The Chicken and the Egg or To Brine or Not to Brine? Q-View

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by kydave, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. kydave

    kydave Smoke Blower

    I’m here to answer the age old question, which came first, the chicken or the egg? I’m here to tell you, they came at the same time – at least the came off my smoker at the same time the last time I smoked chickens.

    I had seen where some people were putting raw eggs on the smoker as they smoked something or another and I was intrigued. I love me some boiled eggs and I had to see this for myself. The photos of the results are at the end of this post.

    But first, the chicken! We picked up a double pack of chickens from Sam’s giant warehouse, I  had another foodsperiment in mind and who couldn’t use a few extra pounds of smoked poultry anyway?

    I wanted to see for myself if we could tell a significant difference between a brined bird or one that goes from wrapper to smoker. So other than the brine, these two birds are prepared the same way and cooked on the same fire. This will answer the question once and for all, “To brine or not to brine?”

    The set up – offset smoker at about 300° using charcoal and a mixture (read left over assorted ) wood chips. These are smoked “beer can chicken” style using water instead of beer because beer is best consumed cold.


    As per my (new) usual, I prepared an injection of clarified butter, apple cider and cayenne powder and thoroughly injected my victims.


    Placed on the grill at 5:00 PM.


    Added the cold raw eggs at 5:15 PM


    Checked temperature at 6:00 PM


    Ready to come off at 6:30 PM – internal temperature right at 160° deep within the breast.


    Once rested for 30 minutes, both of chickens came out perfect! They both were smoky, juicy and full of flavor. I removed the breasts on all four and carved them against the grain in about 1/3 inch slices. (Sorry, no pics.) We were able to test these babies side by side. Carrie, who had no idea which was the brined, selected the brined one as the juiciest. I also concluded that the extra effort of brining is worth it and I will be brining all my poultry in the future.

    Brining Wins!

    The legs, wings and remaining carcasses were reserved for chicken pot pie which came out beautifully. We had several chicken breast sandwiches and the dark meat made two 10 inch pot pies, plus two cassolettes.


    These pies were awesome! I made the cassolettes using a leftover top crust only

    As for the eggs, I’m not impressed.




    They were very difficult to peel and the outside edge of the egg white was very tough. There was barely a hint of smoke flavor so I have to chock this one down as a fail. I have also seen were some people peel the already boiled eggs before putting them in the smoker, I may give that a try next time.

    So there you have it – the chicken and the egg came out of the smoker and into my kitchen at the same time. Whew, I’m glad the mystery has been solved.
  2. smokinal

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

    Great post! I've always brined poultry since I tried it the first time. Glad to see I'm doing the right thing.
  3. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    [​IMG]  I am also a 100% believer in brine. I came to this Revelation several years ago.  When my niece had an accident and turkeys were in smoker, and ended up wayyyyy over done but were salvageable. I'll never forget that day.

    I tried the egg deal and am also not impressed, I ended up tossing almost a dozen. I found if ya peel under running water it helps. Buy the outer layer is still like rubber. Never tried smoking peeled hard boiled eggs, may try a couple. However they are not top priority on the to try
  4. kydave

    kydave Smoke Blower

    Thanks Al!
  5. kydave

    kydave Smoke Blower

    Thanks sprky! I tried the water too - not worth the effort IMO.
  6. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Your chicken looks good and I do love me some chicken pot pie, I'm like the rest, after I brinned the first one I was hooked,  I always brine, they are so juicy.

    Heh, heh, I tried the smoked egg thing, same results,  for a year after I tried it if Mrs JPT was with me in the store and we walked by the eggs she would start to snicker.

    To redeem myself, one time while I was smoking, while she was gone, I got the bright idea of boiling some eggs, cut them in half, make deviled eggs, add some liquid smoke, and serve them with the rest of the meal, ...that has stopped the snickering when we walk by the eggs now.  [​IMG]

  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The birds look great and I learned a long time ago that brining makes a huge difference...Not that it matters but I can tell you the eggs were over cooked. The Green ring around the Yolk is a chemical reaction that takes place when Hydrogen and Sulphur in the White, forms Hydrogen Sulphide (rotten egg smell) and it reacts with the Iron in the Yolk turning it green. This takes heat and time to happen...JJ
  8. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    Great post thanks for sharing that.. I would have to agree with ya bringing is the way to go.... Have fun and Happy smoking
  9. kydave

    kydave Smoke Blower

    Thanks Gene! Those deviled eggs must have been great!
  10. kydave

    kydave Smoke Blower

    Thanks chef! That's exactly what I thought when I saw a post on SMF about it but I thought they needed the time for smoke penetration. I say, "what I thought" but without all of fancy chemical names and big words you used. (grin)
  11. kydave

    kydave Smoke Blower

    Thanks tyotrain! Happy smokin' to you too!

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