Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Sheppy's Rotisserie Chicken

Last October, Connor and I picked out and purchased a new grill. You may have seen part of the grill on a couple of beer pictures on this blog (like here and here and here). It is bigger and much nicer than my old grill, and I am glad we got it. One cool thing about this grill is that it has a rotisserie attachment and motor.

I didn't use the rotisserie for quite awhile. It was April when Connor finally got me to try it.

Brining the chicken

Chicken from April
It didn't turn out quite as wonderfully as I wanted it to. The inside tasted pretty good, but the outside was blackened enough to be considered burned. The wings and legs were very overdone.

Other than that, it was ok.

More recently, as mentioned a few times on this blog, I made Beer Can Chicken. This turned absolutely awesome. It was great. I loved it.

But, as mentioned in the comments of  Sheppy's Beer Can Chicken and a bit more in Sorry, I lied, after I made the beer can chicken, I came across a couple of negative articles towards the beer can chicken method of grilling.

Charlie Papazian (the god father of home-brewing ... author of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing) wrote an article a couple years ago called Beer can chicken NOT a good idea at all. You should read the article, but Charlie's main fear is that the lining in the beer can made degrade and get into your food.

Personally, this is not something I really worry about. I do not think the lining of the can ever gets hot enough to be a problem. Plus I don't think the trace amounts that might possibly make it into my stomach are going to hurt me. I certainly could be wrong.

The other article was called Debunking Beer Can Chicken: A Waste Of Good Beer (And It Is Dangerous) by a guy who calls himself "Meathead" and writes for the Huffinton Post.

Read this article too. His point is that beer can chicken just is not a great way to cook chicken. The "Dangers" he lists are pretty idiotic to me. Any reasonable adult can easily overcome these "dangers" by just being ... well ... reasonable.

But, it got me thinking. Sheppy's Beer Can Chicken turned out Soooooo much better than my first attempt at rotisserie chicken, but I made some mistakes and I knew I could do a better rotisserie bird than the first attempt.

So, of course I had to try it again.

And it turned out awesome.

Spinning around on the grill
Of course, not trying the two side-by-side, it is hard to remember for sure. If you made me choose which I think turned out better, I think I would still go with the beer can, but they were close enough that I cannot declare a clear winner.

For what it is worth, the Beer Model thinks they are the same and said she prefers the rotisserie chicken just because of Papazian's concern. She didn't remember enough of a difference either way on how the bird turned out.

So, maybe Meathead is right.

In case you are wondering, to prepare the chicken, I brined it in a solution of SheppyBrew's Cheap Bastard American Mild Ale and various spices. Unfortunately, I didn't really pay attention to what spicing or in what quantity, so I cannot really give you that information.

After the brining went on for a few hours (more than 4 less than 6), I patted the skin dry and applied Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue KC All Purpose Rub. I also put an orange inside the chicken. The reason for the orange is that I read it is a good idea for the rotisserie rod to have something in there to catch onto. I do not really think this is necessary on my grill's rotisserie setup.

I preheated the grill, of course.

I turned off the middle burner, put the bird on the spit and the spit on the grill. Then, I turned on the motor and watched it spin for a bit. I noticed that the wings were moving around enough that they would catch on the grill grate, so I got some twine and trussed up the bird's legs and wings. The trussing would have been much easier before the chicken was on the spit and the grill, but somehow I got it done none-the-less.

Then, I just let the bird cook on indirect heat for about two hours. The grill's thermometer was between 350 and 400. When it started getting toward either limit, I adjusted the burners. Towards the end, I turned on the middle burner for awhile.  I didn't let the direct flame stay on for very long. That was one of my mistakes the first time I made rotisserie  chicken.

I had some more SheppyBrew's Cheap Bastard American Mild Ale while the bird cooked.

At the end I checked the bird's temperature with a probe thermometer in several spots. Some spots were a bit above 170 some were closer to 160.

My beer of choice: SheppyBrew's Cheap Bastard

Then, I took the bird off and let it rest for awhile. I cut  it up and served it to the family. Everyone liked it.


So, as far as "Meathead's" article, he might have a point. The chicken turned out as good (or at least very close) on the rotisserie as it did on the beer can.

Ready to eat
I do think that beer can chicken is a bit easier. I didn't have to truss the beer can chicken. I didn't have to insert the rotisserie spit and then get it off at the end. Putting the beer can in and getting it out of the bird was easier for me than the rotisserie spit. This was not a huge difference, though.

The bottom line ... I think I am going to have to research this a bit further. Good thing the family likes grilled chicken.

Here is a short video of the bird spinning. Makes your mouth water watching it, doesn't it? It sure smelled good.

If you made it this far in my blog post, can you do me a favor and leave a comment? I would love to know your preferred method of grilling chicken.

Today is the 4th of July and I am grilling steaks for my wife and me. My youngest boy is going to have a brat and my oldest is going to have a cheese burger.


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