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Original poster
Jan 24, 2014
Howdy,  Just want to introduce myself.  I just bought a 30" MES and used it for the first time this past weekend.  I smoked a beef brisket and it was awesome!  I plan to smoke some chickens next time.  Any suggestions as to whether or not to smoke chicken halves or the whole chickens?
Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything.   
[/h1][h1]  [/h1][h1]Gary[/h1]
Hi Harold, welcome to SMF. Chicken halves will cook faster than whole birds since you don't have to deal with the body cavity. A lot of us spatchcock our birds, which is cutting out the backbone and laying the bird out and pressing down on the keelbone to get the bird to lay flat. I'll actually break the keelbone on both sides of the breast and remove it. It makes it easier to cut the bird in half when it's finished cooking.

Enjoy the Smoke.
Hi Gary,  Enjoyed seeing that Texas flag waving in the wind.  I spent 10 wonderful years in Texas; 3 in Houston and 7 in Austin.  We really enjoyed Austin.  Have eaten some great Texas smoked brisket during those years.  There was a place we use to go to in Austin called "The County Line" that had the best Beef Ribs I've ever had!  Thanks for your help with the chickens; I've never prepared the birds the way some of you so--sounds great!  I'll just have to experiment.

I have a MES 30 and just did two chickens in it. i spatchcocked them and it took 3.5 hours then I moved them to the grill for finishing.  Before I pulled them they were 165* in the breast.

I used Apple wood in my AMNPS and one load of chips in the chip box.

They were awesome!!!!!!


PS. I also used Jeff's rub.
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Welcome, try the spatchy chicken and ya may never do another method other than the good old beer can bird. Again, Welcome... WHB
Hi Dutch,

As you can see, I'm new to this forum.  I apologize for not giving you the credit for answering my question on smoking the chickens.  I got so excited over seeing the Texas flag, I gave credit to the wrong person.  Having never prepared chicken in this way, please excuse my ignorance.  I'm not sure I fully understand how you're cutting out the backbone and spreading the chicken out.  It would seem to me just cutting the chicken in half to start with and smoking the halves would be about the same thing.  Perhaps I'm missing something in the process?
I took kitchen shears and cut the back bone from tail to neck on both sides thus removing it.  They say to push down on the breast and it will break the breast bone and the bird will lay flat.  I did not do this step.  I like it since it cooked so evenly and was super easy to handle.  then when I picked it up with just a pair of tongs and placed it on the gas grill bone side down, I was amazed at how easy it grilled.  No flare ups at all with the bone side down.  I did get a few when I turned it. 

I am very impressed with this style of cooking a bird.  I wish I had known about it years ago.  It is also very easy to cut up and serve.

Oh, BTW El Pollo Loco does theirs the same way.  I thought they did halves until the other day when I actually was paying attention.

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