My very first endeavor

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by steve erickson, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. I used my smoker for the very first time last night. First time ever smoking period. I did a whole chicken that I sprachcocked and some spicy Italian sausage. It took about three hours for the whole process. I'd like to say that it was an over all success, but the smoked chicken is pretty intense. Too much I thought. The sausage came out a bit better. That being said, the chicken meat was incredibly moist and tender. 

    So throughout the entire cooking time, I steadily added wood chips (apple wood). The first two times I added the chips, they were dry, then I remembered that they should be soaked. So every time after that, the chips were soaked. I'm thinking I made two mistakes. First is that I added chips through the entire process, and two, was using dry chips the first two times I added them. 

    Any advice, tips, criticism would be greatly appreciated. 

    BTW, I have a Masterbuilt electric smoke house. 


    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  2. jaynh77

    jaynh77 Newbie

    I usually go easy on the chips/chunks with chicken.. maybe let the smoke roll for the first hour or so and see how you like the taste. also - be sure the smoke is moving through the chamber and venting out. I use dry chips/chunks.. the only difference I've noticed is it take longer for the wet wood to start smoking.
  3. I was thinking the same thing with reducing the amount of smoke time. But perhaps smoking other meats may require more smoke? And yeah, I can see smoke coming out in what I assume is an acceptable level. Not too much, not too little. 

    Thanks for the advice :)
  4. With chicken I toss about 3-4 chunks of hickory or apple at the beginning and thats it. I dont use chips, so I dont know how to compare. But what jay said, and hour of smoke for chickens is just fine.
    anything more it tastes like an ashtray.

    Next time take pics;)

    Here's my chicken from last night
    steve erickson likes this.
  5. casmurf

    casmurf Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

     Wetting chips does nothing, they just have to dry out before they start smoking,

    Poultry takes on smoke easily. You just used to much smoke for the chicken. beef and pork can take a lot more smoke.

    Keep practicing you will get better and also find what you like best.

    Jerry S.
  6. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    Poultry asorbes smoke more quickly then larger beef and pork cuts so not as much wood is needed
  7. Thank you all for the great advice. This apprentice is willing to absorb as much of it as possible. Ha! Just like my chicken absorbed 3 hours of smoke. 

    Question. Is there anywhere on this site where I could find general guidelines (like a table) on total cook times (per pound?), smoke times, recommended wood chips/ pellets for many common meats and fish?

    And hey Paulmart. I did initially add a picture last night to my roll call post. But I went ahead and edited my original post to include a pic.

    Again, thanks everybody for the help.

  8. My smoker came with an expected smoking time guideline pamphlet. After a few weeks of believing it I filed it in the "important bin".
    Heres what ive found..
    Full chickens 2-3 hours
    Pieces of chicken 1-2 hours
    ribs 6 hours

    Pulled butt/brisket 1.5 hours per pound. Really, they have a mind of thier own. They finish when they decide its time. They usually stall out for 1-3 hours ariund the 150-160 mark, making you question if there's still heat in the smoker.

    The best move to make is getting a decent thermometer...
    and doing the homework yourself;)

    Whenever I try something new. I have always found that someone on smoking meat forums has done it (or something similar), and logged it with sum it up, I don't have a smoking times webpage lol
  9. "Pulled butt" lol
  10. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    Ditto what Paulmart said...

    there isn't really a finite amount of time for any meat becase they all cook differntly, but there are general guidelines you'll learn as you get more and more into it. Also searching around on this site till give you a better idea as well. Here are basic guidlines i would go by...but as Paulmart said...a good thermo is your best friend! some cuts of meat (especially butts and briskets) will surprise you...they'll cook very fast or very slow. so you cant really go by time

    My general rules of thumb:

    Whole Chickens (non-spatchcocked) - 2-3 hours (spatchcocked will cook fasters)

    Whole Turkeys - 4-6 hours (12-15lb range)

    Poultry can be smoked at higher temps (275+) because your not breaking down fat and muscle like you are in pork and beef so you dont need "low and slow"

    Pork Shoulder (picnic or boston butt) and Brisket- 1.5 hours per pound (for picnics, if you trim off the skin make sure your doing these rates on the trimmed portion weight, not as you bought it)

    Ribs - 3-2-1 (spares) 2-2-1 (baby backs). These numbers are hours for example with baby backs you would smoke them unwrapped for 2 hours, then wrap in foil for 2 hours, then unwrap and let go another hour to firm up. These numbers are just a basic guide for ribs...many people alter them for taste and tenderness they want. 

    hope this helps
    paulmart and steve erickson like this.

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