BBQ Chicken - BBQ Pit Boys Style
The BBQ Pit Boys have an enormous following, and for good reason: they rock! So when I'm going to BBQ something on the grill, one of the first places I turn to for knowledge is these bearded rock stars of BBQ. This weekend we talked about cooking up some BBQ chicken, so of course I visited their website, bbqpitboys.com! We'd bought a large number of legs, however, poultry kinda of scares me. I brought the chicken, the Boys brought the expert advice.
Learn from the Best
BBQ cooking, or grilling, isn't rocket science. However, some of us, like me, are idiots with this stuff. I learned at the knee of my step dad how to BBQ as a child, but first, I did not pay attention, and second, he was much to impatient to teach. He was bad it teaching, that is to say. Adding to that, I have always preferred my meat well done. I know, zip it, I have gotten over that, learned the error of my ways.
However, with chicken, or any other poultry, you must cook it thoroughly, yet not over cook it, and that's what scared me, finding the right balance. Done enough, but not over done. Not fully cooked, you get everyone sick. Too done, and it's chewy and gross.
BBQ Pit Boys was my salvation. And a little ways down I'll have a link to the video that was the basis for my weekend BBQ Chicken Legs foray, but I'll also list how I altered it to make it my own.
First, the Chicken
We bought a 14 pack of Foster Farms chicken legs. the BBQ Pit Boys video (that's the link I was talking about, BTW) says to use Roasters. Well, these were close enough. A quick word to the wise when BBQing, have no fear. Don't let you psyche yourself out that you can't do it, you CAN! Have faith in yourself, and learn from the experts. Each resource will give you a different take, use the one you like best. Simple as that.
BBQ Vs. Grilling
"No man, you're grilling" some uninformed ninny will say. Nope. This cook-out had elements of both, grilling and barbecuing, but overall, it was mostly BBQ, baby! You see, you start with a quick grill (direct heat, open lid) just to sear the meat, then straight to indirect heat, closed lid (BBQing) and finish with a quick grill to up the crispiness. See the link below. This is BBQ Chicken, not grilled chicken.
What You Need
- A good sized bowl
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper, course. I used about a tablespoon of each.
- Granulated garlic (I used minced, for added moisture and pungency) I used a teaspoon of this.
- BBQ Sauce. I used Sweet Baby Rays Sweet and spicy sauce.
- My addition - red pepper flakes- I used a heaping teaspoon - was a little too much, I admit it.
- Proposed addition - a small amount of lemon and lime juice - Maybe a tablespoon of each.
Like the Boys said, you need drumsticks, roasters, basically. How many is your choice, but plan 4 per person to be safe. You may think this is too much, but once folks start chowing, you'll thank me.
Put your chicken legs in the bowl. I brought my chicken up to near room temperature first.
Drizzle a liberal amount of olive oil over the chicken. This will help it brown, keep it moist, and make the spices stick to the chicken. If you're adding citrus, as I proposed, above, now is the time.
Add your spices, and toss/mix it thoroughly so that you have even spice coverage of the raw chicken.
You may have a regular round grill, or like me, a long grill - combo smoker. Either way, start your fire before prepping your chicken. Before lighting your fire take your chicken out of the fridge and set it in your bowl. This will give the chicken time to warm up a little while your fire gets ready.
I use a chimney to light charcoal. You can pick one up at home depot for like fifteen bucks. However, you may be like me: I used to be a charcoal/lighter fluid user, but we had enough instances of tasting the starter fluid, and that was that. Plus, the BBQ Pit Boys use a chimney, that's good enough for me. Or Guuuud. Fans know what that means. Oh, and spare me the "I used only special Himalaya ox dung charcoal" nonsense. Kingsford charcoal was good enough for my ancestors, it's good enough for me.
If you cook with propane, I'm sorry.
While The Fire Readies
There's a little down time, always, while your coals burn to ready, but here are some things you can do. Relax and drink the beverage of your choice. Or, you can do the mixing of the chicken now. Or, maybe get a side dish going.
The Coals start Graying
This applies to any barbecuing - let your coals start graying, then they are good and ready. Just pour them out of the chimney onto one side of the BBQ. Remember, this is primarily indirect heat cooking.
I blew it and let mine burn too long, so I did the extended heat trick: I added a layer of unlit charcoal on the side of the BBQ, then poured the hot coals over those. It's a legit way of extending your heat. Yep, learned that from the Boys, too.
The Coals are Ready
So, now you're ready to start cooking some BBQ chicken, since the coals are ready. Take your chicken over, and use tongs to place each leg right over the hot coals. This is the grilling part. You are only going to leave them over the direct heat a minute or two, then you're going to turn them, then leave them a minute or two more. This gets a nice sear onto the chicken. Now move the chicken legs to indirect heat, (off the coals, and adjacent) meat side facing the coals.
Close the lid and leave them alone for about 25 minutes. You want about 300 degrees inside the cooking chamber. Provided you've done everything right, 25 minutes is about perfect.
Use your favorite sauce. Just make sure it's delicious, and that you have enough. Here is another BBQ Pit Boys trick I learned: put sauce in a metal container, and place it over the hot coals while the BBQ portion is going. About 10 minutes into it I popped my sauce in there. See, I don't want to put cool sauce on hot meat, it will retard the cooking. and neither should you! Put it in there and let it simmer.
25 Minutes are Up
Now that the first 25 minutes of indirect cooking is done, use either a spoon or a brush and slather the BBQ sauce onto your BBQ chicken. Yes, just like that, slather away!
Flip the chicken over, and slather the other side. Now close the lid, and you have about 20 more minutes cooking time. By about now people will be popping their heads out, and over the fence to smell that aroma. This is a good sign.
Last step before plating
Now, that final 20 minutes indirect heat will blaze by quickly. However, there is another step that is important. When the 20 minutes are up, put the chicken back over direct heat for another minute or two, This will add crispiness to the skin, and caramel up the sugars in the BBQ sauce. BBQ Pit Boys said to do it, and they were right!
Now you can take them off the grill, let them cool a bit, and enjoy. However, if you want, use a meat thermometer to make sure the meat inside is at or higher than 165F. Better safe than sorry.
Why do I push the BBQ Pit Boys so much?
I owe them, simple as that. I have cooked stuff that I would not try to cook in a million years and a thousand lifetimes.
Last Friday I was talking to a guy at work and brought up the Boys. "Do they tell you exactly how to cook stuff? he asked.
Well, no, but they give you a great foundation, and with that a fearlessness to barbecue something new.
Example: Rib eye steaks was the first thing I learned from them, best steaks ever. Also, 13.5 pound brisket. Sweet meatball sliders, etc.
So, in closing, "I got my barbecue shoes on..."
PS, I try to write a blog a week for my various websites, although I don't always do that. you have to "feel it". you know? This topic, I felt. I actually created it in my local site, YoureOn.net. I was going to make it a local article, but the Boys deserve a world wide audience, which Friendslr.com can bring.