I realise that not all of you will be able to try this technique, as you will need a vertical smoker, such as a Bullet smoker, or a drum smoker to be able to hang your food over the coals like this. Why hang food? Well there are some benefits that aren’t entirely obvious at first, the first being that you get an unrestricted flow of heat and smoke around the food, that grill grates affect, you also give your food a nice even cook instead of having one side getting hotter and having to turn, by cooking hanging style like this you can have a gentle direct heat, which I am a big fan of, and will crisp up the meat better than indirect.
Chicken is an obvious first choice to cook like this, as I think the effect of the direct heat crisps up the skin, so you don’t get the rubbery chicken skin all too common with indirect cooked chicken.
Pit Barrel Cooker
I was trying out a new bit of kit the Pit Barrel cooker that has recently arrived in the U.K. in which the favoured method of cooking is hanging on butchers hooks over a charcoal pit. It’s definitely on trend for BBQing with Francis Mallmann inspiring lots of BBQers to hang their food over the coals.
With the Pit Barrel Cooker came a couple of dry rubs to try, so I split 2 free range chickens in half, and evenly coated with All Purpose Pit Rub. I then placed the chickens on the hooks through the thigh.
The chickens then were hung on the hanging bars in the PBC with chunk of cherry wood to cook at 140 c for a couple of hours until the internal temperature has reached 65 deg C, the skin should be getting crisp and the chicken cooked through. I cooked up some sweet potatoes wrapped in foil, and made into a hook shape to hang too.
The results were great crisp skinned juicy smoky chicken, and nice and easy to cook. I’m still looking at ways to get the best out of this smoker, mainly in regard to the charcoal being used, but will report more on this interesting BBQ in a review on UK BBQ Review soon.