Goofs and Gadflies

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Art of Eating

I have been asked to write about my BBQ Beer Butt Chicken. Cooking is the vibrant combination of temperature, taste, texture, and time. The 4T's as it were. Here are the short tips:

Temperature- I cook with indirect heat on the BBQ, Med-Off-Med are the burner settings and I like to keep the grill around 400F for consistent results. The trick is to keep the Q shut for as much of the cooking time as possible to recirculate the heat. A quick turn every 20 minutes is enough to ensure even crisping of the bird.

Taste- I have tried two distinct flavours and both were successful. Bone Suckin' BBQ and Shwarma flavour. BBQ has notes of brown sugar, paprika, garlic and spices where shwarma spice has primarily a cumin and tumeric base. I find the BBQ version to be juicier, yet the shwarma style accepts the smoke of the grill with a more graceful match than the BBQ.

Texture- Chicken made in this style has flesh that can be described as thus. Supple and buttery (yet not greasy) for the dark meat; Breast meat that is firm with a gentle yielding to the knife. The wings get delightfuly carmelized and neck is best described as decadent.

Time- 60 minutes for Shwarma, and 50 minutes for BBQ. The sugars in the BBQ spice speed up the cooking slightly. I still use a meat thermometer in the thigh to hit 180C. I don't mind going over a bit, as the steam allows for flexibility depending on the crispiness desired for the skin. Going over 60 Min? At your own risk, I say.

I start on Wednesday with a trip to Hamilton Kosher Pick up a Chai Poultry bird of approx 1.5 KG. Thursday AM I wash the bird, take 2 Tblsp of olive oil and apply to the skin to help the rub stick. I then rub the bird good with a generous amount of either spice. Set in the fridge for 36 hours.

Friday night I open a can of beer, pour half into glass. Add more spice to remaining beer in the can. Spray can with PAM, and place inside Butt of Chicken. Place chicken onto the cooking rack and place on pre-heated 400F Grill. (some people cook with out it, but I like the rack for its stabilizing properties later when I cut the bird into 8 pieces) Cook 50-60 minutes. If BBQ style add sauce during last 5 min of cooking. Allow one hour to cool (minimum 30 min). Cut and keep warm until serving.


  • Love it. LOVE it. Though, in recent years I've found that there's nothing I can't BBQ -- chicken, roast beef, pizza, cakes and cookies, french fries... if you can make it in an oven, you can make it in a BBQ.

    By Blogger NotMike, At 6:32 AM  

  • Hey, Thank you!!! I love this post!! Keep it up!!

    This is Nancy from Israeli Uncensored News

    By Blogger Nancy, At 10:58 PM  

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