smoking chicken problems

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by fftwarren, May 27, 2010.

  1. fftwarren

    fftwarren Smoking Fanatic

    Ok, let me start by saying that I have been smoking meats for several years. I can make some great pork roast, ribs, sausages, steaks, pretty much all your main cuts. However, I cannot get some good smoked chicken to save my neck. I'm talking about like a hot smoked chicken, a step below BBQ. No matter what I do, the skin always ends up disgusting with that over smoked tang to it. I have tried it numerous times and still have yet to come out with a good batch. I cook it just like I do with my pork and other stuff. That all turns out great with thumbs up from everyone involved, but chicken is just another story. I can't master it. What am I doing wrong that causes the chicken to absorb so much more smoke than the pork. Heck I've even cooked it side by side with the pork and such and it still turns out like that.
  2. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brine the bird an smoke at a hotter temp, say sumtin like 325° - 375°, this I'll give ya a crisper skin an less smoke time.  Also, try some milder woods such as apple on them birds.
  3. fftwarren

    fftwarren Smoking Fanatic

    cool, thanks. I will have to try that. I had been using pecan or hickory. but I'll try using a lighter wood and a brine next time. thanks.

    If anyone else has any tips feel free to throw em out there
  4. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Here are Tip's (travcoman45) Slaughterhouse recipes:

    Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine By Tip Piper of Hillbilly Vittles
    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

    Slaughterhouse Poultry Injection
    ½ Pkg Good Seasons Italian Dressing
    2 tsp Garlic Powder
    2 tsp Celery Seed
    2 TBS melted Butter (non salted)
    2 C Apple Cider

    Slaughterhouse Spritz (Good fer everthin!)
    8 oz Apple Cider
    6 oz Water
    4 oz Whiskey
    2 oz Cider Vinegar

    I'm sure that they'll eventually make it into the WIKI.  There's also a Competition Chicken WIKI article with some great information and another brine recipe:
  5. fftwarren

    fftwarren Smoking Fanatic

    I just checked out the wiki brine recipe, thanks for those too
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I really like the Slaughterhouse brine. As was mentioned to get a crisp skin crank the heat up to above 300 I do mine at 325-350 this also means a shorter time in the smoker so less smoke absorbed. Apple is very good with poultry
  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I have to agree with Jerry (Pineywoods)  and Tip (travocoman) on this one too. I also like to smoke my chickens at a higher temp. It makes the skin alittle more let's say eatible some folks say. I like mine out of the smoker crispy, softer, gummy. Just the way it comes out of the smoker for I know it will be really really good.
  8. fftwarren

    fftwarren Smoking Fanatic

    well my temps are part of the problem, if not the main problem. It seems I'm trying to cook it so low that it is not only not cooking fast enough but its spending to much time in the smoky environment. which in return is giving it that smoky tang as well as the rubbery skin
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  9. kryinggame

    kryinggame Smoking Fanatic

    Gents, I was about to post the same problem as FFTWarren. I always have a difficult time smoking chicken. Last night, I use my Masterbuilt smoker for the first time. I smoked a 4 lb chicken but the result was less than pleasing. Similar to FFTWarren's report, the skin ended up disgusting with that over smoked tang to it. 

    From the suggestions posted here, I'm assuming that I did 2 things wrong: 1. I used Hickory wood (I think that's to harsh of a wood, that leaves a bitter flavor for poultery); 2 - I smoked it at 225 degrees.

    Next weekend, I'm going to apply the advice that you gents gave and hopefully, it will turn out better.
  10. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Pecan is my favorite wood for yard birds. I never brine,  smoke at 250*, but will finish them up on a hot grill to crisp up the skin. Still moist and great flavor.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  11. elohel

    elohel Smoke Blower

    I've given up on crispy chicken skin. I've tried smoking at the highest temps my smoker can go (275*), rubbery skin. I've tried low/slow and finishing in an oven at 450*.. rubbery skin. I've tried finishing on the grill.. rubbery skin. It's like the second my chicken goes into the smoker, it's doomed to be rubber. It sucks because the actual meat is so delicious!
  12. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

  13. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Fresh out of the smoker


    After 10 to 15 minutes on a hot grill. No you are not going to get Crispy as in "Fried" skin, but you will get more than edible skin. You must not be doing them long enough??

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