I get asked all the time, “what is the best way to cook a whole pastured chicken?” 10 years ago (long before we had the farm) my answer may have been something like “In a rotisserie bag from the grocery store.” Yea, I’m glad I know better now 😂
So I took some time and made a flashy little video to show you my favorite way to prepare one of our pasture raised chickens. Because if you are going to spend the money for a high quality, non-gmo, grass fed chicken, you wanna know how to cook it right, right?
This method is awesome because I get to use the pit barrel, (my favorite way to cook outdoors) a cross between a smoker and a charcoal grill. But you can use a smoker, a charcoal grill, or even a gas grill for this cooking method. I even give you a recipe card for my favorite pork chicken rub, so you will be all set!
Check-out How to Cook a Pastured Chicken, and give your tastebuds a real treat!
Hey everybody, what’s up? Ryan here at Freedom Valley Farm. I wanted to take a little bit of time here and show you our favorite way, or at least my favorite way to prepare our fresh pasture raised chicken. So these are fresh chicken, they were just processed last week, so it’s time to use them.
Lots of people like to put these in the oven and cook that way, you can do that, they’re really good that way. You can also do them in the inst-pot, they turn out really nice like that, but my favorite way is to get them on the grill and they get them smoked, preferably on a char coal grill. Or a smoker, and you are in good shape. Or what we’re gonna be using is a pit barrel smoker, so kinda takes a little bit longer to cook the chicken, but it’s gonna end up with such a rich, deep smoky flavor on these chickens, it is gonna be delicious.
Now, before we get these guys on the smoker, we’re gonna add some seasoning as well, so we have our own dry rub here, I’m gonna put links in the notes below for the recipe for this, but this has got onion powder, cayene pepper, paprika, black Pepper and then it also has brown sugar.
Quick tip, I was looking for brown sugar today, we were out, so I made my own. Brown sugar is nothing more than sugar with some mollases in it, so I mixed up some of my own brown sugar here, and I’m just gonna pour it into my spices.
Now, you just wanna mix together your spices with the brown sugar. Okay, I like it. Whenever I make this rub, like I said, we’ll give you the rescepie for this, I like to make some extra, so I have extra to put up in the cabinet for later, whenever I wanna do more meat, I’ve got some on hand. I’m just gonna sprinkle this right on there, I’ve got the breast side up on the chicken right now, and you can be generous with it, and then I’m just gonna turn these real quick and do the back sides. A nice part about doing it in a bowl like this if I’ve got extra that falls down in between, I can pick it back up and pat it back on there.
Okay, so with the way these are going in the smoker, or they’re actually gonna hang in the smoker, I’m gonna hang them so that the cavity is facing down towards the coals, and that’s just gonna help the heat go and circulate up inside of the cavity, cook the chicken quicker, it’ll also prevent juices from just accumulating in there, so we’re gonna hang these with these hooks, and what we can do is we can actually put this right behind the wing, I just put it right underneath that wing joint, then I know that they’re gonna stay in really well, because as you cook these slowly, they’re gonna get really tender, so I don’t wanna just put it in to put it into the soft tissue. I gotta put it by a joint, just like that. They’ll hang just like this in the smoker, so I’m gonna go ahead and finish getting these on the hooks and then we’ll be headed out to the grill.
Okay, so we’re out here at the grill, we started our grill probably about like an hour ago, the trick here is that we actually wanna cook these chickens a little bit slower, we don’t wanna cook them really fast ’cause it’s just gonna melt all the fat out of them, get all the juice out of them, and you end up with a dry chicken. So we’re gonna cook it a little bit slower.
I’ve turned my vent down a little bit, it’s probably 300-350 degrees or so. Alright, and our chicken is just gonna go right on in there, so I was tying in one here on my one… And so if you’re gonna cook them slower, you probably wanna have a little more time, this might not be something you do a week night, It’s gonna take a good three hours, maybe even three and a half hours before these guys are done cooking, and like I say, we don’t wanna rush it, you can, but you really don’t want to, if you’re taking the time to put the rub on and everything like that. And there we go, so we’re gonna go ahead and throw the lid on these chickens and let them cook.
Alright guys, so we’ve got our chickens here that have been cooking for about two and a half hours, almost three hours now, and the way we know they are done is we are looking for the magic number for chicken of 165 degrees, so you wanna check that at the deepest part on the chicken deep into the breast with a themometer, make sure that you are at 165 degrees, then you know you’re fully cooked and it’s likely even gonna keep cooking a few more degrees after you pull it off. Alright, so we’re gonna pull it off here. Alright, isn’t that beautiful? The golden brown color, it’s got all that nice crispy texture on the outside, dripping with beautiful fat, that is gonna be really delicious tonight for dinner.
Alright, guys. Hope you enjoyed this video, and it was helpful for you. We’ll see you next time!