smoking a whole chicken ?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by acidsorm, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. acidsorm

    acidsorm Fire Starter

    Hi there ! I'm going to smoke 1 whole chicken tomorrow on my Jim bowie pellet smoker. How should I prepare it today ? What type of brine should I use. And at what temp should I cook it ? any help would be great ! Thanks :)
  2. Hello acidsorm.  May be a little late now but if that yard bird is of good quality, I'd just add salt and pepper and go for it.  Run your smoker around 250ish.  Cook to an IT of 165 in the thigh area.  As the IT reaches 160ish crank the heat up to round 300 to crisp up that skin.  TAKE NOTES.  Next time try a rub.  Then try a brine.  Find what you and the family like and stick with it.  Just my 2 cents.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Works for me, have fun , do start a BBQ Logbook , and as always . . .

    Stan. . .
  4. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sorry I didn't see this sooner and I reckon I'm too late.

    I always brine poultry!  Always.  With chickens I brine a minimum of four hours. My favorite brine is the Slaughterhouse brine.  Recipe below:

    Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine
    1 ½ Gal Water
    ½ C Salt - Kosher
    ½ C Dark Brown Sugar
    2 tsp Garlic Powder
    2 tsp Onion Powder
    2 tsp Cajun Spice (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)
    2 tsp Celery Seed

    Good luck,

  5. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Can't go wrong with a good brine.
  6. acidsorm

    acidsorm Fire Starter

    What exactly is the purpose of brineing ? If its to keep it moist , I haven't had the issue of a dry chicken and I have not used a brine. Smoked 4 whole chickens so far in my Jim bowie and was moist every time
  7. Here's a quote I found regarding brining and what it does to meats:

    The most commonly offered explanation is that the flavor brine solution contains a higher concentration of water and salt than the meat, so the solution passes into the meat cells through their semi-permeable membranes, adding water and flavor to the inside of the meat cells. This explanation is offered by authorities including Cook's Illustrated magazine and Robert L. Wolke, author of What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained.

    Other experts state the opposite situation, but with the same end result: That meat cells contain a higher concentration of water and dissolved solids than the flavor brine solution, so the solution passes into the meat cells through their semi-permeable membranes, again adding water and flavor to the inside of the meat cells. Shirley O. Corriher, author of CookWise, provides this explanation in her book.

    Yet another explanation is that the flavor brine solution does not actually penetrate the meat cells at all. Instead, it just flows into the spaces between cells, where it draws out some moisture through the semi-permeable membrane of meat cells, increasing the concentration of naturally occurring sodium inside the cells. Some of the flavor brine solution remains between meat cells where it flavors the meat. The California BBQ Association website provided this explanation in an article written by Joe O'Connell (article no longer online).

    Regardless of the explanation, all sources seem to agree that a higher concentration of salt inside meat cells causes protein strands to denature. The tightly wound proteins unwind and get tangled together, and when heated, the proteins form a matrix that traps water molecules and holds onto them tightly during cooking. In the case of the first two explanations, the denatured proteins hold on to some of the water, salt, and flavorings that flowed into the meat cells; in the case of the third explanation, the denatured proteins are holding on to free water that was already inside the meat cells and would have been lost had the meat not been brined.

    Which of these explanations is correct? I'm not sure, but in the end, it doesn't really matter. The bottom line is that flavor brining results in meat that is more moist and flavorful than unbrined meat, regardless of which explanation you choose to believe.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 4 Beta
  8. I have cooked whole yard birds in 3 different ways.

    1. Coated in mayo, or mustard, or olive oil, and then with a rub. Placed in the smoker and cooked until 165. Crank up the heat for the last 30 minutes to crisp the skin. Results are good. Cooked at 250 degrees

    2. Injected with marinade like Kens Italian dressing or Kens Buffalo dressing. Cooked until 165. Cranked up heat again for last 30 minutes for crisping. Results excellent. Very moist and juicy. Cooked at 250 degrees.

    3. Brine the chicken with Mad Hunky Poultry Brine overnight and then seasoned with rub and smoked until 165. First time the chicken was delicious but the skin was like rubber. Second, time, chicken was very moist and juicy and skin was crisp. Second time cooked between 250 and 275 on wood smoker and cranked to 350 closer to the firebox. 

    Remember with chicken for safety reasons, you need to get the chicken to 140 within 3 to 4 hours in order to get rid of the bacteria these little buggers carry for safety reasons. So I suggest that when your chicken internal temperature hits 130 degrees, crank it up to begin the crisping process and get the internal temperature to 165 or 170. 

    The alternative to this is just cook the chicken at 325 to 350 degrees until the internal temperature hits 165/170. This will shorten the process for smoking and cook the chicken faster.


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