Roasting a whole chicken at a high temperature yields terrifically crisp skin and moist meat, but when all that heat meets the fat that renders as the bird cooks, it can fill your kitchen with smoke and leave your oven a splattered mess. On Chowhound, user monfrancisco wonders if there are strategies to help prevent that greasy, smoky aftermath.

Start by choosing a pan just large enough to hold the chicken (an ovenproof skillet works well for a smaller bird). In a bigger pan, the drippings will be spread in a thinner layer, which will be quicker to burn and smoke, foodieX2 explains. And when the rendered fat covers a surface area much larger than the chicken, it’s also more likely to splatter, foodieX2 says. While a convection oven promotes browning, it’s best to avoid convection when roasting anything fatty at high heat, because the air circulation greatly increases splattering, Karl S says. It helps to begin with a clean oven and to spoon some of the rendered fat out of the pan partway through cooking, fldhkybnva says.

Adding a bit of liquid (such as water, stock, or wine) to the pan will also keep the drippings from burning, greygarious says. Or line the bottom of the pan with sliced potatoes—this works like a charm, C. Hamster says, and the potatoes end up delicious!

Discuss: Question about High-roast Chicken and Mess

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