In my last JoeTisserie chicken cook posting, I talked a bit about the goal of trying to get the front and the back half of the chicken done at the same time. Getting the white meat breast to 160 degrees and the dark meat thigh areas to 175 degrees, –at the same time.
Can it be done?
Today, I am changing things up a bit from that last cook. I think the results were good, the method just needs more work. So I will continue to try.
As before, I banked up the remains of charcoal from my last cook to the right side of the firebox. The center of the charcoal pile is right under where the JoeTisserie spit rod will lay.
This time, instead of using 2 of the paraffin fire starter cubes, I am using just one. The fire-starting cube is placed towards the top of the charcoal pile in the firebox.
As always, I fully open the bottom vent, and have the dome opened up for about 10 minutes to get the fire going.
My target temperature is 350 degrees for this cook. After the Kamado has warmed up, I close down the bottom vent half way, so it is opened about 2 inches. The top vent is opened about 1/4 of the way and the daisy wheel fully open. As the temperature comes up to the target range, I will close down the top vent.
The Kamado Joe is almost 300 degrees, I put on a chunk of cherry wood and the spit rod with the chicken.
I have a hard time estimating where to exactly place the chicken, so I make the final adjustments on the grill. This time, the chicken is a bit closer to the JoeTisserie rotisserie motor. I didn’t want the legs and the thighs too close to the thermal energy of the heat source.
You know, sort of a 2 zone cooking system!
The chicken was prepared the same as my last cook.
This chicken weighed in at 3.82 pounds in an up to 5% saltwater solution, –so said the cryovac label. The day before the cook, I rinsed and dried the chicken and placed it on a wire rack. Then, sprinkled with some kosher salt, some fresh ground black pepper, and some of Penzeys Northwoods seasoning blend. Fresh spices make a huge difference. I wish there was a brick-and-mortar store close to me.
Here is a secret, –having the chicken sit overnight in the fridge, along with the salt, will dry out that soggy skin. With this method, I can get ever so close to the oven roasted crispy skin texture I am looking for.
I also truss the chicken so nothing flops around while the JoeTisserie motor is doing its thing.
I check on how the cook was going at the 45 minute mark. The thigh area was at 160 degrees and the breast area was at 130.
At the hour mark, the breast was running at 165 and the thigh area was 185 degrees on my not so instant read thermometer. Overshot the temperature again!
I did manage to keep the temperature at 350 degrees for the entire cook.
But, the chicken was awesomely awesome, as always! The dogs had their tidbits. The cutting board was full of juices.
This method seems to work, but still needs some refinement.
So is it worthwhile?
Well, yes! I think so, the chickens come out tasty and juicy, even if they have overshot the temperature a bit. Grilling and smoking, and those low and slow cooks is a great way to relax. Who doesn’t like the taste of outdoor cooking?
Next time, I think I will move the chicken a bit more towards the JoeTisserie motor, a bit further away from the thermal energy heat source.
My theory is that there is a sweet spot, getting the chicken close enough to the thermal energy of the charcoal fire focused where I want it, –on the legs and thighs. The goal is to get the front half cooked to 160 degrees, and the back half cooked to 175 degrees, at the same time.
Maybe it doesn’t matter, but is sure is fun trying.