Weber Beer Can Chicken Cooker Question & Comments
- sivyaleah Jul 19, 2006 01:54 PM
So, I purchased the Weber version of the Beer Can Chicken cooker. I bought this one because it looked a lot sturdier than most, plus it had a nice sized bottom to add veggies to cook in while the chicken was roasting.
All in all, the chicken came out very nicely. Only 2 things I wasn't so keen on:
1. The pan was very difficult to remove from the grill I don't know why they do not manufacture this with handles on the side to grasp. It took both my husband and I to manuever the thing off the grill, oh so carefully mind you because the bottom of it was of course filled with the chicken drippings and veggies. I'd suggest turning off the grill before removal on the off chance of a spill. All that fat on top of the gas flame could be quite the disaster. In the end, DH managed to remove the chicken from the roaster with tongs and get it onto a serving platter, but not without a lot of muss and fuss. Thankfully, chicken did remain whole in the removal.
2. Surprised that the skin did not get as crisp as I anticipated. Found that doing it in the oven produced a much more browned and crunch product. I did not peek at the chicken except for one quickie mid-way through cooking, so there was little heat to escape. I'd do the same at home. I can only think that maybe the juices in the pan were spattering back up onto the chicken, basically basting it as it cooked. Personally, I never baste my birds - I find it unnecessary.
However, the chicken was incredibly moist and tender and very flavorful. We didn't use beer - in fact the instructions specifically warned against using alcohol in the well - although my husband seems to think that beer doesn't count due to most of them having a very low alcohol content. I just filled it up with lemon juice and zest, various herbs and such. The veggies came out quite nice too.
But, it was a nice way to cook a whole chicken on a hot summer day. I'm sure I'll use it again, but I sure would like to figure out how to get the skin a darker color next time.
I don't have the Weber can chicken stand, but my version has an open grate across the bottom, which allows the fat to drip through. If you want a crispier skin, rub it generously with oil before putting it on...if color is more of a concern, you can stir a little soy into the oil.
At what temperature were you cooking? You might need to raise it to 325 or higher to get a crispier skin. I also like to let the bird sit on a rack in the fridge for a few hours to dry out the skin before I put it on the smoker-- that helps to get a crispier skin, as does rubbing it with oil as suggested, or even mopping it with a little melted butter along the way...Also, I like to use high-heat rubbery gloves rather than tongs or other tools so I can get hands on with the food, which might help for removal in the future...
I have the Weberchicken stand, and crispy skin is very important to me...I do leave the bird out in the fridge, I don't oil it ..I have found this has produced flabbier skin..but I DO cook it at a higher temp...375...and if close to the end of cooking it still isn't crisp enough for me, I crank up the heat to the highest setting for the last few minutes...
I dont brine unless i am doing a turkey. The smaller birds dont need it, though i sometimes marinate the whole thing before drying thourougly and rubbing with whatever spice mixture im using.
I have communal grills on my property so i really dont know what temp they get to. When the grill is on high you can peek without losing too much heat though to see how the skin is going. I think medium low is probably in that range, i usually dont peek when it is on that temp.
The important thing to do when using a gas grill is use a smoker box. I cant stres this enough, the smoke imparted from this really makes the final product. The grill i use has three grates. The two grates on the side i take off(which are above the lit burners) and place a smoker box over each. I usually use hickory or applewood
I was thinking about doing it this way the next time too. My grill isn't a smoker tho. But I frequently handle birds this way in the oven, so maybe it might make a difference on the grill.
I do find, however, that you really can't get the grill temp to go very low anyway - I think 325ish was about as low as mine would get.
I do them on an offset smoker, for what that's worth, but they usually come out so juicy it doesn't seem worth the extra step of brining. When I do parts, or even butterflied birds then I usually do some sort of marinade or brine.
Have you tried anything other than beer? I used onion, garlic and 7up once. That was actually pretty nice.