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How long to smoke a chicken?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

OK, this is not the normal "how long to smoke a chicken" question.  I understand that you want the meat to reach 165 or 175 depending on the cut of chicken. I plan on doing whole chickens.

 

My issue is not with not having enough time, my issue is having TOO much time.

 

I want to smoke a chicken and take it to work for lunch. I work an hour away from home and leave my house at 6:45am.

 

Can I smoke a chicken (or three) overnight, wrap in foil/towel/cooler, then take it to work?

 

Will I dry out the chicken by cooking it too long? The latest I can put the birds in the smoker is 11:00pm, I really don't want to stay up any later. 

 

Any advice? Or should I forget about taking chicken to work?

 

Any help would be appreciated.

post #2 of 14

This is a good question for Chef Jimmy J. If he doesn't see this just PM him.

post #3 of 14

I think it would be fine, keep it wrapped in foil. You may have to give it a nuke or two in a microwave once you get to work, but really....nothing wrong with cold smoked chicken either.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm not too worried about keeping the chicken warm once they are wrapped in foil/towel/cooler.  Unless you guys think I should put them on ice in the cooler?

 

I'm more worried about the 7 hour cooking time. Will that be too much? Any recommendations on cooking temp?  I'd really prefer not to wake up in the middle of the night to mess with the bird. 

 

Like I said, I can put them in the smoker at 11pm at the latest, and can take them off at 6am.

post #5 of 14

You could just get up about 4 or 4:30 and smoke them for a few hours in the morning.  Just a thought...then foil 'em, and cooler 'em until ready to eat.

post #6 of 14

Thats a tough one, even if you get up again at 4AM after going to bed at 11 I feel like that would be too long..Mine usually take only about 3hrs max. Are you planning on brining them? That will help with moisture. I always brine mine and smoke between 280 and 300*. I suppose you could drop the smoker temp a bit and try to do them slower...but I have always had better luck with higher temp. 

Although, when I do smoke brined chicken at the higher temp, It reheats in the microwave very well, never had a dry one. So you could do the day before(or a few days before) and reheat it, I really dont think you'll be disappointed. I'll smoke up a whole chicken on Sunday and make everyone at work jealous of my lunch til Friday. If its something that you dont have a choice but to do it overnight, Al is right, PM Jimmy J, he's really good about getting back to you soon and can definitely help you out.

post #7 of 14

The issue is Chicken just don't take that long!...An overnight smoke will be too long and you risk either having dry birds or pulled chicken because they fall apart...I would definately Brine the birds, Smoke them off at 225*F to 165-175* and wrap them in foil and refrigerate until you take them to work for reheating...I guess a Microwave is the only way to reheat? I don't know how many you are feeding, but Chix Halves are an individual portion, they should be around 1.5 lbs each...Breast and Leg Quarters are also good to provide for individual meat preference...This is my go to Brine...JJ

 

 

Families Favorite Brine

 

1/2C Kosher Salt

2T Paprika

2T Gran. Garlic

2T Gran. Onion

2T Dry Thyme

2T Black Pepper

1C Vinegar (Any)

1-11/2Gal Cold Water to cover Chix

 

1/2C Brown Sugar, Optional

1T Red Pepper Flake Optional

 

Starting Two Days out...

Mix well and Soak the Bird over night or up to 24 Hours.

Remove the Chix, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.

Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.

This will give a crispier skin when Smokng or Roasting...

 

Bubba Chix Rub

 

1/2C Raw Sugar

2T Paprika (I use Smoked if I'm just Grilling)

1T Cayenne

1T Gran. Garlic

1T Gran. Onion

1tsp Black Pepper

1tsp Wht Pepper

1tsp Allspice

1tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning or Thyme

 

Mix well. You can put directly on the skin or mix with Butter, Oil or Bacon Grease and rub on and under the Skin.

Reduce Cayenne to 1teaspoon if less heat is desired.

 

Good Luck!


Edited by Chef JimmyJ - 4/8/13 at 9:30pm
post #8 of 14

OR, as Flash mentioned , cook the Evening before,cool in Referigerator and Mucnh it Cold , a nice Q-sauce and Mac Salad , you'll be good to go...

 

they look great done Beercan Style and can be Nuked with no damage to the taste.....;}-

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone so much for all the information.

 

Looks like I will definitely be smoking these in the evening a day or two prior. Then putting them on ice, then to the fridge until I take them to work.  And a brine before the smoking.

 

Another question:

 

If I WANT "pulled chicken", how do I get that?  Is it a temperature thing? Or a wrapping/braising thing?

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by aklee987 View Post

Thanks everyone so much for all the information.

 

Looks like I will definitely be smoking these in the evening a day or two prior. Then putting them on ice, then to the fridge until I take them to work.  And a brine before the smoking.

 

Another question:

 

If I WANT "pulled chicken", how do I get that?  Is it a temperature thing? Or a wrapping/braising thing?



 

For pulled chicken we spatchcock the chicken & smoke it at 225, bone side down in an aluminum pan with a little chicken broth & a couple tablespoons of rub in the pan too. Use a pan with high sides because all the juices from the chicken will fill up the pan. You will have to discard the skin, which makes it healthier anyways. On occasion we do it this way. Fry up some bacon & set it aside, but leave the grease in the pan. After you pull the chicken take the chicken skin & chop it up into little pieces & fry it in the bacon grease. When it is nice & crispy. Take it out, chop the bacon into little pieces & mix the two with the pulled chicken. This is a real treat, not to healthy, so you only do this once in a while.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks, SmokinAl.  Do you smoke it dry first? Or is it raw when you put it in the pan with the liquid?

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post



 

For pulled chicken we spatchcock the chicken & smoke it at 225, bone side down in an aluminum pan with a little chicken broth & a couple tablespoons of rub in the pan too. Use a pan with high sides because all the juices from the chicken will fill up the pan. You will have to discard the skin, which makes it healthier anyways. On occasion we do it this way. Fry up some bacon & set it aside, but leave the grease in the pan. After you pull the chicken take the chicken skin & chop it up into little pieces & fry it in the bacon grease. When it is nice & crispy. Take it out, chop the bacon into little pieces & mix the two with the pulled chicken. This is a real treat, not to healthy, so you only do this once in a while.



LOL...Holy Smokes AL!...I was just going to tell him to foil the Bird with his choice of liquid and cook another hour....But this recipe is freakin' DECADENT!...Good one!...JJ

 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by aklee987 View Post

Thanks, SmokinAl.  Do you smoke it dry first? Or is it raw when you put it in the pan with the liquid?



 

It's raw when you put it in the pan with the liquid. Remember just a little liquid at first, maybe 1 cup, because the bird will generate a lot of juice.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post



LOL...Holy Smokes AL!...I was just going to tell him to foil the Bird with his choice of liquid and cook another hour....But this recipe is freakin' DECADENT!...Good one!...JJ

 



As long as you have your Cardiologist on speed dial it's a killer recipe. Pun intended!

 

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