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Author Topic: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup  (Read 483 times)

MtView

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 6
Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« on: June 12, 2018, 02:39:43 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I'm getting my first charcoal grill today (22" Performer)!  I want to start off with a whole chicken.  After watching some vids, I'm planning on cooking it at 350 with a couple of apple wood chunks.

Because I'm going up to 350, should I just put the charcoal bins on either side, chicken in the middle and drip pan underneath or would it be worth it to put one charcoal bin in with a couple of firebricks?  If I'm going up tp 350, do I need water in the drip pan?

Thanks!  The only other charcoal grill I've cooked on was my Dad's growing up so it has been a long time and it wasn't a kettle.

Joetee

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 452
Re: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2018, 03:28:31 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I'm getting my first charcoal grill today (22" Performer)!  I want to start off with a whole chicken.  After watching some vids, I'm planning on cooking it at 350 with a couple of apple wood chunks.

Because I'm going up to 350, should I just put the charcoal bins on either side, chicken in the middle and drip pan underneath or would it be worth it to put one charcoal bin in with a couple of firebricks?  If I'm going up tp 350, do I need water in the drip pan?

Thanks!  The only other charcoal grill I've cooked on was my Dad's growing up so it has been a long time and it wasn't a kettle.
Spatchcock that fella. One basket.
This is a very rewarding cook.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Weber Kettle Club mobile app


Travis

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 6214
Re: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2018, 04:29:04 AM »
Welcome to he club man.

I agree with spatchcocking the bird. Easy enough to do. Check out a YouTube video if youíve havenít done it before.

If youíre going by the thermo on the lid Iíd suggest you have it running around 400 ish. The heat rises so the grate temp and the dome temp are different normally. There are occasions where this isnít true like when cooking at lower temps for longer time (low n slow), but for hotter quicker cooks the dome will normally be hotter. Donít get to worked up over keeping an exact temp. That will only drive you nuts.

If you donít have one yet, grab a charcoal chimney. It will help you. Start with about 3/4 to a full chimney. Itíll be hotter at the start then start shutting down your lower vent and it should settle in to a temp. You can adjust further from there. Try to keep your upper vent open but you may find it needs to be adjusted well.

Pick up some cheap aluminum foil along with that chimney and put some under the bird. Youíll see why at the end of the cook and go light on the wood use. Poultry doesnít need much at all.

Good luck man. Have fun and Prepare to learn a few things with the cook. Might want to pick up a pizza just to have on hand too.


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Cellar2ful

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2127
Re: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 06:22:12 AM »
If you cook the bird whole, set up your charcoal baskets like this.  Put the bird on the cooking gate with the breast away from the coals. In other words with the legs and thighs pointing towards the charcoal baskets. The white breast meat requires a internal temp of 157 degrees and will climb to 165 while resting. The dark meat requires and tolerates a higher temp of 175 degrees. This helps to keep your breast meat from being overcooked and dried out. As Travis said, don't worry about your lid cooking temp. Make sue to let the the bird rest for at least 20 minutes prior to carving. It allows the juices to redistribute.

"Chasing Classic Kettles"

MtView

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 6
Re: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 12:26:05 PM »
Welcome to he club man.

I agree with spatchcocking the bird. Easy enough to do. Check out a YouTube video if youíve havenít done it before.

If youíre going by the thermo on the lid Iíd suggest you have it running around 400 ish. The heat rises so the grate temp and the dome temp are different normally. There are occasions where this isnít true like when cooking at lower temps for longer time (low n slow), but for hotter quicker cooks the dome will normally be hotter. Donít get to worked up over keeping an exact temp. That will only drive you nuts.

If you donít have one yet, grab a charcoal chimney. It will help you. Start with about 3/4 to a full chimney. Itíll be hotter at the start then start shutting down your lower vent and it should settle in to a temp. You can adjust further from there. Try to keep your upper vent open but you may find it needs to be adjusted well.

Pick up some cheap aluminum foil along with that chimney and put some under the bird. Youíll see why at the end of the cook and go light on the wood use. Poultry doesnít need much at all.

Good luck man. Have fun and Prepare to learn a few things with the cook. Might want to pick up a pizza just to have on hand too.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks for the tips!  LOL about the pizza backup, but I will have a pizza backup on hand!

MtView

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 6
Re: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 12:27:17 PM »
If you cook the bird whole, set up your charcoal baskets like this.  Put the bird on the cooking gate with the breast away from the coals. In other words with the legs and thighs pointing towards the charcoal baskets. The white breast meat requires a internal temp of 157 degrees and will climb to 165 while resting. The dark meat requires and tolerates a higher temp of 175 degrees. This helps to keep your breast meat from being overcooked and dried out. As Travis said, don't worry about your lid cooking temp. Make sue to let the the bird rest for at least 20 minutes prior to carving. It allows the juices to redistribute.



Awesome.  Thanks for the advice!

CarrieAnn

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 133
Re: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 02:33:59 PM »
I assume youíre going for beer can chicken?  Everyone should try it at least once if only for the novelty

Sadly, the beer doesnít really do anything but itís fun. So why not.

Get a little seasoning up under the skin and if youíre really going for it, brine that bird.


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MtView

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 6
Re: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2018, 03:04:29 PM »
Ok - so I spatchcocked this bird and I'm in the process of grilling it now.  I have one basket, two firebricks and tin foil.  I'm using a Thermoworks Smoke. 

My grate temp is only reading 238.  The dome temp is 350.  I spent an hour trying to get the grate temp up and the highest I got it before it dropped was 300.  And yet, the bird is cooking.  I pushed made room in the charcoal basket and put in some fresh charcoal.  Do I have a defective Smoke or should I ditch the firebricks for a cook where I want to be between 325 and 350?

The spatchcocking part went fine.  The rest of it, I'm not so sure :).

Edit: Top and bottom vents are wide open.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 03:06:04 PM by MtView »

Kneab

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1526
Re: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2018, 03:29:31 PM »
I think ditch the bricks.
I've only spatchcocked a few times using Marty's bigger basket. No bricks and they turned out fine.

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ISO Grey Charcoal go anywhere.

Travis

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 6214
Re: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2018, 06:00:39 PM »
Sounds like not enough coals to start. I would add about a 1/3 chimney of lighted coals and ditch the bricks. I donít think he bricks are keeping your heat down but may give a little better heat for the skin.

With the Weber try starting with more coals than you need. You can always adjust the vents down to come into the target range. Cellar2ful said it best I believe when he said having the patience for the temp to come in before cooking was one of his biggest things. I think he said he now waits for a glass or two of wine then itís dialed in...

Hope it turned out ok, bud. Itís all a learning game and a good reason why you always have that backup pizza, lol.


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MtView

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 6
Re: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2018, 06:13:56 PM »
If you cook the bird whole, set up your charcoal baskets like this.  Put the bird on the cooking gate with the breast away from the coals. In other words with the legs and thighs pointing towards the charcoal baskets. The white breast meat requires a internal temp of 157 degrees and will climb to 165 while resting. The dark meat requires and tolerates a higher temp of 175 degrees. This helps to keep your breast meat from being overcooked and dried out. As Travis said, don't worry about your lid cooking temp. Make sue to let the the bird rest for at least 20 minutes prior to carving. It allows the juices to redistribute.



Does whole bird include spatchcock?  If so, it would explain the my temperature "issues" tonight!

HoosierKettle

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 4190
Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2018, 06:16:44 PM »
On most things, just bank a full lit chimney of coal to one side of the grill and cook on the other. Forget the temperature and the devices and charcoal baskets. Not needed unless you are protecting porcelain in an old kettle. I have yet to damage a black kettle from banking coals. Half vent the bottom vent on a full chimney of coal if you want to moderate the temp but itís really as easy as that.

Always remember the kettle really doesnít need anything at all to cook great food. All the gizmos just refine what already is possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club mobile app
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 06:20:19 PM by HoosierKettle »

addicted-to-smoke

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5621
Re: Whole Chicken Indirect Setup
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2018, 08:17:49 PM »
I experimented with firebricks a few years ago and found them to be a mixed blessing. Very good at shielding heat, letting you get right near the coals without overlooking. But I always struggled some with enough heat as a result; they do sponge it up somewhat.

Iíve only done 2 spatchcock chickens and canít recall how I did them, but it was probably like Jimís picture shows, pushing baskets out like that, where you create a pocket for meat to lay in.

One charcoal basket isnít enough heat in my experience. Either use two, or as Hoosier says, a black kettle and bank on one side. If you do that, only light enough to crest the 350-375 youíre looking for, NOT the entire bank, unless aiming for something closer to 400-450.

In other words, a big bank of coals represents a lot more charcoal than one basket, without taking up more space, but the downside is that such close heat beats the shit outta the bowl and grate straps. But in a world where cheap Craigslist black kettles are common, that might not be a practical concern. Make sense?
"I never use toothpicks or strings on my turds!" ---MikeRocksTheRed