Time to smoke 2 5lb whole chickens

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by mikemmm, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. I'm reading about it taking about 2 hours to smoke a whole chicken. I will smoke to the correct temp but for the sake of estimating when to start will two chickens also take approximately 2 hours or should I expect it to take twice as long with two birds? These birds are 5.2 lbs each. I'm using an MES and will be smoking at 275 then to the oven for the last 10 minutes to crisp the skin.

  2. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Figure your approximate time for one bird. You can spatchcock those and save some time. I think they come out better with a more even level of  doneness. If that is a word. lol. I always do this with chickens now. Also, Poultry can be cooked at a higher temp. without any problems. You could easily do 300 or a little more and get that skin pretty crispy. I have found in the last few months that if you dry the skin really really well before you smoke it will turn out better. If you brine, which I do. Make sure to rinse them down well before drying and smoking. If you need some help in spatchcocking techniques there is a tutorial down at the bottom right of this page. Or here is the link.

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  3. Thanks for the response. I did check out a spatchcock video and think I'll try that next time. I'm glad I can expect about the same time for two birds as one. The MES 30 only gets up to 275. That's why I don't smoke higher and why the transfer to oven for crispness. This is my second time with chicken. Last time it turned out too smoky but otherwise the right level of doneness. First time trying ABT's today as well. We'll see...
  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    What kind of wood are you using? Hickory, cherry, mesquite are very strong flavors. You may want to try something lighter on the smoke like Alder, Oak, Maple, or some fruitwood like Apple or Peach etc... I like maple for chicken. Also if the smoke is heavy, white, or brown you need to adjust something. You are looking for thin blue smoke. Also make sure your top vent is all the way open if it has one. Just some ideas.
  5. @timbrejet - this time around it was great! Last time with the too smoky chicken it was the first time ever smoking. I was forcing way too much smoke. I'm a bit more dialed in now. Looking for thin blue smoke, getting rid of billowing white smoke and not adding wood every 20 minutes. This was also my first time brining. Wow. Turned out awesome this time. Super juicy and just right smokiness. I used a mix of Apple and Hickory. I think it was real nice but maybe I'll try all fruit wood next time.

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