Arrange the chicken
skin-side up on the grate and put the lid in place.
Start with the lid vent
100% open and the 3 bottom vents 100% open.
Place a candy
thermometer in the lid vent and observe the temperature readings
throughout the cooking session*.
Cook the chicken
for 45 minutes. No peeking allowed!
You'll see a lot of
smoke coming out of the lid vent and maybe from around the lid and
access door. This is completely normal and will subside after 10-15
After 45 minutes,
close each of the 3 bottom vents 50%, but leave the lid vent
Cook for another 15
After 60 minutes, check the internal meat temperature using an
instant-read thermometer. The chicken is
done when the breast meat registers about 160°F and the thigh
registers about 170°F.
* You may wish to
write down a few notes about the cooker temperature. How high is the
initial temperature reading? After the chicken is added, does the
temperature go up, go down, or stay the same? Does the temperature
fluctuate a lot over time, or does it settle into a steady reading? Did the cooker
temperature go up or down when you partially closed the bottom
vents? How many degrees did the temperature change over 15 minutes?
Your specific results are not important for this chicken
recipeóremember, the point is just for you to become familiar with
how changing the bottom vents affect cooker temperature.