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Need help cooking chicken halves!

 
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CPatterson





Joined: 05 Jan 2014
Posts: 1


Location: Raleigh, NC

Post Post subject: Need help cooking chicken halves!  Reply with quote

Anyone have experience cooking on a Lang 84 loaded with chicken halves? I have been asked to help with a fund raiser next week that will involve two to three cooks with as many chicken halves as I can get on my Lang. I have plenty of experience with butts and ribs, but not chicken halves.  There will be no time for rubs or brining. The plan is to cook the chicken, dip it in bbq sauce and place it in a cooler. Does anyone have a recommendation for pit temp, cook time, wood type, technique etc. Should I move the chicken halves from front to back, top to bottom at mid-cook? Thanks in advance.
Post Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:14 am 
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Wood River BBQ Team





Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 426


Location: Tucson, AZ

Post Post subject: Re: Need help cooking chicken halves! Reply with quote

CPatterson wrote:
Anyone have experience cooking on a Lang 84 loaded with chicken halves? I have been asked to help with a fund raiser next week that will involve two to three cooks with as many chicken halves as I can get on my Lang. I have plenty of experience with butts and ribs, but not chicken halves.  There will be no time for rubs or brining. The plan is to cook the chicken, dip it in bbq sauce and place it in a cooler. Does anyone have a recommendation for pit temp, cook time, wood type, technique etc. Should I move the chicken halves from front to back, top to bottom at mid-cook? Thanks in advance.



Cpatterson: I, along with 2 other cooks, have cooked chicken at 2 large church events. We did not use a Lang -- we used a Meadow Creek Chicken Cooker. I think I can apply some of what we learned to the Lang. First of all, these events "ain't like cooking a few birds in my backyard" on my Lang. There is no time to fool around and "low & slow" doesn't work. We did not brine.

We didn't have time for wood and used charcoal -- if I was using my Lang I'd use lump. We had a small supply of apple which we added as the cook went on -- I wish we had more apple but we didn't want to over power the meat and I'd use that wood in my Lang for smoke flavor. I think the pit temperature averaged about 275* and maybe higher. We placed all the chicken the same way to try to keep track of what were were doing but the ones that went on first started cooking before we finished loading the last one so you have to pay attention to what your doing. Each cook was responsible for a section of the cooker -- on the lang probably one person should be assigned to tend the fire box. You'll probably have to cook with the lid open but I don't know. That will eat up your fuel. Also,when parts of the fire start to flare up -- we used a couple of small water sprayer to control flare up's. We didn't brine but did sprinkle seasoning on both sides only once at the first turn. You might want to consider seasoning, it gives a nice flavor. BBQ sauce is on the side since some folks don't like it.

We turned the chickens frequently to avoid charring -- on the Lang I don't think you'll have time to move the chickens to different racks. It's hard enough just turning them. We used a digital thermometer to determine the final temperature -- we looked for about 180* internal because there's nothing worse than serving a piece that's not done. Once the cook started and the folks started to line up I lost track of time -- I think the first batch was done in about 1 hour. As chicken was taken off the grill, others were added and that's where some confusion starts.

It's a fun event but it's nerve racking because you want to produce a good product. I'm glad when the last chicken goes on the grill. Hopefully, you got a tip or 2 that you can apply to your event. I hope it comes off good for you.

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Wood River BBQ Team
Post Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:49 pm 
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randywallace





Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Posts: 27


Location: Clinton, MS

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I have filled an 84 with chicken halves many times.  Make sure drain is clean so juice can run out.  Started with a bag of charcoal to heat it up and tossed in firewood sized pieces of split seasoned cherry as we went.

We seasoned the chicken with a bulk rub and cooked them until they were 180.  Didn't move them around.  Emptied chicken into aluminum pans and repeated the process.  Not much to it other than adjusting the firebox airflow a couple times to keep temp where we wanted it.  I wouldn't get the temp up much over 280ish or you may experience some flair ups with that amount of chicken.


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Cooking on a Lang 84 and sitting next to a pile of wood.

Post Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:40 pm 
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