Can I do chicken in 10 hours?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by ahains, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. ahains

    ahains Newbie

    Here is my predicament - my wife is home during the day with the kids, but is not interested in being involved with the smoking process. Do you think there is any way I could start smoking chicken at 7am right before I leave the house, and finish it at 5pm when I return home? I would prefer to not ask her to take stuff out and wrap it in foil, but it's no problem to just ask her to go change the temperature on the smoker.

    For the last few years I have been on chicken duty for Thursday's - when I get home I cut a whole chicken into pieces and grill it up. Family goes crazy for it. I'm interested in trying to smoke either these pieces, or possibly spatchcock a chicken and smoke each half. We love the crispy skin, so I expect I would be finishing a bird on the grill.

    What would your prediction be on results if I were to start the bird at some high-ish temperature to get it to 140 relatively quickly, and then reduce the temperature to slow cook it the rest of the day? Maybe fill the AMNPS half full for about 5 hours of smoke, start the bird at 275 for however long it takes to get to 140, and then reduce the temp to something like 175? I would like to have the chicken pretty close to done after that 10 hour period, and then throw it on the grill on high to crisp the skin.

    Anyone have experience with this kind of approach? Am I going to dry out the bird with that long cook? Should I add a pan of water after the first 5 hours once the AMNPS burns out?

    thanks much!

  2. I've never done this, but I can't see this working out too well. Having a bird on the cooker for that long, even if you're getting to 140 within a good time frame, is going to dry it out. How much time do you have after you get home? There might be time to smoke it then? You only need a couple hours at high heat in the smoker to cook a spatchcock chicken.
  3. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    Yep - I don't think it would work either.  Chicken ain't like a pork butt.  It would dry out or if you cooked it too low it would spoil.  
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nope not a good plan for chicken. You'd be risking having the chicken in the danger zone too long. Really need to take chicken from 40-140 IT in less than 4 hours.

    But what you can do is do a high temp smoke and have the chicken done in less than 2 hours. Whether you do parts, or spatch you'll hit your IT of 165 and get good smoke flavor. I do all of my chicken high temp now, 350+.
  5. ahains

    ahains Newbie

    Thanks for the feedback, guys.

    My current grill-only approach takes 1:15 to cook. I get home around 4:30, get it on the grill by 4:45, and take it off about 6pm for dinner. It sounds like my best bet is to try a high temp cook and see if I can get some smoke flavor into it in just 1.5-2 hours.

    My MES30 only goes to 275, but I'd be up for trying the AMNPS on the weber propane grill. I could light the pellets on both ends (and even the middle if I want to get crazy) to get a very high smoke output, which might help get some flavor in there even with the shorter cook time. Does it work as I expect where increasing the smoke density lets you get a smoked flavor in a shorter time?

    I read that some folks have problems getting enough oxygen for the AMNPS in a gas gril, but it might work if I put it down in the grease pan area by where the fresh air hole on the bottom is. 


  6. When I read your post I had a thought back to something I'd read before about adding smoke to food in a short period of time. When you're grilling, wrap some pellets/chips in a tin foil pouch and poke holes in the top and put that towards the read of the grill under the grates. Make sure it's still getting hit with a little bit of flame though. The smoke will be intense and white, but this kind of smoke is ok for short periods of time. I would do this for maybe 30 minutes....if the pellets last that long.
  7. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Part the chicken into quarters and cook it at the highest temp setting on your MES. Finish on the grill to crisp the skin.
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    This answer is Spot On! This will get it done in under two hours with crisp skin. Shoot for Indirect heat in the 325-350 Range, half the grill on med to high, chix on the other half. Check out these threads and recipe...JJ

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