MES 30 first smoke not so great :( advice plz?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jaeme adams, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. jaeme adams

    jaeme adams Newbie

    Well not so happy with my first smoke of two roaster chickens.  I will walk through the experience and any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.  TIA!

    First I bought two roaster chickens fresh from the local store one 7.5 and the other 8.5 lbs.  Brined them for 16 hours (maybe first mistake) I was not sure if I should combine the weight for brining or just count them individually.  After done dried them off injected them with Cajun butter and put both in the smoker at 225.  One thing I was not sure was should I have pre heated the smoker?  I did not.  I added chips every 30 mins i fulled the loader full each time.  After 5 hours they were both done.  I pulled them out and let them rest for 30 mins.  I carved them up and boy were they moist.  Taste not so great salty and smokey.  I am assuming I made some crucial errors so please advise.  I am pretty thick skin so feel free to tell it like it is.  I have a 15lbs turkey brining right now and planned to give it another whirl tomorrow 
  2. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would say....... preheat for sure, Run that temp on up to 250 to 275 for chicken, and cut back on the chips. I don't brine so I can't help you out there. Dang... looks like your gonna have to try again.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    How much Salt in the Brine? What Kind? How salty is Cajun Butter? Always Preheat...What kind of wood you smoke with? Need details...JJ
  4. jaeme adams

    jaeme adams Newbie

  5. tromaron

    tromaron Meat Mopper

  6. kryinggame

    kryinggame Smoking Fanatic

    I don't mean to hi-jack this thread but I had a similar experience over the weekend and after thinking about it, I realized my screw ups.

    1 - Don't use hickory for chicken. The taste is bitter;

    2 - I brined overnight but the problem wasn't in the brine. Getting past the skin, the meat was very flavorful;

    3 - I smoked for 4 hours at 225. From what I've read, this is to low for poultery. Most people advise to smoke at 350 - 375. For for our electric smokers, I've read to smoke it for an hour and then transfer the bird into the oven at at higher temperature.

    Can you get a good crisp flavor at 275 in the MES? I don't want that soggy, tangy flavor ever again.  Yuck!

    Thanks and sorry about hi-jacking!
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I brine a whole bird I usually go 1 hour per pound. I use a simple brine. 1/2 cu salt, 1 cup raw sugar, 1/2 cu Montreal chicken seasoning, mixed up in 1 gallon of water.
  8. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I usually brine my birds over night ( 7hrs) and then smoke then. Then I don't use hickory I like fruit woods apple, cherry, orange. I also keep the smoker at about 275°-300° and they normally don't take longer then a couple of hours. I don't know what you doing wrong but the length of time sure seems alot longer the it should take to me. How many thermo units do you have ? Are you using the factory installed thermo meter that your smoker came with ?
  9. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

  10. mmain1

    mmain1 Newbie

    I agree with TromaRon.  

    My first thought while reading post was that you didn't mention washing the brine off.  

    I have heard that your product will be very salty if you don't rinse the brine off.
  11. melleram

    melleram Smoke Blower

    Spatchcook them birds.  Using poultry shears cut down each side of the backbone and discard it

    Here's How

    Brine overnight

    1 Cup Kosher salt

    1 Cup Brown Sugar

    1 Gallon Water

    garlic, pepper flakes, etc...optional

    Next Day

    Rinse the birds clean, and soak in clean water 5 min or so

    Lightly season skin and meat side, do not inject.  There is no need to inject a brined bird

    Place bird skin side up on a rack.

    Preheat MES to 275 (i use sand instead of water in the pan)

    Slide in chicken rack.

    Cook for 30 min without smoke,

    Then 1 small handfull of chips, thats all the smoke it needs

    Cook to your desired temp, I like to see no blood or red, so I take mine to At Least 180 in the thigh.  Thats the beauty of a brined bird

    Let chicken rest 10-15 minutes before cutting it.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  12. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Have used hickory many many times on chicken .No problems here.
  13. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I always use mesquite with poultry.

    Guess I'm a smokeaholic!
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I would say your saltiness problem comes from here...You have knowing how much combined salt you put in between these two items...There are SO many good brine recipes here that messing around with premixes is a waste of money...Look around, if you don't find something that interests you, shoot me a PM and I'll work with you one on one to develope a recipe that suits your taste...JJ

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