Spatchcock Chicken or Not

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by danbono, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi First time doing whole chickens.Going to do a couple of chickens on the 4th. Can't decide if I want to cook them whole or spatchcock them.
    What are the pro's n cons of spatchcock chickens?
    Thanks Dan
     
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Spatch them all. It's the best way to get an even cook on a bird. I spatch 99% of the poultry I cook, even turkey!
     
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  4. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    My advice is spatchcock them. Its just the best way to cook chicken whole in my opinion. Even cook and the bird comes out juicy too. If you smoke low and slow you can finish hot to crisp skin if you like skin.

    Just my $0.02 ymmv

    Happy Smoking,
    phatbac(Aaron)
     
  5. sauced

    sauced Master of the Pit

    I do the same thing! Also, brine those birds before smoking them, you will get a real juicy chicken!!
     
  6. I started spatching as of this year. No turning back.
    No cons. All pros.(the main pro being perfect even cooking on every part of the bird.) also, I find it easier to evenly distribute seasoning too!
     
  7. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ditto Case and Aaron. They said it all.
     
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Spatch it!

    It's the only way I smoke poultry, since I did it the first time several years ago!

    Al
     
  9. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All With the spatchcock chicken temps at 275 how long of a smoke am I looking at?

    Should I go with higher temps?

    Thanks Dan
     
  10. The highest my MES will go is 275. Average size chicken I get is around 5lbs so about 2 1/2 hrs. If you like skin like hey said finish at a hotter temperature. I gave to out mine in oven on broil and it comes out still juicy and smokey. I haven't brined yet but plan on it I just use Creole butter injections, hence the name. Spatchcock definitely though.
     
  11. How necessary is the brine with spatched chickens, fellas? If I just rub a bird down and throw her on the smoke with no brine, will it still be pretty juicy?
     
  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I never brine chicken to "make sure it's juicy".
    Check out the poultry section here

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/191066/dirtsailors-mega-mother-of-all-cooking-links-index

    And this thread:

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/...spritzed-is-the-only-way-to-get-moist-chicken

    If you want to brine to add additional flavor go for it, but it's not needed to render a juicy bird. In fact one of my favorite ways to cook a bird is a simple rub, spatched and right onto the smoker.
     
  13. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There's been some back and forth about this. Poultry that is labeled as "enhanced wi x% solution or "not a sodium free product" usually already contain some sort of brine and the argument was that they will not take to a brine.

    However if you go the extra step and find one that is "fresh" or "un-enhanced", then that meat will take a brine in just fine. 

    If it's the former, you should be fine, a brine wouldn't hurt though. If it's the latter, brine first..

    I brine ALL of my cornish hens but not all of my chickens.

    -Pit
     
  14. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I can still get a nice moist juicy bird from even fresh without brining. Just saying. Not wanting to argue it.

    Where most go wrong Is over cooking.

    Brine for flavor, not a crutch.
     
  15. sauced

    sauced Master of the Pit

    I've done it both ways. Mostly just spatch, rub and smoke. Delicious every time.
     
  16. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I couldn't agree more.

    I marinade enhanced birds for flavor, but that wasn't the OP's question. 52 ways to skin a cat..
     

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