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Thread: Chicken- size matters

  1. #1
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    Chicken- size matters

    Did my first rottisserie chicken. I didnít tell my wife what size chicken to get and she came home with a 6 pounder. Took around 3 hours to cook with 2 charcoal racks on the sides for which I had to add more charcoal a few times. After a while I just moved the racks to direct heat because I was clearly going to go well beyond the 1.5 hrs I planned on cook time. Candidly I didnít tie the chicken as well as I could have with she skin shrinking and exposing breast meat and the breast meat was stringy and nowhere near as tasty as the drumstick or thighs. My question is: what size chicken is ideal and how much does size matter when trying to get best results for chicken? Is it possible to get good breast meat with larger chickens or too long of a cook time will destroy white meat no matter what?

  2. #2
    TVWBB Emerald Member Dustin Dorsey's Avatar
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    I assume you are cooking on a kettle? I would look at different ways of trussing the chicken. Here's a interesting way to do it:

    https://www.chefsteps.com/activities...russ-a-chicken

    It can be a challenge sometimes to get the dark meat done such that the breast doesn't dry out. Brining the chicken can give you some wiggle room. You can try icing the breast down ahead of time or putting a foil shield over it for part of the cook so that the rest of the meat gets a head start. I can't remember what sizes I've done. It seems like I had one about 6 lbs that took forever and I ran into a similar issue.
    22.5 WSM, 22.5 OTS, Smokey Joe, Genesis 1000, Smokenator 1000, Old Country Pecos, Thermapen, Smoke, Maverick ET-732, Igrill 2

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    I normally use quite small chickens, sort of 1.3 kg or so, but I have done much bigger ones on the rotisserie and I have no real issues. Admittedly they weren't as big as yours (that's the size of a turkey here!)
    I generally have a drip pan underneath the chicken and remove it when I feel the chicken is almost done and finish up over direct heat.
    Can you give some more details about the way you use the rotisserie?
    Lid closed or open?
    What size kettle (just assuming it's a kettle)?
    Vents open or closed?

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    Wsm 18.5, lid closed and all vents open.
    Last edited by Kyle Ss; 05-31-2018 at 12:25 PM.

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    I haven't used my rotisserie on a WSM.
    I would just put a normal charcoal fire. No charcoal to the side as you are grilling far from the coals

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    I can also just not use the middle piece of the wsm and put the Cajun bandit over the bottom section. Would be much closer to the coals then.

  7. #7
    New Member Michael Iron's Avatar
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    With turkey size sure matters the best I have found to be hens in the 12-13 pound range. A 6 pound chicken is a big bird, normally mine are in the 4-5 pound range. Quality meat has a lot to do with it.

    On the 22" kettle with roti I do the baskets on the side with a drip pan.



    With birds on the 18" WSM and roti I do direct heat and keep it around 300 degrees. Takes me about 4 hours to do a hen turkey, if I'm using the WSM and roti I use turkeys.



    I miss not having the juices in a pan with the direct heat but the flavor profile is worth it to me with the juices dripping on the hot coals and adding the smoke. But of course can't reuse the left over coals or at least I don't.
    22" OTG 22" Limited Red Kettle 18" WSM Genesis E-330, CyberQ ATC, Rotisseries (Gasser & Kettle & WSM), Slow 'n Sear

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    TVWBB Gold Member Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    And today looking chickens, they were roughly all 6 pound chickens, see the “Fowl frustration” thread. I’m planning on a double bird twirling endeavor this week. I got one this morning and hope I can match size (reasonably) when I go back in the morning. Guest list doubled! It will be fine.
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

  9. #9
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    I would be doing about the same as Michael describes in his post above

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