer-can idea.  The bird will be 160 or so when you pull it, ergo so is the liquid in the can up the bird's wumpus.  You'll get some steam out of it, but very little and not worth the trouble (ymmv).  
    ____________________________________________
    "When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent."
      - Isaac Asimov  
            
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 3,014
    edited April 16
    1) your heat's too low to crisp up the skin properly
    2) get rid of all the liquids and stop spritzing 
    3) Beer can chicken isn't a gimmick per se, but it kinda is. It's really just a way to set the chicken upright. Nothing inside the can is going to do much. These days most people just cut the backbone out and throw in on the grill flattened out (spatchcocked). 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • MO_EgginMO_Eggin Posts: 268
    For vertical chicken, I go indirect at 400* for about 1.5 hours, over a dry drip pan elevated off the plate setter.  Start with the breast side forward, then spin around for the final 20-30 minutes.  Also, try to get the bird as high in the dome as possible.  I skip drying the bird overnight or adding cornstarch, and still get nice, crispy skin.  Good luck! 
    LBGE - St. Louis, MO; MM & LBGE - around 8100' somewhere in the CO Front Range
  • xfire_ATXxfire_ATX Posts: 984
    I was given a "Chicken Rocket" which is a Cast Iron Vertical cooker.  Used it once put back in the garage.  Spatchcock is just so much easier.

    However... The owner/ pit master at Valentinas Tex Mex told my neighbor who went through a class with him that whole chickens come out better than spatchcock they stay moister.  So next time I was going to try one each way to decide which way to go in the future.
    LBGE, Charbroil Gas Grill, Weber Q2000, Old Weber Kettle, Yeti 65, RTIC 20, Too many drinkware vessels to mention.

    Not quite in Austin, TX City Limits
    Just Vote- What if you could choose "none of the above" on an election ballot? Millions of Americans do just that, in effect, by not voting.  The result in 2016: "Nobody" won more counties, more states, and more electoral votes than either candidate for president. 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 27,955
    i do modified spatchcock, whole breasts, cut the legs and wings off. more juicy done whole and split for serving afterwards. salting and over night does wonders for the skin. sometimes i sauce, sometimes i dont.  doing the whole breast only im concentrating on just getting the internal temps right without sacrificing to get the dark meat right. the beer can method doesnt do much in an egg except make rubbery skin. i cook these direct raising the grill


    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 15,611
    There is also the invert-a-bird method, championed by the late Little Steven.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 3,529
    Botch said:
    Dust your bird with a 50/50 mixture of baking powder/cornstarch (if the bird's been previously brined/dried in the frig) or 33/33/33 mixture with salt added if the bird's not seasoned.  And bump your temp to at least 400º.  
    I've also given up on the beer-can idea.  The bird will be 160 or so when you pull it, ergo so is the liquid in the can up the bird's wumpus.  You'll get some steam out of it, but very little and not worth the trouble (ymmv).  

    The interior meat of the bird being 160 does not imply that the temperature of the beer is 160 (presumably some part of the aluminum, an excellent heat conductor, is exposed to the ambient 400* temp, raising the beer above 160).  Otherwise, I agree with you.
    NOLA
  • JethroBodeenJethroBodeen Posts: 521
    Like a lot of the rest, save the beer and spatchcock. Youll never look back.....
  • RyanStlRyanStl Posts: 367
    Don't waste the beer, it's a gimmick; especially good beer. You can use water in the can and have the same result.  The steaming liquid is supposed to add moistness, but evaporated beer isn't going to put in any noticable flaver.
  • briwaldbriwald Posts: 42
    Maybe I've just been lucky, or maybe it is because I use darker, stronger beers (Porters and Stouts), but I have always been able to taste hints of the beer when I use the can method (not an actual can, my wife got me a nice little contraption for it).  Agree with the rest of the posters about the crispy skin, and spatchcocking being the most efficient route. 
    Maitland, FL
    XL BGE since 2019
    "When cooking, I stick to the 3 B's: Beer, Bacon and Butter." 
  • Spatchcock, direct, raised high in the dome at 325- 350 degrees will get you there.
    Happily egging on my original large BGE since 1996... now the owner of 6 eggs. Call me crazy, everyone else does!
     
    3 Large, 2 Smalls, 1 well-used Mini
  • abtaylor260abtaylor260 Posts: 208
    Drink the beer. Cook the chicken and all of the above. 
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 8,891
    Dude.  That looks amazing.  Better than any chicken I've ever cooked for sure.  

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 3,615
    Isn't someone at NASA or space force working on the sideways picture problem? 

    Great chicken.  You saved a beer.  
    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • loco_engrloco_engr Posts: 4,920
    "Dust your bird with a 50/50 mixture of baking powder/cornstarch"  great tip, TY
    aka marysvilleksegghead, moved to Basehor,KS 2/26/2021
    Lrg 2008
    mini 2009
    XL 2021
    Henny Youngman:
    I said to my wife, 'Where do you want to go for our anniversary?' She said, 'I want to go somewhere I've never been before.' I said, 'Try the kitchen.'
    Bob Hope: When I wake up in the morning, I don’t feel anything until noon, and then it’s time for my nap
  • danhoodanhoo Posts: 151
    I brine whole chickens for 24 hours, and then set them on my vertical roaster in the garage fridge for another 24 hours to dry the skin.

    I bring the chicken out of the fridge before I start the coals.

    I rub the skin with olive oil and season with what I am in the mood for. Sometimes I'm lazy and use Montreal chicken, sometimes I mix up salt, garlic powder, hot Hungarian paprika and pepper.

    I start the cook at 450 and let the temp settle down to about 375 for an hour to an hour and a half.  After 90 mins I lower the temp down to about 325 to 300 and let it slowly finish.
    2011 large BGE | 2000 Genesis Silver B | 2019 PitBoss pro 820 | 2016 Genesis E330 (bought used in 2021)
  • danhoodanhoo Posts: 151
    danhoo said:
    I brine whole chickens for 24 hours, and then set them on my vertical roaster in the garage fridge for another 24 hours to dry the skin.

    I bring the chicken out of the fridge before I start the coals.

    I rub the skin with olive oil and season with what I am in the mood for. Sometimes I'm lazy and use Montreal chicken, sometimes I mix up salt, garlic powder, hot Hungarian paprika and pepper.

    I start the cook at 450 and let the temp settle down to about 375 for an hour to an hour and a half.  After 90 mins I lower the temp down to about 325 to 300 and let it slowly finish.
    I just noticed someone tagged a "disagree" on my post and was curious which item(s) in my list of 4 or 5 things was the reason.  Not looking to argue about it, but instead maybe learn something.

    was it: 

    Brine?

    air drying the skin in the fridge?

    Setting the chicken out before the cook?

    EVOO and spices ?

    starting the cook at 450 and bringing the temp down?

    lowering temp even more at the end?


    2011 large BGE | 2000 Genesis Silver B | 2019 PitBoss pro 820 | 2016 Genesis E330 (bought used in 2021)
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