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Thread: Smoked Chicken (aka beer in the rear chicken)

  1. #1
    TVWBB Olympian ChuckO's Avatar
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    Smoked Chicken (aka beer in the rear chicken)

    Hi Donna

    Nice to have Bay Area kalifornia representation

    On my old BBQ, I used to make fantastic beer-can chicken. It was cooked indirect, as I could simply not light either the left or right bank, and place the chicken on the unlit bank. It would take about 2 hours and I would get a thourghly cooked chicken, moist and the skin would be crispy

    That BBQ gave up the ghost, and until I can afford a Genesis, I'm not going to buy any gassers.

    I have available to me:

    WSM 18.5"
    Kettle 22"
    Smokey Joe Mini (home-made)
    I also have a Baby Q and a Big Q

    With the above choices, which would you use and how would you do it, so that you get a fully cooked (whole) chicken that's tender and moist and the skin is crispy

    I know it's weak, but I figured you'd help out a fellow Bay Area'er

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    TVWBB Fan Donna Fong's Avatar
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    Hi Chuck,
    Left Coast in the house! I love beer can chicken and just finished giving my friend some advice on how to cook beer can chicken on my 14.5 inch WSM (which I absolutely love BTW). It took him a little over 2 hours. So to answer your question, I would use the Joe Mini without any hesitation. My mini is SO consistent. I'd cook it at 275 or maybe 300 with some PBR beer and use Harry's rub and Tang. I'd oil it down a little maybe and remember to spray. I might not use any wood as I feel the chicken tends to get too smokey really fast. I'd cook to 165. I'm sorry. I don't know what a Baby Q or Big Q are. Can you post a pic of it?
    Donna

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    TVWBB Olympian ChuckO's Avatar
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    Thanks Donna

    The "Q's" are the two BBQ's to the right. I call them "clam shells" I love the baby one, I'm disapointed with the big one


    I too go very light on smoke, especially with Chicken. I used to make Beer Can Chicken that people would pay for, now....I couldn't sell it as dog food

    I get from your reply:

    Increase heat to 275/300 (I was maybe 250)
    Oil it down / spray (I've not done this)

    We do have some nice home made rubs, and I might try the Tang as you suggest
    Thanks for your response, great to have a Q&A with you

    Chuck

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    TVWBB Gold Member Frank H's Avatar
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    I do beer can chicken all the time on my WSM 18 ....no water pan. Chicken on the top grate . Light up a full chim of briqs and let er rip. I don't use any wood. Plenty of smoke just from the kingsford. A 4 pounder is usually done in just under two hours....but of course I check the IT with my super fast (red) thermapen.

    My normal procedure is just to use the beer can stand without the can and I sprinkle the bird with whatever rub I've got. I am liking weber kickin chicken a lot these days. I think it comes out great. Nice hot fire = edible skin. I want to say I'm cooking at 350 or so , but the needle is pegged so I can't swear to it.
    We call it "BAH-b-cue"
    Weber OTG 22.5" - 18.5 WSM - weber smoky joe... (oh,and a Sears gasser)

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    TVWBB Fan Donna Fong's Avatar
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    Chuck,
    Lovely mini. Sorry about the game last night. Hey, so what do you think happened to your process that you can't make good beer can chicken any more? Which one of these do you cook on? and how do you do it?
    Donna

  6. #6
    TVWBB Fan Donna Fong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank H View Post
    I do beer can chicken all the time on my WSM 18 ....no water pan. Chicken on the top grate . Light up a full chim of briqs and let er rip. I don't use any wood. Plenty of smoke just from the kingsford. A 4 pounder is usually done in just under two hours....but of course I check the IT with my super fast (red) thermapen.

    My normal procedure is just to use the beer can stand without the can and I sprinkle the bird with whatever rub I've got. I am liking weber kickin chicken a lot these days. I think it comes out great. Nice hot fire = edible skin. I want to say I'm cooking at 350 or so , but the needle is pegged so I can't swear to it.
    I agree with you Frank. no water. 300 would be a fine temp and the skin would be good to eat. I honestly hate the floppy bite through skin but that is a pitmaster's preference. Crispy skin is wonderful. I wish that would change in comps one day.

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    TVWBB Olympian ChuckO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donna Fong View Post
    Chuck,
    Lovely mini. Sorry about the game last night. Hey, so what do you think happened to your process that you can't make good beer can chicken any more? Which one of these do you cook on? and how do you do it?
    Donna
    Heck, it's sorry about every game every night lately, LOL

    I used to cook on an old gasser (non-Weber) that I could do indirect cooks on. It was a cheapy, and it finally rotted inside out. I'm guessing that it probably cooked hotter than I thought, because I thought it was cooking around 225, and that's what I tried to do when I went to my smokers. But it sounds like it must have cooked close to 300 or thereabouts. They would come off in about 2.5 hours, crispy, tender & juicy. So far, the best I've been able to do on my smokers, is juicy & tender on the inside, but the outside is like wet rubber. (yuck) I long since quit putting water in my defusers (thinking that was the problem) but the beer can chickens still came out with rubber skin. Probably the saddest part was the wings and drumsticks. People fought over them, now nobody wants them.

    I'm thinking increasing my temp might be the ticket, but I'm also going to try oiling them as you suggest. We bought that sprayer from Costco that you fill with olive oil, pump a few times and then spray

    Thanks again, I'll try to get a cook in before you check out to see if the problem is solved

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    TVWBB Fan Donna Fong's Avatar
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    I see. Cool. Yes, adding oil or butter increases the temperature of the skin since it conducts heat better than air. I think that is why so many cooks use butter to render out the fat as it cooks. I hope your chicken returns soon but I hope the Giants get it together sooner than that! Even though I'm an A's fan, I don't like seeing the Giants struggle on that level. Giants are better than that.

    Good luck Chuck!

  9. #9
    TVWBB Olympian ChuckO's Avatar
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    I actually found a couple recent photos (I'm surprised I even took any) of some failed cooks in the smokers. When you look at them, you'd expect crispy, but the outside was awful. Inside....Wonderful! I really want to get back to making them good in and out, I'm hoping the increase temp and oil/buttering them gets me there




  10. #10
    TVWBB Fan Donna Fong's Avatar
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    Whoa, that's really dark. Are you sure you aren't over-smoking? Are you using wood? I'm genuinely surprised it'd look like that smoking at 250. And that's on your 18"? What rub are you using?

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