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Thread: Beer can chicken -- brine it?

  1. #1
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    Beer can chicken -- brine it?

    I'm getting ready for my first beer can chicken. I plan to do it on my new Traeger pellet grill.
    Questions:
    1. Should I brine the chicken first? If so, then what is a good brine?
    2. I thought I'd use some Byron's Butt Rub. Or do you folks have a better idea?
    3. Planning to set the Traeger for 225 deg. Or should I cook at a higher temp?
    4. Thought I'd put a small pan of water next to the bird or is that necessary?
    Thanks for your suggestions.
    Glenn

  2. #2
    Moderator TentHunter's Avatar
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    Lots of options and other folks will weigh in on this as well.

    1) I think brining birds is a personal preference. I don't because I just don't find it's necessary.

    2) Use whatever kind of rub you like. For poultry I tend to shy away from rubs with a lot of paprika.

    3) 250° - 275° sems to work well for a lot of folks on here, then I like to bump it up to about 325 - 350 for the last 15 - 20 minutes to crips the skin but again, that's personal preference.

    4) I like putting a pan of water under the chicken both for moisture and to catch drippings. But a pan next to it will help keep moisture up in the pit.


    Be sure to post pics of it so we can see how it turns out!
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  3. #3
    Moderator Bear's Avatar
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    I don't brine mine. Don't use the water pan either. Lots of moisture from the can. I like Plowboys Yardbird, or Hastybake Greek for a rub.

  4. #4
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    I don't brine or use a water pan. I use olive oil as glue and use a red rub with sugar, some don't cause it tends to burn if temps are to high. I use beer or gingale and place a nectarine in the neck to hold everything in. I also bast the bird with dripping from the tray and bump the heat up in the last 1/2 hour and finish with BBQ sauce.
    Have fun they are good

  5. #5
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    I brine my whole chicken for 6 hours. Brining makes the chicken so juicy. I started using free range organic chicken and it reminds me of the chicken as a kid. The chickens are about a third of the size of the monster chicken stuck in the coop with the lights off. But worth every bit. I use a cup of salt and 1/2 cup of sugar. Bring to boil then cool. Tie the chicken with butchers twine for even cooking. I even use this method for baked chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and do not forget the cavity. Last twnety minutes bast with dripping from the pan with small amount of tyme. Best chicken I have ever had.

  6. #6
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    As far as I know,which isn't much, you only need to brine boneless birds. Is this right? Don't waste a full can of beer on this, make sure it's 1/2 empty. I haven't tried plowboys yardbird- I likie Cabelas chicken rub. Once I learned how to remove the keel bone in a chicken I haven't used the can since. I also heard that if ya leave the bird in fridg over night uncovered then cook it crisps the skin. I haven't tried this method yet. Is this true?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hobbit's Avatar
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    Just made a couple last weekend. I didn't brine and they have always come off the smoker very moist and flavorful. I do use olive oil to hold the rub (I make my own Memphis Style) and I very carefully open the skin around the neck and work rub between the skin and the breast (don't tear the skin). That adds flavor to the meat not just the skin. I then put in a probe and pulled at 165 degrees. Was very moist and the chicken salad sandwiches the next day were great. This is a great dish to experiment with and very forgiving. Have fun with it and enjoy what comes out of your smoker.
    Weber Kettle - Charcoal
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    MAK 2 Star #402 - Pellet

  8. #8
    Moderator TentHunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uinta smoking View Post
    As far as I know, you only need to brine boneless birds. Is this right?
    Bones in or out has little to do with it. Some folks swear by brining and others don't. Personally, I don't like the added salt that comes with brining (not good for my blood pressure), so I don't.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    ...This is a great dish to experiment with and very forgiving.
    yeah, and cheap too (which makes it double great)!
    Last edited by TentHunter; 06-03-2011 at 08:21 PM.
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

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