I took a few birds for a dance on my friend's propane grill two weekends ago. Started with 3 chickens about 5lb each before removing giblets, etc. Gave them a generous rub using a mixture of paprika, salt, pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne, inside and out and under the skin. Then stood them up on 12 oz beer cans of Bud 3/4 full and a couple of sprigs of bay leaves in each can, then poked some holes in the skin using a wooden skewer. Here the girls are lined up for the dance:
If you poke holes throughout the skin it lets the fat drain off the birds and allows the skin to crisp up quite nicely. Next I placed them on the gas grill and turned on the burners on the far left and right of the grill. On the right hand side of the grill I made a foil packet of sugar maple and apple wood chips and placed them right over the burner. Because I wanted the skin to crisp up, I put them on the grill at around 275* all set for the ho-down. I tried to have the legs and thighs closer to the heat and placed the thermometer right in the thigh.
About two hours later, the thigh meat was 175* and the birds looked great. Nice crispy skin, good color. Here they are just a few minutes before they came off to rest for 20 minutes.
The meat was very juicy with a slight smokey flavor. Not overpowering smoke flavor, and there was a hint of the herbal flavoring from the bay leaves in the beer cans. I suspect the smoke flavor was light because it was on the gas grill and with the heat coming from both sides and the smoke only coming from one side, I think the chamber was not as smokey as it usually is. In addition, because I cooked it at a higher temp, there was less time for it to absorb the smoke (only a little over 2 hours). However, the results were excellent. My friends said it was some of the most moist chicken that they ever had. Their finicky children (ages 8 and 5) gobbled it up too. Wifey says "Don't call me Wifey....The birds were delicious and you can cook whenever you want." My friends also said I'm allowed to visit their lake house any time I want, especially after following up the Weekend of Smoke Part 1 and Part 2 with the Beer Can Chicken Dance.
Edited by WhtPlainsSmoker - 8/1/11 at 7:33pm