Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Chicken Hook

What the heck is this thing? How does it work?

Here's another view. Does that help?

So it 's like this.

I had a new grill on order. The old one hadn't been used in years. It was so badly rusted, I didn't want food near it, much less on it. And it didn't start without help. So there was a risk of kaboom, even before the rust problem.

I got an email from some folks who make a device called The Chicken Hook. For roasting chickens. Obviously. The hook suspends the chicken over the pan or grill, so the whole chicken gets time in the hot air.

Sure, why not, I said. I can try it on my grill.

Grill arrived (more on the grill at a later date), and I went out and bought a chicken to test the rotisserie.

Then the chicken hook arrived. Decisions, decisions. Rotisserie or hook?

I decided to test the hook, since I can cook other things using the rotisserie. Like roasts. Or other chickens.

The chicken goes on the hook breast down and butt (or tail, I guess) up. Then you put it on a pan in the oven, or in the grill. Of course I used the grill. It's hot out. No way am I turning on the oven. It looks kind of ridiculous, right?

I used indirect heat, so the bottom of the bird - which now was the breast - wouldn't cook too fast. I shoved some potatoes around it, thinking that the drippings on the spuds would be nice. Later, I moved the potatoes to a hotter spot on the grill. Indirect cooking was great for the chicken, but the potatoes weren't really amused.

After about 30 minutes, I had a beautiful golden skin, but the bird wasn't quite cooked all the way, so I let it keep on going until it was done. It didn't look quite as weird once it started cooking and wasn't sagging any more.

What would I do different next time? I think that at end of cooking, I might turn the heat on directly below the chicken to get that skin more brown. But other than that, it worked pretty well, although it looked bizarre as heck when I first put it on the hook.

The finished chicken looks pretty nice, though.

They also sent me three of their spice mixes. I've sniffed them, but haven't used them yet. All three look like they'll be pretty useful. Positano is an all purpose Italian mix, which is always handy to have on hand. Santa Clara is garlic-heavy. Yup, I like that. And Machu Piccho is a spicy Peruvian-inspired blend. Yum times three.

Who's it for: People who want to try a different way of cooking chicken.

Pros: Heat gets all the way around the chicken, and it's not as tall as with a beer-can style chicken that stands upright. Easier to fit in oven or grill.

Cons: If you put this thing away without the instructions and find it a year later, you might not have any idea what it is.

Wishes: There's really not a lot I can ask from a bent piece of metal.

Source: I received this from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review.

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