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First Beer Can Chicken

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I'm giving my first beer can chicken a try after work tonight.   As a matter of fact, this will be my first real cook on the Akron Jr.  I'm using this recipe from Angry Orchard:




Ironically, I couldn't find any Angry Orchard in a can, so I ended up using Smith & Forge instead.   The bird has been bathing in the brine all night.   I've attached the pics of the prep and will follow up with pics of the finished product later tonight or tomorrow.









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Very interested to see the results of the BC chicken and hear your thoughts.  I will be very surprised if you don't end up with a charred top third by the time the thighs get done.  This is even more likely in a Jr. since the space between the top of the bird and the dome is so small.

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10 hours ago, toddwchandler said:

I've been reading about the spatchcock method of cooking that you are referring to and have that on my list to try next!

I've done two chickens beer can and about half a dozen spatchcock, you can guess what my family prefers!


After several beer can chickens across my gasser and Kamado, I have come to the conclusion that the best use for the beer is drinking while you wait for the cook.

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In Meathead's book one of the myths he dispels is beer can chicken, saying basically you are using the chicken as a beer can koozie.  He measured the beer temp of chickens cooked to 160, the beer was 150.   He measured the weight of the beer in the can before and after the cook and it was always the same- or maybe a little more if fat had dripped in.   His advice is to enjoy roast chicken and drink the beer.  I'm a big spatchcok fan, start it bone side down and finish it skin side down for crispy, yummy skin.

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57 minutes ago, AntinOz said:

Beer can was my goto method for chicken until somebody convinced me to hack a chicken apart and spatchcock it.  Never looked back and even have some shears now to make it a lot easier.

But you  gotta admit, if you go back to the pictures, brining  and recipes at the beginning of this thread; That would be a damnfine spatchcock chicken.  And, please, keep the skin crisp.

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Well, sadly this turned out pretty badly.   It turned out badly because I screwed up the cook.


I put in my Smokin Stone Jr. prior to the cook and don't think I should have.   I believe this recipe meant for the chicken to be over direct heat.


I stuck my temp probe in the thigh of the chicken and it read 167 degrees, so I thought I was good to go.   I must have hit the bone or something and got a false reading.   My daughter went to cut the leg off and chow down after we pulled it off and it was still red and not running clear.


I ended up shoving it in the oven for a while until the temp at the thigh came up to where it was supposed to be.


Overall, it was pretty much a failure.   That was my first time using the Akorn Jr. and I obviously have a lot to learn still.   Will definitely try spatchcock next time and won't have the Smokin Stone Jr. in there.




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Color can be misleading too. Juices don't have to be clear, meat can be pink, as can bones. Your thermometer is more accurate, just test in several places. That said, I think most people are looking for 180° ish in thighs, 165° in the breast. 

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Again, very difficult to do a beer can chicken on a kamado, particularly a Jr.  And you gain nothing in flavor  or techniques by doing it.  The beer or whatever you have in the can never gets hot enough to steam up and add flavor and from a cooking standpoint you would be better of to stand it with the breast down and the leg up.  Most of us have been there and realized this, so don't feel bad about one cook.  If your chicken wasn't done, based on the color in the picture, it may well have been really charred if you left it on longer.

Beer can was a fad, it will work in an indoor oven, but you are far better off to spatchcock a whole chicken, direct or indirect.

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I don't think the smoking stone was the problem. If you grill a whole chicken direct without a drip pan you'll introduce a lot of fat/grease into your kamado that can cause problems down the road. 


Spatchcocked, indirect w/ drip pan, at 400* for at least an hour. That's how I would roll. 


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