I decided to try smoking chicken and ribs at the same time and much to my amazment, it worked !
I dropped 10 lbs of leg quarters into a basic brine and let them soak for four hours in the fridge (I found a 2 1/2 gallon rectangular Tupperware that held the chicken, brine and ice perfectly!). Meantime I layered some dry rub on the spare ribs, wrapped them in plastic and stored them in the fridge too.
I set up my Masterbuilt 30" propane smoker with apple wood chips and water in the pan. After some testing during my first smoke a few weeks ago I decided that the built in thermometer was close enough for government work.
I put the ribs on the highest of the four racks and fired up the smoker to 225-250 and held it there for three hours (as per the 3-2-1 method).
Sidebar : I get fairly thick blue smoke in the 225-250 range. I'm using the OEM fire bowl with aluminum foil blocking the holes as suggested by some pretty smart folks around here. Would using a cast iron pan on top of the fire bowl to hold the chips get me thinner smoke at the same temperatures?
I took the ribs out, misted them with apple juice, wrapped them in foil and put them back in at 225-250. While I was wrapping the ribs, my wife had taken the chicken out of the brine, double rinsed and dried them, and layed on some dry rub (pretty lucky fellow me!). I then placed the chicken, skin side down, on the two racks below the ribs. As I would learn later, putting the chicken below the ribs was a very good idea ! It turns out that chicken drips WAY more juice and fat than ribs or a Pork Butt !
I held the chicken and rib combination at 225 - 250 for two hours, then unwrapped the ribs and went another hour at 225-250.
With the ribs complete and the chicken needing another 1/2 hour (I hoped !) I added water to the pan, loaded some more wood chips and cranked the burner up to 300 - 325. My hope was a) the chicken would take 30 minutes more (a total of 3 1/2 hours, as I had read somewhere) and b) that 30 minutes at higher heat would be enough to crisp up the skin.
I pulled a couple of leg quarters out 30 minutes later and checked the internal temp : 170 !! Sometimes we get lucky.
My rig was a BIG mess but the ribs were excellent (again! That 3-2-1 method is genius!) and the chicken was almost perfect. I would have preferred a slightly crispier skin, but it was by no means rubbery.
I think I like the grill marks on the chicken :-)
Edited by Hebjamn - 1/18/12 at 10:19am