As effective as the companies that make “unitasker” gadgets can be at making the us think that their specialty product is the newest thing that we cannot live without, I tend to be more skeptical than not. I’m more firmly footed in the Alton Brown camp of thinking: if a kitchen tool is good at one and only one thing, it will tend to sit around the vast majority of the time and not be used, rendering it practically useless, and then eventually forgotten.
I recently acquired a Cave Tools Chicken Wing & Leg Rack to put through its paces out on the grill. I think it certainly qualifies as an item that is very much specialty in purpose, as it is at its core a rack on which to hold up chicken off of the BBQ grill grates, and hanging high in the air to catch more of the convection heat in the air as opposed to more of a conduction or radiating heat from the flames or charcoal below.
The rack itself has foldable stands on each side that hold up pretty sturdy with a locking mechanism. The rack contains 12 holders for chicken; specifically for yardbird parts such as “Wings, Legs, Thighs or Drumsticks,” as Cave Tools promotes in their marketing materials (although I’m not sure what the difference between “legs” and “drumsticks” are).
The U-shaped parts of the wire can hold up the knobby end of chicken legs admirably, just as long as the drumsticks in question are of medium size or larger. When it comes to chicken wings, you must have whole wings in order to drape hook the pointing part of the chicken appendage over the wire to make it stay in place. Cut wing pieces such as flats or drummies are simply too small to stay up. When it comes to thighs (or breasts for that matter) are a little trickier, as you need to find the right part of the bone and flesh to be securely held in place.
Applying rub to chicken parts, while the drip pan contains sliced onions and peppers with butter to be sauteed.
Action out on he grill.
One of the better features in my opinion is the drip pan. In it, not only can you catch fat that drips down from your chicken, but place whatever assorted chopped vegetables you want. This is a great “two birds with one stone” aspect, as you can cut some peppers and onions (as I did in my example) to be sauteed in butter and in the grease drippings of the chicken legs.
If you don’t do the sliced veggies route in the drip pan, you can still collect the chicken fat for your favorite sauce, gravy or soup.
I had also thrown some boneless chicken breasts directly on the grill to cut up and use with the peppers and onions to make fajitas later.
The height of the drip pan and rack was just short enough to place under the lid of my Weber grill. If your BBQ grill or smoker has a deep-enough lid, you should have no trouble fitting the Cave Tools Chicken Wing & Leg Rack underneath.
After about 30 minutes of a hot and fast grilling session, it was time to take the food inside.
The chicken legs were done adequately, although a touch more direct heat could have created more of a crispy skin on the legs. I also like a bit of charring, and the chicken will not get any of that hanging up on the rack.
The vegetables, on the other hand, were phenomenal! The extra cooking time and simmering and sauteeing made for perfect onions and peppers. The bell peppers developed a little hot, black roasting on the skin, and the onions were wonderfully caramelized.
So…I was pleased with the performance that the Cave Tools Chicken Wing & Leg Rack gave, while not exactly compelling me to leap out of my skin with enthusiasm. It certainly qualifies as a cooking tool that goes beyond the “unitasking,” use-it-once-and-then-forget-about-it kind of apparatus. I will definitely use it from time to time on my outdoor grilling and smoking excursions.
My rating for this is a solid 3.5 out of 5.
This rack and drip pan are stainless steel and are 100% dishwasher safe. You can get one for yourself at https://cavetools.com/products/chicken-wing-leg-rack for $17.99 plus shipping.