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Published:October 9th, 2008 11:28 EST
A Popular Way to Cook Poultry.

A Popular Way to Cook Poultry.

By Rocco Loosbrock

Recently I met with Cary Black who wrote the book Zen and the Art of Cooking Beer-Can Chicken: The Definitive Guide and Tom Simon the inventor of the Poultry Pal. This was an exciting meeting as these two men showed me how to cook a Belfast Bacon Spud Bird using the Poultry Pal and of course Bacon Freak Bacon.

Cary`s book is the only beer-can chicken book featuring sections covering brining and injecting. The cookbook features marinades, appetizers, accompaniments, desserts, and a diverse range of recipes to encompass an entire healthy, easy and yet gourmet meal!

I am excited to tell you about Beer can chicken because it is fast becoming a popular way to cook poultry. Cary`s recipes are designed to be very simple, easy to understand, while still leaving a bit of room for creative input from the user; in fact Cary and Tom Simon have prepared a recipe for us using Bacon Freak Bacon.

At Bacon Freak we use a dry cure method to cure our bacon so I was particularly interested in how Cary uses "brining" to prepare poultry. To start I asked Cary to tell us about what brining is. Cary told me that, "Brining is an old practice of meat preservation. The poultry is "marinated" in a spiced salt solution, from 4 to 16 hours depending on the size of the bird. As the bird marinates, the salinity induces osmosis of the brine water into the muscle tissues of the bird. The result is a faster cooking incredibly moist bird. Coupled with the continuous infusion cooking process, it is a real winner."

Naturally I followed up with what is "injecting"? Cary told me that, "Injecting allows one to actually inject a sauce directly into the bird. Meat injector kits are usually available at most stores selling grills. The cookbook has many fine injectable marinade recipes. Injecting a bird allows one to put spices, special flavorings and additional moisture deep into the meat of the bird."

Next I asked why it that these two have teamed together is. Cary told me that the two were working together at the time and Tom knew I was a writer, and asked me to write a series of recipes for his new product, the Poultry Pal. As I cooked up more and more birds trying different variations of rubs, marinades, flavoring liquids and so forth, it became clear to me just how versatile and fun Tom`s chicken cooker was. Every chicken turned out perfect....always moist; always full of flavor, and always a hit with the family.

Belfast Blarney Spud Bird

Basic Stuff

1 3 to 5 lb. chicken

½ c. ranch salad dressing

2 c. instant potato flakes

1 c. freshly cooked and chopped Boss Hog Bacon


1 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

Liquid Flavor Essence

6 oz. Irish whiskey

6 oz. dark beer

Cooking Directions:

  • Using a basting brush liberally paint the chicken with the ranch dressing.
  • Sprinkle the rub over the ranch dressing.
  • Combine the instant potato flakes and bacon in a bowl.
  • Roll the bird in a pan containing the instant potato flakes.
  • Add the ingredients for the liquid flavor essence to the flavor base.
  • Line the base of the flavor tower with small red potatoes and chunks of cubed onion.
  • In a conventional oven, cook at 350° for 1¼ to 1½ hours or until the drippings are clear and the leg quarters move easily in their joints.
  • If grilling, cook using the indirect heating method as explained on page 25 of Zen and the Art of Cooking Beer-Can Chicken.
  • Remove Blarney Bird from the grill or oven and let stand 5 minutes.

    Serve with a fine dark beer, fresh salad and green beans spiced with dill weed. The luck of the Irish and charms of the leprechauns will permeate your dinner table. Be careful however; you may find your diners suddenly spouting limericks and quickly leaving the table to find green socks and 4-leaf clovers.

    Signing off at Pigging out!
    Rocco "Boss Hog" Loosbrock

    Use coupon code (sop) to get a 10% discount at

    Rocco owns and runs a Bacon of the Month Club called The Bacon Freak Bacon is Meat Candy Club as well as a Wine Club called the Coastal Vineyard Wine Club