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Old 02-06-2016, 08:53 AM   #1
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Struggling with chicken bbq.. Newbie here

Hi thr, I have an 18" bbq kettle and charcoal briquettes . I'm planning to make tandoori chicken( 2 whole chicken cut into 8 big pieces) . So I read that chicken should be cooked in indirect heat method ( two zone). But I Have doubts ...I will list them down
1) how many briquettes should I use ?
2) how long should I cook the each side ? Does it has to be cooked both sides ?
if so, when shud I flip , I mean after how many minutes ?
3) should I cook it with lid on ?
4) what should be the grill temperature to be maintained ? I don't have a grill gauge , but I wud like to know.
Kindly note that I don't have a meat thermometer either.
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:09 PM   #2
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When I grill anything:

1. I use the lid

2. I save charcoal by snuffing it after a cook, when I start again, I add a layer. In other words, I have no idea of the amount of charcoal.

3. I cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, inspect, flip, then repeat until I remove the food when I am satisfied that it is done.

I also do not have a thermometer in my 18" kettle. My guess is that I tend to cook at between 300 and 350 degrees F.
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:40 PM   #3
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Dennis has it right, I do like to use a thermometer like a Thermapen or other instant read thermometer to check the temp of the chicken, it should be 165. You didn't say if you have an 18" Weber or other, but I'm with Dennis put a good layer of charcoal on the left side and use the right as your indirect or visa versa and when you are done close all the vents and the charcoal should extinguish its self and you can add some fresh to the old and use it next time. Defiantly use a closed lid when cooking.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:50 AM   #4
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@dennis & bbquzz : I appreciate your prompt response to my doubts. I use an 18" dubai bought kettle ( ditto of webers 18" kettle). Is it OK to use a full chimney of charcoal briquettes (cocunut shell)? As u said to maintain temp between 300- 350, I don't have a clear cut idea how much fire needed... im person who loves meat to be well done consistency. Few more doubts I have, if u find time pls try answer those too
1) Is it OK to marinate chicken for 12 hours or more?
2) is to Ok paste the marinate recipe again when it's almost cooked and the keep few minutes over direct heat ? Coz I do want the full flavour of those recipe.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:04 AM   #5
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I would say yes to both! I usually don't marinate that long, but there is no reason that you can't. Just keep it refrigerated during the duration.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:10 AM   #6
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About the marinade time, if the marinade is acidic (like most are) the outer layer will degrade and become mushy. If you want the marinade to go deeper into the meat consider injecting it. Reserve some of the marinade before you apply it to the chicken if you want to add some at the end, don't reuse the marinade with chicken (food safety).
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:16 AM   #7
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Thank u again Dennis ... thank u dledmo. If u were to cook 8 big chicken pieces in an 18 " kettle, how much briquttes wud u use? A full chimney or more than that?
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:37 AM   #8
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With bone in chicken the cook time is longer, start with a full chimney (depending on chimney size) and adjust from there. There are always variables to consider such as wind, air temp, size of the meat etc. Two whole chickens will probably take up most of the 18" with some pieces being almost directly over the coals.
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Old 02-07-2016, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dledmo View Post
About the marinade time, if the marinade is acidic (like most are) the outer layer will degrade and become mushy. If you want the marinade to go deeper into the meat consider injecting it. Reserve some of the marinade before you apply it to the chicken if you want to add some at the end, don't reuse the marinade with chicken (food safety).

Good point! I knew there must be a reason that I never marinate more than an hour.
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:23 AM   #10
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One of a blogger told me to first keep it in direct heat to get the brown colour and then move it to cooler side to cook rest. But what I hv learned from youtube videos and websites is that those method is done for beef steaks to get the colour and grill marks. Is it OK to do for chicken too?
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:41 AM   #11
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P.S: I always use skinless chicken.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:29 AM   #12
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I don't see why it shouldn't work! I'm an experimenter, I often try different things to see if I like it. You can get advice to try ANYTHING on the Internet. As long as you don't put yourself or others at safety risk, try it, then you will know what works for you.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemmutk View Post
One of a blogger told me to first keep it in direct heat to get the brown colour and then move it to cooler side to cook rest. But what I hv learned from youtube videos and websites is that those method is done for beef steaks to get the colour and grill marks. Is it OK to do for chicken too?
Perfectly fine to do with almost any meat off the grill, aside from small pieces and veggies which cook too fast. This is called "searing", there is also the "reverse sear" where the food starts over the cool side and finishes on the hot. Try both and see what you prefer.
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:42 AM   #14
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Guys,my 18" kettle can hold 25 briquettes in half of the grate ( single layer). Will it be enough to keep temp for 45-60minutes @ 300-350 F ?
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by chemmutk View Post
Guys,my 18" kettle can hold 25 briquettes in half of the grate ( single layer). Will it be enough to keep temp for 45-60minutes @ 300-350 F ?
Since I have never used the brand of briquettes that you use, I can not answer your question. You will have to try it to find out, add more charcoal if you must.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:52 PM   #16
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chemmutk get in there and get your hands dirty, you are over studying, you will learn by doing.
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:56 AM   #17
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The thing about charcoal, is that it works better as a group, than spreading it thin. I can only speak from my experiences. Since I have only used Kingsford Blue Bag for the past 10 years or so, and Cowboy Brand Lump, I can only tell you what I have achieved with those.

When Grilling Steak (Ribeye most of the time.) I normally only use about a half of chimney full of charcoal on my 22" Weber Kettle. Although, there are about maybe a quarter of used briquettes left in the grill from the last fire I had. This is why we let our grill fully heat up before placing the meat on the grates. Here are my steps in starting my grill.

1. Fill chimney and start.
2. Take cooking grate off, and spread out left over briquettes for easier starting.
3. When charcoal is greyed over all the way, place in middle of used briquettes, to light remaining. Cover and let heat up for at least 10 minutes.
4. Uncover, spread charcoal evenly on one side of grill. (You want to create a Hot Zone for Direct Cooking, and a Cool Zone for Indirect Cooking. This is very important.) As it is in this picture. Then place the cooking grate back into position, and cover for an additional 5 minutes.

5. Take lid off scrap grates, and you are ready to gill.

As for marinating chicken, I have done it for 48 hours before. I would not go past this. You should use chicken as soon as possible. Normally a couple of hours will do for chicken.
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:01 AM   #18
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Thank you Max. I will try my first attempt in few days and will post the photos....Happy Grilling!
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:20 PM   #19
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Finally its done !!!

Firstly, Lemme thank Dennis, dledmo ,bbquzz and Max for helping me with the basics. I cooked "Chicken Al-Faham" ( arabic recipe) for 8 members. chicken was cooked perfectly. But few breast pieces were dried out inside.I think i had overcooked some of them. It took me almost 1 hour ( after 30 minutes i flipped the side ). Starting the charcoal fire was horrible.The 45 coconut briquettes (a one full medium size chimney )took almost 50 minutes to lit till the top. On First attempt, after 10 minutes the smoke went off, then i have to fire some extra newspaper. While grilling , majority of briquettes got fully covered in ashes and the fire went out. Morning i checked the ashes and it was kind of sandy. Not that grey colored ashes. Anyways i managed to get it done . Ate with Kuboos and Hummus ( Arabic bread and chickpea dip). i wish i could have invited You all .... I am sharing the photos down below.... Your valuable comments are welcomed.



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Old 02-12-2016, 11:36 PM   #20
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I'm glad it worked out for you. I think that it is very easy to over cook chicken breast. I don't do them often, because the leg and thigh (sold here as hind quarters) can be purchased so inexpensively, and my family prefers dark meat. One of our favorite cuisines to prepare and eat is Persian. Grilled lamb kebabs, Basmati rice, and grilled tomato. We don't think it gets any better!
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