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iGrill and Beer in the Butt Chicken

May 27, 2013

Quite a few years ago I heard of a fantastic way of cooking a chicken whole on a BBQ (or in a oven) which required minimal preparation time, perfect for the busy lifestyle we now seem to endure. Basically Beer in the Butt Chicken (or Chicken on the Throne) meant taking a can of beer, cracking it open, and drinking half of it. Then (if you want to be fancy you added herbs and spice into the remaining beer in the can), place the chicken on the can (can up the bottom for want of a better explanation). Onto a BBQ with a terracotta pot over the top, or if you have a covered BBQ, lid down. Cook at about 180 for an hour and a half, job done. The malt in the beer permeates the skin of the chicken and gives it a lovely crisp brown colour, and the flesh is tender and juicy. Even as leftovers the next day, the chicken is still moist…we rarely cook chicken any other way.
Of course I am always looking for new and exciting ways to cook food, or for things that making cooking easier. And I found two products that do just that. The first is a cheap way to make the cooking safer (handling hot chicken balancing on a can of super-heated liquid is not child’s play), $20 gets you the Chicken Beer Roaster Deluxe. This neat device allows you to cook roast vege on the BBQ as well keeping all those smells outside (they are good smells!), it also provides a much more stable platform for you to be able to move the chicken around especially important when taking the chicken off the can to carve it.

Chicken is well supported, and there's room for the vegetables

Chicken is well supported, and there’s room for the vegetables

The second product is a recent purchase, cooking a chicken (or any other meat) on a BBQ or in the smoker can sometimes be a bit of a guessing game. And every time you lift the lid or open the smoker door, you lose precious heat. This is where a temperature probe really comes in handy, they’ve been around for years in various forms. But recently the electronic ones have become a lot more affordable. I own several types, including Bradley Smokers version, however the best one I’ve used so far is the iGrill. This neat device connects to your iPad/iPhone or Android based device via Bluetooth. It has the ability to run two probes independently, great for doing two cuts of meat in the smoker.
All you need is an iGrill and the free App downloaded from the App Store (or Play Store on Android), pair the device to the iGrill and you are good to go. You can select from one of the many built in meat presets, or add your own custom one. You can track progress via a graphing tool which is useful in helping predict when the meat will be ready.

Testing the probes, one inside and one outside

Testing the probes, one inside and one outside

Before you know it you’ll be cooking the perfect roast safe in the knowledge that it will be cooked perfectly to the correct temperature.

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