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Help with how to smoke....anything...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I recently bought a Luhr Jensen Big Chief Front Load Electric 50Lb Smoker and have used it a couple of times.  The first time, I followed the brine recipe that came with the smoker on a whole chicken and it turned out pretty good, but a little dry, I used Jack Daniels wood chips and then finished it off in the oven.  The second time I used legs, thighs, and breasts and again followed the brine recipe and then smoked them using the same chips and then again finished them off in the oven.  The parts and pieces turned out terrible.  My wife thought they were OK but for me, they didn't taste that good, and also the skin was rubbery and the meat was dry.


How do I use this #$%^ thing and get good results?  I hate to waste meat.  

post #2 of 4

The Big Chief smoker is a good smoker for many things, such as jerky and fish, it can also be used successfully by smoke flavoring your meat then finishing in the oven. The biggest drawback is that you cannot control the temperature, it is either on or off. That said....what you should invest in next is a good digital thermometer, one that has a probe and wire that you can plug into the meat and the temp is displayed outside the cooking chamber. Dry chicken comes from overcooking. Do you have a gas grill, this is a great way to finish chicken and get that skin crisped up, it will not get crispy in a 200* smoker. Try cooking your chicken to 150* internal temp then toss on the grill till it hits 165*.

Good luck!

post #3 of 4
I put butter/ garlic mix under the skin and smoke until it reaches 175. If you want crisp skin you will need to smoke it aroud 300 degrees . We don't eat the skin so we just pull it off after smoking it
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

OK I will look for a thermometer.  Right now I have a small table top gas grill that uses the small throw away bottles.  I want to get a bigger grill, just haven't found one I like yet, or that is not outrageously priced.  I would like a rotisserie since I think that would add a lot more options.


I also have a charcoal kettle grill, but since I am used to gas grills, I am still trying to figure out how to keep the think hot enough and the coals to last long enough.


How do you keep meat moist in a smoker?  There is a drip pan that I could put water in, would that help?

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