Beer can or upside down chicken?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by lisa cruisngrrl, May 7, 2015.

  1. I have a franklen chef "vertisserie" instead of rotating horizontal it rotates on a vertical axis.  The idea is the juices from the fattier parts of the bird (legs and thighs) drain down into the breast making the entire bird juicy. I'm thinking of using the stand from it with the smoker.  I also have a beer can stand.  sadly I can't put the bird upside down on the beer can.  

    My smoker doesn't get that hot, it's a masterchef $60 charcoal smoker with a water sink that seems to max out at about 200-225f.   being that it cooks with steamy smoke is there any point in using the beer can with the smoker or do you think i'll get better results standing the bird upside down?
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  2. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pics of your smoker would help, but usually ya can replace the water with sand & cover with foil for easy cleanup. That's what I do in my WSM with the water pan. The water pan is just a temp control.
  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Are you using the temp gauge that is in the top? If yes it is most likely wrong.
  4. Hell no, a broken clock would be more accurate than it.  
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Try doing without the 'pan'.
  6. So I'm considering doing the sand method, still have to choose between upside down or beer can.  
  7. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    I do a lot of beer can chickens. The reason this method works so well is not that it sits on a can of beer as much as it's the positioning of the bird. The leg quarters are closer to the heat than the breast, so the dark meat cooks up to temp without overcooking the breast. Upside down I would think that the breasts might overcook. But I've never tried it, and we all know there are many different ways to cook great food.
  8. So I did it with the beer can, used about 1/4 can of dr pepper as I usually don't drink beer and it seems in my area juice is only sold in bottles and not cans... had wanted to use a mango juice.  Came out with a nice smokey flavour that wasn't overpowering, the meat was juicy and the skin was crisp.  Filled the water pan with lava rocks.  Used way too much charcoal, Used royal oak bricks in the chimney and put royal oak lump in a ring in the smoker to fire up via minion method.  Used a remote thermometer with the probe in the breast to monitor the temp and pulled it off when it got to 185.   Had to put it on the lower rack which rests on the water pan as the chicken would have been too tall on the upper rack.  Used hickory wood chips in a smoking box which sat on the coals.  

    The reason I went with lava rocks is we already had them and am carless for a little while, didn't want to bring 18kg bag on the motorcycle.
    Last edited: May 13, 2015

  9. Will try the upside down chicken next time...
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  10. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    Sounds good. I'm glad it turned out well for you! Inthe future you can pull it off at 165* breast and 170* thigh temp. But I usually take them a little over that to err on the side of caution. A whole chicken will keep the juices in and still turn out moist, as you just saw! Great job!
  11. Great looking bird👍
  12. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    You have already answered your question about upside down birds.  I don't have a vertical rotisserie but I have roasted chickens and turkeys upside down in the past.  The recommendation back then was the same concerning juices and basting.  Seemed to make sense at the time.  I stopped when I realized the breasts always came out dry because it was getting more direct heat than the thighs and legs, which take longer to cook anyway.  Back to right side up birds for me on beer cans. 
  13. The vertical rotisserie has heat coming from the sides and I find the bird is very juicy through out. I'll have to get a few temp probes and put them at different levels in the smoker to see what is going on better
  14. I find, however I cook a chicken, as long as I pull it at the right temp(being mindful of carry over) it ends up being juicy and delicious.  I don't think adding liquid into the beer can does much.  I've roasted chickens on it with and without liquid and they've all turned out well.  The biggest issue is getting the skin crispy.  I've found low temp cooks, with smoke, can turn the skin a bit rubbery.  I prefer a higher heat roast for chicken.  If I had to give an edge to any one method it would be to butterfly(spatchcock) or cut the chickens in half. 

    Your chicken looks tasty, have fun experimenting.  
    Last edited: May 15, 2015

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