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Thread: Whole chickens on pellet grill -- how big?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Whole chickens on pellet grill -- how big?

    I'm still new to pellet grilling.
    This weekend I thought I'd practice grilling whole chickens on my Trager Texas pellet grill. I plan to brine 2 chickens and then cook them as follows:
    1. One whole chicken on a beer can
    2. One whole chicken "spachcocked"

    I figure that by doing a chicken each way I can maybe tell which method I (and my family) like best.

    The plan is to brine the birds and then put on the pellet grill at 225 deg. until done.

    Questions:
    1. What size chickens should I get? 4#?, 5#?, 6#?
    2. About how long should it take to cook them at 225 deg?
    3. If both chickens are the same size, will they each take about the same amount of time to cook?
    Any other suggestions?
    Glenn

  2. #2
    Senior Member BBQ Joe's Avatar
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    I did two spatchcock chicken on my mak a couple of weeks ago. I got the chickens at costco and i would guess they weighed about three pound each. Cooked them at 325 and they were the best chicken I have ever cooked. Watch BP's video to see how they are done.
    MAK 2 Star #426
    Weber Gas

  3. #3
    Rip
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    Senior Member Rip's Avatar
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    Hi Glenn,
    You really want to cook to an IT of 165, not a specific time. At 225, I would expect cooking times around 70-90 minutes for a spatchcocked average chicken. I like to cook at 250-275 until around 145 IT, then bump to 400 to crisp the skin. Sorry, no experience with beer can chicken.
    MAK 2 Star #385
    Lil Tex (gone to ChiTown)

  4. #4
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    Whole chickens are one of my favorite things to do on my Louisiana grill for two reasons; they are easy and they are spectacular! On a pellet grill, the chicken does not dry out like a conventional grill or smoker; the breast meat stays incredibly juicy.
    I agree with IT being your goal. I actually use a digital probe and just set my finished temperature, close up the grill and wait. I usually cook at 275+ and figure on it taking about an hour and a half for a 5-6# bird. Have never tried spatchcocking and am not sure it would be necessary or even good with this type of grill.
    Good Luck!
    [/SIGPIC]
    If we forget that we are one nation under GOD, we will be a nation gone under.--Ronald Reagan

    Louisiana Country Smoker 450
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  5. #5
    Senior Member 383inTheD's Avatar
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    I recently did 4 whole birds on the MAK 2 for a little get together. They we all pretty close to 4.5 pounds each and I started with a smoke cycle and then bumped temp to 225 and finished at 375. They turned out very nice (moist and tender) considering a short rest period and my first attempt at whole chicken on a pellet smoker. Like others, I focused on IT rather than cook time. Hope that helps.
    MAK 2 Star (#383)

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