2 6# chickens for 1st time

Discussion in 'Grilling Chicken' started by cathy l, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. Hi all.  I have made 4 fatties since putting my Traeger together on Friday.  They were all edible.  One proved to be rather salty when I sprinkled some prime rib rub inside it.  I did not think I was very heavy handed, but in my readings I have read the rubs tend to be VERY salty...yep no doubt in my mind anyway.  Tomorrow I am going to put 2 chickens in.  Now I am a bit leery about using the chicken rub that came with my grill.  I may just make one up on my own using way less salt.  Any hints or shhhhh secrets anyone willing to share?  Chicken tomorrow, tri-tip on Tuesday.  It's nice when your kid works in a market and you put in your meat order daily.  Thanks in advance all.
  2. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    A smoked chicken is one of the simplest and most naturally tasty things you can make. I think the beef rubs especially tend to be salt heavy. I haven't really found that to be the case with the chicken rubs , but then I guess I like salt. :biggrin:
    I like to make some garlic butter and get that under the skin and I will fill the cavity of the bird with a half an onion and maybe a lemon cut in half....gives a nice flavor.
    Hope your chicken comes out good. Post some pix!
  3. fdpiper

    fdpiper Newbie

    Just a question, how did you position the bird? on end on a reack, or on its back?

    Was there a lot of grease drippings?

    How did you go about preparing the bird?

    (Sorry - newbie - I did not think of smoking a chicken before)

  4. Thanks.  You can't go wrong with garlic and butter.  I'm going to try the chicken rub and see how it goes.  I'll post pics when it's all done.
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cathy L.

    I believe that chicken is one of the finest things in the world to smoke. I think it is also the very bestestes learning medium. Excellent food, excellent price, easily adaptable.

    I would humbly suggest that if its the first chicken smoke, you leave all that extra stuff on the table. You don't need it. Its like brining a fried drumstick, or rubbing a hot wing. If you go first with the bare minimum you'll be able to know exactly what all these other methods and spices and herbs and smokes will do to the flavor. I promise you it will be delicious also.

    Cut an apple up into 8 slices, stuff it, rub it down with "Kitchen Bouquet" (gravy and saucing mix) sprinkle with salt and pepper. Nothing else. Smoke it.

    1. Apple adds a very slight nice aromatic quality

    2. Kitchen Bouquet hold the salt and pepper on as well as smooths out the color (you'll swear by it once tried).

    3. Salt & Pepper because we have become so accustom to the taste we don't know what to do with out 'em.

    Then once you establish a good base line for comparison, try all the other ideas, brining, injecting, marinating, compound butters, herbs, spices and veggies.

    Just throwing a chicken on the smoker is one of my greatest "I have nothing planned" joys.

    I have done 'em at 300 and at 220 (my norm), 275 to 300 crisps skin, but a large fowl (5lbs +) although juicy maybe a bit tuff in the breast. 220 takes a bit longer, I start out high then after 30 to 45 mins drop back down and just as juicy. Pull at 165 IT, and don't forget the rest time of 30 to 45 mins. it makes a huge difference.

    Don't over smoke, lightly smoke the bird with a light wood. Smokes like Hickory and Mesquite must be used very moderately, fruit and nut woods are usually good bets. Pecan is still my favorite. But remember, you have never heard anyone that couldn;t eat food that had too little smoke, have you? Start small/light so you can establish the taste. I always gently smoked for my Mom, she didn't like a hard smoke taste....... Pop said its acquired...LOL

    Patience...... Patience....... Ok, one more time, Patience......

    Don't forget about that dedicated notebook you have and take notes so next time you'll have a map of where to start and what to change. If you don't have a form, he's some to look at.


    Now after all that you are gonna laugh at me, remember the most important part is have fun, relax, enjoy the smoke. So..... that's have fun, take notes, have patience, and start with the basics and light smoke. LOL..... You'll be fine. Its why we all love chickens so much.

    Its always a beautiful day when you smoke, so enjoy the smoke!
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
    greg b likes this.
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can't move your thread but I will try and help, if its been 5 hours I am not sure I wouldn't give Pizza hut a call.

    lets take basics, type of smoker? Electric, gas, charcoal, wood?

    Vent positions

    Have you left the doors and opening closed or are you attemping to grill with a smoker?

    How high was your smoker when you put the chicken in? (the temp...LOL)

    Where are you located and is it cold and getting a breeze?
  7. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I assume whatever happened with your chicken is over now , so i guess this wont be much help except as kind of a post-mortem on how your smoke went....or didnt went , i guess.
    You said you have a traeger....that is a pellet smoker? I have never used one. (I have a WSM) , but I am curious if you know how hot it CAN get?
    How hot did it run when you cooked those fatties? It's possible that the cold mass of 2 big chickens was a lot for your smoker to overcome and heat up....
    Please let us know how it all went down and maybe next smoke will go better....:grilling_smilie:
  8. Well, I re-thought cooking both birds at the same time after reading xtc69's problems.  I got it all ready and oiled it up and seasoned it with the Traeger chicken rub and put it in the cooker.  The guidelines they give are for a 4-4.5# bird.  450* (high) on their settings for 70-90 min.  My bird was well over 5# so I am not even going to open the lid and check thigh temp for 2 hours.  I didn't take a Qview before putting it in, we have all seen naked birds :)  I did find something out about myself.  I'm afraid of raw poultry.  I don't like touching it.  I'm afraid that once I touch it everything I touch needs to be decontaminated, seasoning jars, scissors for cutting string for legs, the ball of string itself and on and on.  Do any of you struggle with this or is it something that will wear off the more I "play" with cold/wet foul? 
  9. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Foam gave some good advice and one more thing to think about is do you know that your thermometers are accurate?
    Chicken is usually cooked at a much higher temp, 275*-350* and at less than 200* it will take forever and could even stay in the danger zone too long. For more about the danger zone send a PM to our safety expert Chef JimmyJ.
    For more help with your smoker you could post your own thread in our Smokers forum and I'm sure there is someone here with a similar smoker who can help.
  10. I agree about checking your temp gauges make sure they are right, I usually smoke my birds at 225 on an RF smoker, sometimes I'll pull em off and put them on my grill at 325 just to crisp up the skin a bit.

  11. I caved in after 1hour 45 minutes and checked the temp.  Good think I did, as it was about 185* already.  Pulled it out and set it on the counter to rest.  Went about doing some stuff around the house and by the time I got back to the kitchen to take a picture there were two wings gone and one leg was being eaten...so no Q-views of this one.  I did find that the chicken rub seems no where near as salty on the chicken and I could have used more.  My skin crisped up very nicely with the Traeger on high which was running at about 425*-450* both on the built in thermometer and my oven thermometer I stuck inside to verify.  I think the next one will be cooked longer and slower to get a more smokey flavor.  Well, here's another one in "Cathy's BBQ Journal"  Thanks all.
  12. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I think as long as you rinse off between touches , you'll be ok. I've prepared a lot of chickens and I've never had salmonella.just use normal caution. Thumbs Up
  13. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hello, Cathy L . Glad to have you here. I agree on blending your own taste in Spices For your Rubs. For me , the simpler the better.

    Glad to know you are enjoying your new Treager , but seems you didn't send any Q-view. Remember the Rules ; no Q - view , never happened. :)-

    Have fun and . . .
  14. AH  the Q-view...I keep forgetting.  If I did one tonight about the rib-eye roast I did it would be all sliced up in the tupperware after dinner.  By the time I get it in the house and start tasting to make sure it's good, everyone is hollering that they are hungry :)  I will strive to be better.  I have come to a realization the last few days...I should have bought a BIGGER smoker-grill....SHHH don't tell the husband. 

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