Noob smoking some chickens for my first time

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by jjrussell, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. jjrussell

    jjrussell Newbie

    Hey guys, I'm smoking 3 whole chickens for my first time on my Oklahoma joes highlander tomorrow. Any tips? Do you guys prefer to put rub on the skin and underneath? Should I spray or baste the chickens throughout the process? I thought about brushing melted butter and honey on before I pull off to get a nice glaze. What's a rough estimate on how long these guys take to get up to 165* internal? TIA
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do my chickens on a beer can stand, no beer can, but I put a drip pan below the birds.  I like to brine whole birds for 12 to 48 hours in my version of Alton Browns Orange Juice brine (less salt, a little curing salt, etc).  Injecting the breast really gets the flavor into the meat much more than just the brine alone. 

    I usually do chickens at 325-350F chamber temp.  After brining, I'll pat them dry, spray with any kind of oil, then lightly put the rub on the outside. 

    I like to smoke them with at 50/50 mix of hickory and a fruit wood.  I did two earlier this month, using hickory and peach.  Fired the smoker up to 350F, waited an hour, then loaded the chickens.  Chamber temp dropped to 280F, but started slowly climbing back up.  Settled in at 340-345F.  Took the thigh to 170F, breast to 165F, then took them off.  Total time in the smoker was 1 hr 50 minutes. 

    Each bird weighed 6.1 lbs.  Skin was bite through, rendered nicely.  A couple of small rubbery spots, but nothing that was detrimental.  Birds were juicy and tender.   
  3. chilerelleno

    chilerelleno Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to

    I either wet or dry brine depending on time, and I add rub atop the brine.
    That or I marinade in a mix of EVOO, spices and sometimes citrus juice.
    I seldom bother trying to get seasonings under the skin.

    Once it's on the grill/smoker that's it unless I'm glazing with BBQ sauce.
    Doing otherwise just adds moisture to the skin and prevents it rendering into crispyness.

    Time will depend on size/weight and cooker temp, but 2-3 hours is an average
    With whole birds I always spatchcock them, it shortens the cooking time and allows them to cook more evenly and quicker too.

    In the smoker I run around 275°-300°+, sometimes I finish the birds on the grill or oven to crisp the skin.
    On the grill I like medium heat so as not to overly risk burning and flareups.

    For smoke I like Hickory, Mesquite and Cherry.
    I usually mix Hickory/Cherry if I can, more Cherry than Hickory.
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like you're looking for a nekkid chicken recipe

    Oh and if you have time drop by the "Roll Call" section and introduce yourself so you can get a proper welcome <looks around> yep, we've got a new sheep ready for you.

    Sign up for the Email course, Its amazing the amount of info we forget and just ready thru these you'll see what I mean, even a seasoned vet can benefit from a refresh.

    Hope it helps, and I hope you have a great meal tomorrow!!

    Biggest thing to remember is patience. Smoking is about enjoying the smoke and mellowing out, there should be no hurry or stress involved. If there is you're doing it wrong.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017

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