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By Michael Eady

Recently I had the opportunity to try a new cooking gadget called “The Hook.”

The device is simplicity itself. In fact, it is so simple and self-evident as to its use, that anyone who can’t figure it out in less than ten seconds shouldn’t be playing with fire in the first place. It makes the beer-can chicken cooking gizmo I tried out several years ago seem like a science project by comparison.

 The Hook M Eady PicmonkeyThe Hook after chicken is removed to rest before carving

This unit is a single piece of stainless steel rod shaped into a triangular base over which extends a slightly inclined rod on which to place the roasting chicken. The Hook was developed by veteran chef Francis “Franky” O’Dea, who worked and lived in Washington D.C. for many years. This is his attempt to bring perfection to the roasted chicken, whether in the oven or on the barbecue grill.

The cooking, as noted, was simplicity itself. If you have ever roasted a chicken in the oven or on the grill there is nothing new to learn here. The Hook is designed for use in either one.

It was 106 on the day I tested the unit and that was no day to be inside over a hot stove, but it is never too hot to ‘cue so I fired up the grill instead. The base sits upon the grill with the chicken hanging over the indirect fire and roasting slowly toward sumptuous perfection. The item comes with a cardboard display that has a photo of what your cooked chicken is supposed to look like. If you follow both of the instructions, it will.

There is one clarifying point to make here. The instructions for grilling call for an indirect fire. Fair enough but there is more than one way build an indirect fire. A very common method is to rake all the coals into a big pile on one side of the kettle. Another way is to divide the coals and place each half on opposite sides of the kettle. Both work well in most circumstances but in this particular situation it is best to divide the coals. In the case of a rotisserie the meat rotates and so is exposed evenly to the heat even if the heat is all on one side of the kettle. With the Hook the meat remains stationary and although the chicken will get done, one side will be more done that the other. To create an even heat the chicken should be placed between the two banks of coals.

The end product is essentially rotisserie chicken without its associated equipment. No electricity is required, no skewer and clean-up is a cinch.

The one drawback is that unlike a rotisserie, the hook is pretty much a one-trick pony. It can only cook chicken (or other small poultry), But then who (besides my cousin Jackie) doesn’t like chicken? The chicken indeed came out juicy and delectable with crispy skin and succulent, tender meat, just as advertised.

One other bonus was that when my hook arrived in the mail, it was accompanied by three jars of seasoning: Intense Santa Clara (intense garlic), Macha Picchu (spicy Peruvian seasoning) and Positano (Italian multi-purpose seasoning). All were terrific seasonings for the chicken.

The unit costs $19.99. It is simple and easy to use.


Editor’s note:  The chicken hook and spices are available at https://elevatedcook.com.

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