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Crispy skinned spatchcock chicken

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    Crispy skinned spatchcock chicken

    Been cooking spatchcock chicken low and slow. Bird turns out very tasty and juicy but want that crispy skin too. Should I increase temp for entire cook, go low and slow and then finish higher temp, dry brine with salt for 24 hours, etc??? All suggestions / comments greatly appreciated.
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    I'll tell you how I do it. That will at least give you some ideas, (and I cook on a Weber Kettle).

    I dry brine for a minimum of several hours with overnight preferred - uncovered in the refrigerator. Rub goes on top of a neutral oil just before the chix goes on the grill.

    For whole chix, I use the rotisserie and two baskets similar to the Weber baskets - one on either side of the chix. This way I can move them closer or farther depending on how fast the skin is browning. The baskets are full of hot coals - as hot as I can get them, and I add a fair sized chunk of hickory to one of the baskets. It takes about an hour and I don't remove the lid for at least 30 minutes. I take it off when the internal temp in the breast is 158°.

    For pieces, I use a Vortex with an almost full chimney of hot coals and the pieces go around the outside of the Vortex. A piece of hickory goes on the grate above the coals. For wings, it's about 40 min and for pieces large enough to temp, I pull breasts at 158° and dark meat gets pulled at 165° or higher. Dark meat can take it.

    I don't normally sauce, but if I do it's normally during the last 10 min because the sauce will burn at high temps if it stays on too long. Sauce softens the skin in my experience. Someone else may have a different experience.

    I hope this helps.


    • Swug
      Swug commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the tips. I'll be sure to try them.

    I do whole spatchcocked birds on my pellet cooker. I set it at 325 for the whole cook. 350 if I’m short on time. Comes out perfect. I do not brine but I use a rub offered by a local butcher generically called “ beer can chicken rub”. It has a fair amount of salt in it so no brine needed in my opinion. Very tasty.


      Welcome to the Pit from Dallas! I can’t help with this one, but I’ll chime in when I can.


        No low and slow for crispy skin. Let the fire rip, minimum 325, hotter is better. I like 375. But dry brine it overnight (I prefer 48 hour brine) uncovered in the fridge, and that will definitely help.


          I copied the information below from fzxdoc. She has pretty much mastered the art of crispy skin chicken. She prefers the pbc but it can be modified to any cooker. Anything after this is from her:

          To my family's taste buds, there's nothing like chicken on the PBC. I've smoked chicken on my WSCGC in both kamado and kettle/SnS modes, and I still go right back to the trusty PBC . Chicken on the PBC is a marriage made in heaven.

          Here's my method:

          Chicken on the PBC: How to get juicy chicken with crispy skin

          First, about salt: if my rub contains salt then I don't add any extra salt. Ever. I use the salt-containing rub as a dry brine.

          Even though it contains a lot of salt, I love PBC's AP rub with chicken and use it as a dry brine. I never add more salt. I smoke chickens once every two weeks, on average, and they're always done in an hour or so and the skin is crispy.

          Chicken prep:
          1. Slice the chicken in half the way Noah shows on his chicken video on the PBC website.
          2. Separate the skin from the muscle underneath on the breast, thigh, and leg.
          3. Sprinkle AP rub all over that exposed muscle and rub/pat to get it to stick.
          4. Smooth the skin back into place and sprinkle the skin with a mixture of one Tablespoon of rub and a teaspoon of baking powder.The baking powder helps to dry the skin.
          5. Set the chicken on a rack in a tray, uncovered, positioned with the maximum amount of skin exposed, in the refrigerator for 24 hours. This helps to dry the skin.
          6. When it comes time to smoke the chicken, sprinkle it lightly with sweet paprika. This helps give it a pretty color
          7. Hook and hang the chicken in the PBC once it has gone through the 15-10-10 lighting procedure (or whatever works for you) outlined in the first post of this topic. I let the PBC temp get over 400 before hanging the chicken. The PBC temp drops quickly when this cold meat mass is introduced, then climbs back up.
          1. Keep the PBC temperature up between 325 and 360. Usually I keep it around 350 or so. I do this by judiciously cracking the lid for short periods of time and by pulling a rebar if I'm only doing one chicken.
          2. Check the chicken temp and pull it when the breast reads 160. The carryover cooking will bring it to the safe 165. At this temperature, the legs and thighs are done as well.
          3. Let the chicken rest for a little bit before slicing. Otherwise, because the meat is so juicy and tender, the bone sometimes pulls right out of the leg when you try to eat it!
          Other Notes:
          I like slicing the chicken in half in the prep phase because I can get 3 chickens in the PBC that way, or 2 chickens and 2 hanging sausage holders filled with sausages. (Those sausages add a flavor bomb to the chicken, at least to our taste buds.)

          The chicken easier to carve if I remove the breast bone after slicing the bird in two in the prep stage. Then during carving, breast section easily pulls away from the rib cage so I can slice it crosswise.

          I don't use any oil on or under the skin for two reasons: first, Meathead now says that it doesn't do much, flavorwise, for oil-soluble spices, and second, for me at least, oil prevents the chicken skin from crisping. I get crisper skin without it. Lots of folks use oil, though, so try for yourself and see what works best.


            the above recipe from fzxdoc works just as well on a hot kettle - not slow and low - with a spatchcocked chicken. I'm doing one tomorrow.. I +1 everyone that said hot and fast!

            I love using capons - they cook a bit longer, and that helps crisping the skin. Try one! Below is a plain bird that was pulled after the ribs were done too - the bite thru skin was great. You can see where I probed the white meat and both sides juiced up.

            Click image for larger version  Name:	Spatch Chicken & Riblets.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.26 MB ID:	915739
            Last edited by JGo37; September 24, 2020, 04:30 PM.



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