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Spatchcock Chicken or Not

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

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

post #2 of 16
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!
post #3 of 16
post #4 of 16
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)
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

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!

I do the same thing! Also, brine those birds before smoking them, you will get a real juicy chicken!!

post #6 of 16
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!
post #7 of 16
Ditto Case and Aaron. They said it all.
post #8 of 16

Spatch it!

 

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

 

Al

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

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

post #10 of 16
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.
post #11 of 16
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?
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarhead1979 View Post

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?

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/142448/dirtsailors-high-temp-chicken-smoke-debunking-that-low-and-slow-brined-and-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.
post #13 of 16

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

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pit 4 Brains View Post

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

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.
post #15 of 16
I've done it both ways. Mostly just spatch, rub and smoke. Delicious every time.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post


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.


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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