Is it worth it to cook a chicken?

Scott_R

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Brand new to Traeger, and I was thinking of doing a whole chicken--mainly because I already have one from a local farm in my freezer that I'd been meaning to use.

I've come to like doing whole chickens in my Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven (from the Instant Pot company)--they call it an air fryer but it looks like a cube-shaped toaster oven. For whole chickens and the like it has a rotisserie attachment, and it does a great job of roasting an up to almost 4-pound whole chicken in about an hour, moist inside, crispy skin.

From what I've been reading here, it's not so easy to do a whole chicken on a Traeger (I have a Pro 575). You need to spatchcock it, and people still report getting rubbery skin. Some advice has been to skip the smoking step and do it all at about 350 to ensure a crisp skin.

Presumably, one benefit to doing a chicken in a pellet grill is some smokiness. I suppose the question isn't can I do a whole chicken in the Traeger, but should I?
 

traeger860

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I’ve only tried whole chickens on my Traeger as beer can chickens or by spatchcocking them. I prefer the beer can, but they both come out very good.

You can use both the Traeger and the air fryer if you want to. Smoke it on a low temp for 45-60 mins just to get some smoke flavor in it. And then finish it in the fryer. Google “smoke fried chicken” or “smoke fried turkey” and you might be able to find some ideas or recipes if that sounds interesting to you.

It’s hard to mess up chicken.
 

Parrothead1809

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I’ve had good luck with the Spatchcock BBQ recipe in the Traeger app. When it hits 160, bump the temp for another 10 mins or so before adding your sauce. I haven’t gotten the skin crispy yet, but nicely done. Still very juicy.
-PH
 
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Scott_R

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I don't generally sauce chicken; when I roast I do a buttermilk brine then dry and season the outside.
I looked up the beer can chicken recipe, and was kind of amused at the contradictory advise in the comments:
-- "225 for 1hr for smoke flavor... 350 for 1 hr 45min to cook chicken 450 for 10min for crisp skin."
-- "First half hour 350, second half hour 400-425, last 10 minutes 450."
--"350 for 1 hour 20 minutes internal temp 150 Then 450 until internal temp 165"
And a load of other combos.
 

CMTiger

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I love bird out of the Traeger. Super juicy. I don’t mind not having the crispy skin too bad.
 

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JPSBBQ

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Why buy a Traeger if you ain’t gonna Traeger everything? 😜
 

Murphy's Law

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Beer can chicken rocks! I try to let it sit in the fridge overnight to dry out the skin but I rarely remember (or plan ahead). I cook at 225 for about 45 mins or so and then raise temp to 350-375 and baste with butter every10 or 20 mins (after I raise the temp).

Chicken always turns out with very crispy skin and juicy in the inside.
 
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Scott_R

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As I said, I'm new to cooking with the Traeger, and I'm puzzled by the cooking time with that smoked Portuguese chicken. It says 3 hours to reach an internal temperature of 165 with the Traeger set to 350.
First, they don't give the size of the chicken, but this table has cooking times from 1.25 - 1.5 hours (for a 2.5-3 pound chicken) up to 1.75 - 2 hours (4-6 lbs). The chicken I have is 3.75, so 1.5 to 1.75 hours by that chart.
Does it really take about twice as long on a pellet grill? Is the temperature less stable or something?
 

OldMayfield

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350 is too high. See my notes:

“350F is too high: cook at 225F. 3.5# bird took 4 hours to reach 165F. Definitely 24h marinade. Awesome. VERY moist, great flavor; the spices were subtle and not overpowering. 5 stars!!”
 

JPSBBQ

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As I said, I'm new to cooking with the Traeger, and I'm puzzled by the cooking time with that smoked Portuguese chicken. It says 3 hours to reach an internal temperature of 165 with the Traeger set to 350.
First, they don't give the size of the chicken, but this table has cooking times from 1.25 - 1.5 hours (for a 2.5-3 pound chicken) up to 1.75 - 2 hours (4-6 lbs). The chicken I have is 3.75, so 1.5 to 1.75 hours by that chart.
Does it really take about twice as long on a pellet grill? Is the temperature less stable or something?
Only if it’s frozen when you put it on. 😁
 

JPSBBQ

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So what's going on with that recipe?
Well, I’d say either the time or the temperature is off. No way it takes that long at that temp as you yourself noted. I would think your estimate is closer to correct but likely still too long. When it’s done it’s done I guess.
 

traeger860

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There are a lot of recipes in the Traeger app that are way off. Sometimes you can find 10+ different ways to cook the same thing. Find a BBQ “influencer” that you like and check out their websites, Instagrams, or YouTube channels for cooking tips and recipes. Many of them use Traegers and their guides are better places to use at your starting point.
 

Slimpicker

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I've come to like doing whole chickens in my Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven (from the Instant Pot company)--they call it an air fryer but it looks like a cube-shaped toaster oven. For whole chickens and the like it has a rotisserie attachment, and it does a great job of roasting an up to almost 4-pound whole chicken in about an hour, moist inside, crispy skin.

Truth, I'd love "whole" chicken this way... I've done several whole chicks on Traeger, there's just something about a good old fashioned roasted chicken I'll never get tired of...

No, your Traeger doesn't have to be for everything
 

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