Long Poultry Smoke Times?

Discussion in 'Grilling Chicken' started by foamheart, May 2, 2013.

  1. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am a newbie to the forums, and I’ll use that excuse as long as I can get away with it. I have smoked & grilled and very seldom BBQ’d. I came here because I bought a small electric smoke box so I didn’t have to use a whole bag of charcoal to cook on a pit. I understand that every person’s way of cooking is a personal preference but………….

    I don’t understand all the cooking times for smoking a chicken. I have seen 3 and 4 hour cooking times. I am now getting 5 and 6 pound “fryers” and the norm to achieve a no frills smoke is always less than 2 hours. If I inject it, it’s about the same, never been big on brines never saw them used as a kid.

    I can understand the reason for a slow burn on a turkey or maybe a goose. But a chicken or any small fowl is about a juicy meat. All additives are basically I figured a flavor enhancement, am I wrong?

    Smoke for approx. 90 mins. (That gives about a 165 IT with a 225 blue smoke), rest/redistribute for 15 mins.

    What is the reason for a longer smoke?

    Things I was shown as a kid:

    You don’t need juice in the water pan for a chicken unless you are cooking it at a very high or long smoke. Of course I also live in South Louisiana and it’s never dry here, but it worked the same way in Odessa, Texas and that’s a cowboy desert like you see in the movies. Oilfield trash what can I say, even worse I was sometimes an oilfield peddler, (but I told Mom I was a piano player at a cat house so as not to embarrass my parents too bad).

    I always rub down any fowl before cooking externally with “Kitchen Bouquet”, was always told it helps even out the smoke absorption so you never see those ugly patches. I have never smoked fowl without it so I cannot verify. Then apply some oil/butter that’s the suntan lotion and it’s also nice to help those external spices grab hold and hang on.

    Compound butters between the skin and meat add flavor but if the chicken is smoked right I have never ever had a dry chicken, (except when learning a new pit/smoker).

    I always go light with sweet woods for smoke. Sure I love mesquite sometimes but when I do it, its really light. More people I have met are turned off by over smoked meats than dry smoked meats.

    So back to the basic question, what is gained by a long low and slow smoke of small fowl?

    I wish I had a camera, y’all (LOL, no not youse guys) have got me trying brines again. Brined for 24, drying in the reefer for 12. We will see what happens.

    Foam’s Scarbough Fair Brine (LOL)

    2/3 C light brown

    1/3 C pickling salt

    Tsp. Parsley

    Tsp. Sage

    Tsp. Rosemary

    Tsp. Thyme

    Tsp. Garlic Tabasco

    Tsp. Lea & Perrins
  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Foamheart, with all you explained, you should have no trouble doing Chix. The long smoke is IMHO not necessary . I cook to 165* in the Breast and 170* in the Dark meat at a Chamber heat of around 300*. 

    In doing chicken , I have found that  the old limber joints and clear juices are your guidelines and a good dependable Thermometer ( like the Thermoworks Pen ) to check , for good measure.

    Long cooks on Poultry tends to dry it out too much.Leading to dousing the meat with copious amounts of Sauce. [​IMG]

    I'm a firm believer in Brining Fowl. Whole -or- pieces. Increases flavors you add and is moister in the end...

    As always, have fun and...
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yep I don't think that chicken needs a long smoke time. I get my smoker up to 275*-325* and let er ride. I firmly believe that brining is for flavor only and isn't needed to get a moist bird. I also use a dry smoke chamber, no water pan. Never had a dry bird. I usually just give the bird a dry rub inside and out and that's it. No oil or butter, mustard, ketchup or whatever people think they need to get the rub to stick. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it!
  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have brined turkeys but usually not chickens although the thought has crossed my mind. Basically, I think (know) I'm lazy and since I don't really need to...I skip it. If smoking I crank it up full bore to 250, which often times gives me 275. If grilling birds I've started to use the off-set coals for indirect heat method with good results. I'll only eat the skin on legs & wings so the rest of the skin can be charred beyond recognition IMO, as long as the ta-ta's are moist. If deep frying is called for I like a buttermilk overnight soak. Recently did a beer can chicken in the smoker with good results...the breast was moist, delicious and got eaten first...go figure

  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I dont brine my beer can chix either but will brine larger birds

    Don't be afraid to run the internal temp of chix higher, when I Do my Beercan Chix on my stickburner, I usually run at 250° for 2 hours, 90 minutes minimum at 250° - 275°, I never probe Beercan Chix for IT.

    IMHO there really is no benefit to low and slow chix but I like doing them on the pit because they're Fun, quick, easy and hard to mess up.

    Pit Chix

    Pit turkey, slightly overdone. (loaded with flavor)

    Oven Roasted Turkey, perfect

    Last edited: May 2, 2013

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