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Spatchcock 1st time cook

Hi everyone.  Just finished the first cook on the XL and was a little disappointed.  I did a practice run to get a feel for temp control and thought I was good to go.  I did raised direct with a drip pan on an AR at 375 (dome) for 1 hr 10 min.  It was 161 breast and 183 leg and we thought it wasn't quite done - quite pink and meat didn't come off breast bone easily although legs and thighs were very loose. Is this the way it's supposed to be?  I think I'll leave it a little longer and hotter next time.  When I hear 400 raised direct is that dome or grill temp?  Does the drip pan make it indirect?  Thanks for any replies.  tog
XL- AR Lethbridge County, Alberta

Comments

  • keepervodeflamekeepervodeflame Posts: 353
    edited July 2014
    My target temp for the breast is always 170. At that temp, the breast meat is always moist and the dark meat is completely done. The Egg provides such a moist cooking environment that chickens always come off moist. If I cooked the breast to 170 on my gasser, I know it would be dry. I like to cook chicken at 375 climbing up to 400 - 425 during about the last 10 or 15 degrees.  Good Luck. The learning journey is part of the mystique of the kamado. Don't fret, you'l get it. 
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,939
    edited July 2014
    @theoldguy‌ Welcome! Try pulling at 155℉ breast vs 165℉ (thighs/dark meat will typically be done at the same time). This will ensure a moist bird and it allows for carry over cooking. Spatchcock is one of my favs and I'll usually do one to three of them a week. I go raised direct at 375℉-425℉. image
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,939
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,939
    @theoldguy‌ Side note: check IT after you pull it but, I think you'll find using this method is a winner. I've had best results at around 400℉-425℉ crisp skin and juicy yard bird. OBW I'm usually making these for my wife so I can tell you if there's pink she ain't touching it. This has worked for me. Give it a whirl and maybe it will for you too B-)
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,347
    edited July 2014
    Drip pan means an indirect cook, it is blocking the IR from the burning lump. Use the dome thermo when cooking direct, if you use a Maverick, you will fry the probes. I'd cook a little hotter, you can flip the bird if you want. 

    If you trust your thermo and it says 160, the bird is cooked, even if it looks pink, which can happen with meat close to the bones in young birds. If the meat falls off the keel bone the bird is overcooked. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,671
    Any pink, assuming your temperature measurement was correct, isn't because it was undercooked.  You get pink from the myoglobin reacting with nitrites in the smoke, and you can get pink around the bones from marrow leaking out in young chickens where the bones are less ossified.

    I've been pulling the breasts in the 150s, and I've done breasts sous vide at 147.  Results in a very juicy, tender breast. 

    Obviously how much cooking before something is "cooked" is subjective.  If you want to cook it more, do so.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,939
    @Skiddymarker‌ I've "finally" convinced my wife with a lil pink it's done. Case n point she did a few cutlets on the stove top and she was like they're not done. So, she took em on there a few more minutes. Dry dry. Next time she asked for the Thermapen and at 158℉ pulled and settled in at 161℉-165℉. She's a believer now. She just asks that I don't show her the pink (simple enough) B-)
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • ads75ads75 Posts: 391
    Are you sure your meat thermometer is calibrated?
    Large BGE, Mini BGE
    Morgantown, PA
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,771

    First up, welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.

    A couple of things to consider-if using a drip pan, always create an air gap between the pan and whatever it is sitting on. Use copper tees, some washers, hardware nuts (you get the idea) to elevate the pan.  And due to the design of the BGE, the area at the back hinge is the hottest part of the cooking surface.  I put the legs to the back to take advantage of that design.  FWIW-

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,738
    edited July 2014
    Drip pan=Indirect cooking. I do a lot of spatchcock chickens & turkeys (same way). 400 Raised Direct (no drip pan). 400 off your dome temp. Forget grill temp as you will make yourself crazy. Always dome temp. Cook bone side down and never flip. It's raised and cooking off the dome.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,721
    try dividing the grid into two zones, hot side and warm side.  this is one area where the 24 inch grid cookers have it all over the 18 inch grids.   With spatch, you can move the bird over the heat or off the heat druing the cook.  Cook is direct. To protect the breast, face it away from the heat.  check the drippings in the foil under the bird, hard to do that in a large.......

    image
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com ACGP, Inc.
  • tksmoketksmoke Posts: 776

    @tjv - that looks good. I loves me some spatchcock, but it seems that no matter how I orient the bird, the thighs are always done 5-10 minutes before the breast.  I may try your method with the breast closer to the fire.

     

    image
    Santa Paula, CA
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,347
    @tksmoke - do you snap the keel bone? Flattening the breast provides a thinner, larger area and will cook faster. In my MBGE, I put the legs to the rear where the temp is a little higher in order to get the legs/thighs to cook faster. I look for target temps of 150 breast and 165 thigh to pull and let it rise during the rest. Never had the thighs cook faster than the breasts. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • tksmoketksmoke Posts: 776
    I don't snap the keel bone, I surgically remove it.  My feeling is that possibly the chickens we get here are a little larger (@5+ lbs), and a smaller bird might cook more evenly.image
    Santa Paula, CA
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,347
    @tksmoke - I bet that's the reason, your birds are bigger. Almost all chickens we buy are in the three to four pound range. Usually cooking for two of us, three pound birds are ideal. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
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