Smoking some Whole chickens next weekend

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by eppo, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. eppo

    eppo Meat Mopper

    I'm going to be smoking some whole chickens next sunday. i want to make sure i have everything down.

    I'm going to brine them in 1 gallon water with 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of sugar, going to see what other kind of spices people are adding. going to do that for 24 hours.

    I was thinking of just rinsing them with water, and then i'm going to throw some dry rub on them and put them in the smoker at 300F.

    I have some Hickory that i can use. should i smoke em the entire time, or limit the hours that the smoke is on?

    i'm going to pull them out at an internal temp of 165 and let em rest for an hour.

    sound good?
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You probably don't need to brine them for 24 hours. One hour per pound is enough time in the brine. Also I would keep the smoke rolling the whole time. When the breast gets to 165. Test a leg & see if it feels like it could pull away from the breast easily. I always seem to have to leave it on the smoker a little longer to get the thighs done. Good luck & don't forget the Qview.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  3. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I usually don't brine chix, but will brine turkey.

    Al has a good point, you want to make sure its done but don't want to overcook the breast.

    I will foil the wings when they get dark and foil the breast at 150°, make sure to pin the wings tight to the bird.

    I will pull off the smoker at 160 ° at the innermost part of the thigh, wrap loosely in foil and towels in a non drafty area or cooler for at least half an hour, the carry over heat will bring you up to 165°
  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I too agree with Al - at 300 the skin should crisp up nicely. In my SmokinTex I have to pull at 160 and throw it on the grill for a few minutes to crisp the skin since I top out at 250. Too long in the brine will make the skin a bit rubbery
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Oh forgot to mention, wrapping in foil will soften the skin.

    I usually remove the skin and crisp it up in a pan
  6. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    I usually let the bird air dry for a while before the rub.. but other then that it all sounds good. 
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is the brine you want to use   Tips Slaughterhouse brine makes great bird (both chicken and turkey). Use that brine for about 1 hr. per. lb. of bird - that is a rough estimate you can go a bit over if need be. Just before you are ready to smoke them pull them out of the brine, rinse them off well, pat them dry, and hit them with some rub. Smoke them hot at 300+ for crispy skin, or if you want super juicy and tender then do them low and slow at 230-250 - but low & slow will give you tough skin.
  8. Beer butt chicken is great on the smoker, too.

    If that's a direction you wish to pursue. I like a Negra Modelo for BBC, because it's a flavorful beer, but still comes in cans and is cheap enough to affordably utilize in a non-drinking procedure. If yours is a non-beer household, then a good ginger ale will work, as well.

    I like to brine my birds, too. I keep it fairly simple: kosher salt, brown sugar, black pepper, and chilies; and only brine overnight, then rub 'em down, let the rub set for at least an hour, then burn 'em at about 325 in my WSMC until the thigh reaches 170. I find the combination beer butt and brine makes the breast a little more forgiving - enough to make sure I don't end up with tough dark meat. I like the thighs the best, but if they're not tender, I'd rather have a salad.
  9. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    I like to marinate my chicken here is what i do..

       1 egg  beaten

     ½ tsp white pepper or black

    3 tsp poultry seasoning
    2 tsp of alpine or season all..
    ½ c vegetable oil    

    1 cup cider vinegar
    1 cup of Italian dressing  
     whisk all the above ingredients together. Marinate the chicken overnight or longer.
  10. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The last 2 birds I did (Wednesday) my wife and kids did not care for, they were cooked to perfect temps, her and the rest of the family like them better when cooked to 180, they like the meat almost mushy like them Sams Rotisserie chickens.

    Oh well sometimes perfection is not perfect.

    Looks like I'm back to cooking the birds to death!
  11. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL... thats how my wif and kids like them to. I find you can get good results if you keep the smoker down around 220-230 and let the chicken run to 180°, the skin just gets tossed, but the meat stays very moist (even in the breast) due to the lower temps.
  12. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I saw a recipe somewhere else. Can't remember where, but it was smoked chicken at low temp. (225) then pull it like PP take the skin off & put it aside. Fry some bacon up until crispy & put it aside. Take the chicken skin & fry it in the bacon grease until crisp. Chop the bacon & chicken skin into small pieces then toss it with the pulled chicken. We did it & it was very very good. A little labor intensive but worth the effort. Just one more thing to do with a chicken.
  13. I do low and slow and toss the skin. It's not healthy. LOL. Usually take the breasts to 170. I don't brine but I'll rub butter and spices under the skin and truss it up with some butcher twine so the wings don't burn off.
  14. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ..... and you give Bear grief about an unhealthy plate of food! [​IMG]LOL
  15. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow! that sounds good!!!
  16. Interesting, I imagine the egg not only helps emulcify the oil and dressing, and adds protien and sugars to enhance browning. That sounds really good!

    That's why every whole chicken in my somker's been a beer butt, the can of liquid adds mass to the center-mass of the bird, so it takes more heat to reach 165. Usually, the thighs are about 175-185 by the time the breasts are 165, and the connective tissues have loosened up and solid fats rendered out enough for a tender, juicy dark meat.

    Until my grandparents introduced me to this method, I thought it was impossible to get slighly springy, tender, and juicy white meat, and buttery-tender dark meat from the same hen.

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