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I'M BACK! Daughter's Wedding - My 1st to cook for: Planning, Smoking, Q-View (HUGE success) - Page 4

post #61 of 119

All I can say is WOW great job you have going here. Thanks for all the pictures and commentary.

Ronnie G.

post #62 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Those briskets look absolutely awesome.... Great job.....   Did you have smoke going for the full smoke ??   

I think I'm rethinking my method for brisket...   Yes I am.....     Dave

Thanks Dave!

My smoke was heavy for about 3 hours, then turned to thin blue and continued for close to 8 hours total. The foil drppings catch evapoated all the water out sometime around 7 hours.

If youre interested in llearning more about how to use this method send me a. PM...I'll hook you up to some links.


Eric
Edited by forluvofsmoke - 4/16/13 at 9:29am
post #63 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgacat View Post

All I can say is WOW great job you have going here. Thanks for all the pictures and commentary.
Ronnie G.

Thank you, and you're welcome. It's been a fun and productive ride so far...I'm 2/3 of the way home for meats right now...the rest should be a fun way to wrap up the smoking.

Eric
post #64 of 119
Still looking good E! Are you running out of gas yet? I would be one whooped puppy after the smoking marathon you got going.
post #65 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toby Bryant View Post

Still looking good E! Are you running out of gas yet? I would be one whooped puppy after the smoking marathon you got going.

 

Thanks Toby!  ROTF.gif  Yeah, I was feeling the effects of too many nights of very little sleep at too short of intervals for that first stretch of all-nighters. I'm on the down-hill side of the slope now with only day-smokes left to finish the meat smoking, and feeling really good with how it's all come out so far. The up-hill part was a kicker, I will admit...gotta have some determination to make it all come together as fast as I pulled it off and not be tempted to blow-off a smoke for a later date and just kick back for some extra R & R. I just had this feeling that if I drug my feet it would come back to haunt me. I'm just sitting here now after getting home earlier than normal from work feeling a little tired, but not exhausted.

 

I'm ready for the next phase already, and I have another day at work before that starts. Oh, speaking of, I need to take a closer look at my birds and figure out if I can in fact smoke all 8 at once, or do 2 separate batches of 4 for the pulled chicken.

 

It's still daylight and times a wastin'!!! LOL!!!

 

I just measured the partially frozen birds to be sure (~4-1/2" high x ~6" wide x 8-8.5" long)...I think I can do all 8 in one smoke. With a single grate spacing, the birds will contact the grate above them, but I'm pulling these birds, so grate marks on top won't matter. All I have to do is stagger 3 birds per grate, and stagger the opposite on the next grate. If this works out, I think I could fit twelve if I had to!!!

 

I like the sound of this already...pulled whole chicken smoke starts in about 37.75 hours, and counting!!!

 

 

Eric

post #66 of 119
Thread Starter 

8-Bird Smoke is on @ 9:30 AM MT!!!

 

I found out this morning that the look and feel of double-bagged birds when thawing can be quite deceiving. I've been checking them and rotating packages to keep things pretty evened out on the thaw for a few days now. My birds were still partially frozen this morning, with just small amounts of the added broth being liquid, so these are probably in the lower to mid 20* internal temp range right after unpacking.

 

I didn't plan on rubbing them with anything prior to the smoke so that didn't present any issues. What I did quickly realize is that a single grate space with 3 birds max per grate on 2 grates, and 2 birds on the uppermost grate would not be possible, as the birds were still bulked-up and solid, so they weren't relaxed and flattened-out somewhat which would have allowed me to stagger them on 3 grates.

 

At first sight and feel of the birds, I noted a problem with my original plan, but it was easily overcome by placement of 4 birds per grate with double-grate spacing to allow for head-space of the birds between grates. This little unplanned condition could just turn out to be a very good condition for achieving an even better finished product that I was expecting to be serving for the wedding reception.

 

The other side benefit to where this smoke will lead me is based on information in a thread from another member, and the link he attached to it: Understanding Smoke Management, in specific, keeping meats colder internally for loner periods for better smoke reaction, and also in reference to a hot-smoked frozen beef tenderloin and the very impressive smoke ring it produced. I have smoked partially frozen meats and birds in the past, but never really saw any correlation to better smoke reaction being from the meat being colder than fridge temp, but after reading the info in that thread, it makes sense to me. I haven't noticed what some folks caution about with cooking frozen meats, being a drier finished product, so no worries about that issue, even with a higher finished temp for pulling the meat.

 

With this particular smoke, being pulled chicken as the finished product, and the skin being somewhat hampering to smoke reaction due to it's underlying fats, I decided that a heavy smoke to go along with the cold meats should give me the most amount of smoke penetration into surface meat of the whole birds. Why do I want such a heavy smoke? Because the skin will be discarded when the meat is pulled, so I need it to get a lot more smoke into the meat than I normally would attempt to do, just so I don't toss the bulk of the smoke flavor in trash along with the skin. So, this frozen bird dilemma will actually give em an opportunity to see if this will in fact give me adequate smoke into the meat through the skin and fat...time will tell.

 

Just so you can see what I saw this morning...lots of frost and frozen broth:

 

 

 

 

Just getting everything settled into the Smoke Vault 24...yes that is snow in the foil drippings catch over my pea-gravel filled water pan:

 

 

 

 

A mix of chips and chunks of apple for smoke, pre-lit with a LPG torch for a rapid onset of smoke before the birds even began to thaw on the surface...chunks to keep it coming for longer, but I will add more chips frequently for a heavier smoke for much longer than I would normally want to see...I want heavy smoke for at least 3 hours on this round:

 

2 hours into the smoke...looking for those birds to relax and flatten-out a bit, as well as any smoke coloring...smoke has come on fast from what things are looking like so far...just as expected...a bit uneven, but I think I'll do a rotation of the birds in a bit and try to overcome that before the meat gets too warm for taking on smoke:

 

 

 

 

I underestimated the amount of drippings catch capacity on this smoke, forgetting about how much fat will render out...foil is full and we're only 2 hours into the smoke...OOPS...gonna make for a messy clean-up when the smoke clears tonight:

 

 

I ran the burner on medium/low for about 15 minutes to slowly build chamber temps up to 170-180* for a total of about 30 minutes, then let it climb to 225* over about a 15-minute period. I'll let it ride @ 225* for 2.5 hours, them bump to 250 for a couple hours, then 275* and so on. I will probe a couple for temps eventually, but will wait until I see lots of rendered fat and some shrinkage before sticking them.

 

Why the slow bump in temps? So the birds will heat through more evenly as they thaw and begin to cook. Also, due to the birds relaxing and probably touching together as they begin to cook, I may need to rotate the birds on the grates so they cook more evenly, but that will come a few hours into the smoke.

 

I don't expect that these will reach my desired finished temps for resting in much under 8 hours, but I do intend to continue slowly bumping the smoke chamber temps up until they're finished, so that may reduce cooking time somewhat. I just don't want to push the chamber temps too high too quickly and create severely overcooked meat towards the outside while the interior meat finished.

 

Gotta get those birds rotated, so I better get moving!

 

More to follow!

 

 

Eric

 

EDIT: I forgot to mention that these bird do not giblets in the cavity. From the test smoke I did at the start of this with the same birds, they only have the neck fat and skin fat packed into the cavity, so they should retain moisture quite well when finished at higher temps for pulling.


Edited by forluvofsmoke - 4/19/13 at 11:10am
post #67 of 119

WOW!!!

 

First time I ever saw anyone "Smoke a Flock" of chickens!!!

 

Get 'em, Eric!!!

 

 

Bear

post #68 of 119
Thread Starter 

2.25-hr Update...bird rotation on grates...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

WOW!!!

 

First time I ever saw anyone "Smoke a Flock" of chickens!!!

 

Get 'em, Eric!!!

 

 

Bear

 

Oh, we're gettin' 'em, all right!

 

2.25 hours in after a 180* rotation of all birds, I swapped the grate positions from upper to lower...definitely needed this as the lack of smoke shows that once they relaxed from thawing on the grates they were too close together for heat and smoke to flow easily:

 

 

I should get a bit better smoke to more of the meat now, and more even cooking as well. I'll probably do another rotation or two before this is over.

 

Next is to dump the drippings from the foil water-pan liner into a catchment as it's now full, otherwise I suspect a grease fire will ensue and destroy this part of my smoke. I definitely need to remember to build up the sides of the foil drippings catch if I do a lot of birds again.

 

On to that drippings issue now...back later!

 

 

Eric


Edited by forluvofsmoke - 4/19/13 at 11:14am
post #69 of 119
Thread Starter 

3hr Update...

 

Color seems to be looking better overall, now...a repeat pic from the initial smoking @ 2 hours..fairly dark coloring on top and bottom in many areas...with only a few small spots which could indicate any caramelizing of the surface, but again, this was with lower average chamber temps than the past 45 minutes...:

 

...and at 3 hours, being 45 minutes after rotating birds and grates, still rolling a heavy smoke...:

 

 

The wings could be caramelizing already, but I think most of the rest of the coloring is from smoke reaction. If so, these birds are going to get a good dose of apple goodness on the skin and that translates to more smoke getting inside to the meat.

 

Temps have been creeping up closer to 250* now, so it's possible that part of this coloring is from caramelizing of the skin from heat as it cooks, but I don't think it will happen quite that soon at these temps, even though the heat is a bit higher near the cabinet and door on vertical smokers. That said, the only reasonable explanation for the darker coloring on the very top and bottom of these birds is lots of smoke and good temperatures and humidity to allow it to collect on the skin of the chickens.

 

So far so good...gotta do a cal-check on a couple of thermometers and do the stick 'em test soon to be sure we're cooking properly.

 

Later!

 

 

Eric

post #70 of 119
You wouldn't notice if I plucked one of those wings for a snack would you?

They are looking Delicious Eric!!!!
post #71 of 119
Thread Starter 

4-hr Update...

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2K9K View Post

You wouldn't notice if I plucked one of those wings for a snack would you?

They are looking Delicious Eric!!!!

 

Thanks Dave! LOL!!! No, I wouldn't miss it...would be a GREAT snack, even without any rub or finishing sauce, I suspect.

 

 

These birds are coming along so nicely...much better than I expected. I stuck a couple of breasts and thigh and hit the upper 140* range, so I'm confident that everything is over 140* at this point...no worries if they were injected with the broth solution. Oh, forgot to mention this, but these birds are the Pilgrim's Pride label from Sam's Club, enhanced with broth.

 

Just a couple quick shots after checking temps...if you look close on the lower right bird, you'll see a small wet spot where the wing joint is pointing towards the breast (back/ribs)...that's a puncture wound from checking temps...it slowed down right away, but it had a small stream going for a bit...I want to minimize the puncture damage to avoid any more moisture loss:


 

 

 

Think I'll do another grate and bird rotation now to keep them cooking evenly...smoke is still coming on pretty well, so I won't miss any opportunity to get more smoke flavor. I'll play it by ear, but I think a bone tug on the legs and wings should tell me when they're ready to rest before pulling...as long as I can feel the joint separate, or almost separate, will do, as the skin is pretty tough already, so that would otherwise hamper with the feel for texture just by doing a light tug on any bones. This is a little different than tenderness checks on pork butts, briskets, chucks and other cuts, even if you do have a bone to tug on. The skin on these chickens will not allow for a lot of movement...hopefully I don't tear the skin before they're ready to pull, as the punctures from the thermometers was immediately running juices out and down the sides of the birds, so I don't stick or tear the skin any more that necessary, just to preserve those precious juices.

 

I decided to let the chamber temps ride in the 250* range for now as it seems everything is cooking nicely and I don't see the need to push them any harder...in fact letting it run a bit slower like it is will be better for the overall evenness of cooking in the end, due these being partially frozen when they hit the smoke. The wings and legs mostly seem to have stayed tucked in fairly well too, so that will help them not cook too quickly as well...couldn't find a roll of butcher's twine this morning to tie everything in nice and snug, so I crossed my fingers and went for it.

 

Rotations are in order again, so, gotta go!

 

TIC--TOC----TIC--TOC...

 

 

Eric


Edited by forluvofsmoke - 4/19/13 at 10:45pm
post #72 of 119
Thread Starter 

4.5-hr Update...

 

I just couldn't resist sharing this with everyone. After rotation of the birds, rotating and swapping grate positions, I did a double-take and my second look revealed this...upper grate of birds...(I wanted pics to analyze this much closer, anyway, as this smoking method is slightly modified from what I've done before):

 

Lower grate:

 

Beautiful coloring, the skin is just starting to shrink and tighten up nicely now, but do you believe this coloring is mostly caramelizing? Of a no-rubbed bird? No butter, oils or any kind of fats, and no spices/herbs or even any salt what-so-ever? Is it from the broth enhancement? Possible, yes, but likely? No. I don't get birds this dark at these lower temps without pulling some tricks to enhance the browning and crisping of the skin. Sure some of what we see here is caramelizing, but most has got to be smoke...I LOVE it!!!

 

Still rolling a fairly heavy smoke and 240-250* chamber temps. These might just come out around the 7-hr mark...we'll see after I do some bone yankin'...

 

I'm one HAPPY smoker, here!!! And to think I'm gonna toss this skin...(insert a HUGE sigh here)...wishin' this wasn't for a reheat or pulling right about now, but I'll know exactly what to do next time for a personal bird smoke. Who'd of thought semi-frozen smoked yard birds would look like this...and they're not finished yet, either! I certainly won't sweat a frozen bird ever again...just pour on the smoke and watch the magic begin!!! LOL!!!

 

So, in a couple of hours I'll be able to see just how well the really cold meat and a bit slower start-up with a heavy smoke works out for these birds. I've done similar things in the past with ribs, butts and brisket, but never really pushed the limits on temps and smoke output too much, so I'll be curious about this smoke. If I see a lot of pink smoke ring under the skin will be the dead-ringer...I almost can't wait to pull these birds!!!

 

See ya with the rap-up later!

 

 

Eric

post #73 of 119

Toss the skin????

 

Toss it this way!!!

 

 

Bear

post #74 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

Toss the skin????

 

Toss it this way!!!

 

 

Bear

 

LMAO!!!

 

Hey Bear, I just had a "wait a minute, rethink this" moment and you just gave me an idea for an option: I can keep the skin until after the birds are pulled and taste few samples and decide of the smoke flavoring came through to the meat enough or not. If the meat seems a bit shy on smoke overall, I may be able to rough-chop the skin and toss into a food processor to break it down into smaller pieces and toss with the meat before freezing. The only concern I would have with doing that would be that the skin will get a leathery texture after reheating, so the pieces would need to be pretty small. Also, getting a good balance of the smoke flavor from the skin without going overboard, so do a little mixing in of processed skin and have another taste. Could be a little trial and error involved, but I have no problem with that...samples are the chef's spoils of battle right??? LOL!!!

 

With new methods come new possibilities...

 

Thanks, brother Bear!

 

 

Eric

post #75 of 119

Works for me!!!

Grind it very fine-----Mix it gradually.

 

Don't worry about "Too Smoky" with the stuff you toss my way!!!

 

 

Bear

post #76 of 119

Just saw this thread, and I am completely and totally flabbergasted.  Holy Smokes.  Congratulations on the wedding. 

 

WOW, just WOW.

post #77 of 119
Thread Starter 

Update: Birds are out and resting for the pull...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpopovitz View Post

Just saw this thread, and I am completely and totally flabbergasted.  Holy Smokes.  Congratulations on the wedding. 

 

WOW, just WOW.

 

Thanks! We're not done yet, either! Ha-ha-ha!!! Great ride so far and no real regrets, so what else could I ask for, right?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

Works for me!!!

Grind it very fine-----Mix it gradually.

 

Don't worry about "Too Smoky" with the stuff you toss my way!!!

 

 

Bear

 

Yep, fines as I can get it...as long it's too small to change the texture, it will work out great. I'll see if I need to do that shortly...birds are out and resting after a 5.75-hr ride.

 

I figured if it's smoked, you'll eat it!!! (as it reads over my avatar)

 


 

OK, with a little luck, my smoke in the meat is on target. I did a light tug and twist on a couple wings and the joint popped loose and the skin began tearing rather quickly, so I knew I had tons of shrinkage based on the skin's tightness alone, which also can be an indicator of the level of doneness, but the joints separating so easily was the biggest factor. I didn't even check the thigh/leg joints as the legs looked shrunken quite a bit, too. No worries about tenderness...too tender for reheat, maybe, but I don't think so much that it will turn mushy...once I get started pulling I'll have a better idea, though.

 

So, in preparation for yankin' 'em all out at the same time, I grabbed a bus-bin, lined with intersecting layers of 18" wide foil, all the way up the sides and with a good amount of overlap on one end of each piece and headed to the Vault to retrieve my trophies for the day.

 

 

 

First to come out, upper grate...but before I lay them down to sleep...:

 

...I wanted to show you how easily the wing joints separated a few minutes earlier:

 

 

4 birds are out, 4 to go...:

 

...next???

 

Hmm...color is off a bit here, more of an amber hue...flash must have switched to auto between pics and was supposed to be a forced-flash...anyway, the gangs all present and accounted for...:

 

 

 

...and resting peacefully...I bundled it all up snug and rolled the corners up to help prevent leakage into the bin over the foil edges, but I expect some, as I didn't form and roll the edges to make a larger single piece of foil...I didn't bother to insulate these as it's a large mass of meat all in one package, so residual heat will keep things pretty hot for decent amount time to redistribute the juices before I commence with pulling. If this were just one or two birds, yeah, I'd definitely do a towel wrap for resting:

 

...sleep well, my friends.

 

I'll give these a good 90 minutes to rest, I suspect (going by touch of the heat from the foil, or lack thereof, to be specific), then split the skin and roll it away so I can pull the meat away from the carcass more easily...wings form the breasts, legs from the quarters, then thighs from the carcass, and lastly, breasts from the carcass...or something like that...LOL!!!

 

So, no internal finished temps? Nope...didn't want to loose any more juices form the birds after getting reasonable assurance that I made it through the danger-zone time/temps of 40-140*/4-hrs. I should have checked these for texture (bone-tug/twist of the wings/legs) earlier than I did, but I was busy posting and checking a few things out here on the forums, so I blame all you SMFer's for it they fall off the bone when I cut the skin loose and roll it back...(!!!)...just kidding, I enjoy every minute I spend here with all of you.

 

Pulled whole chickens, samples for taste and texture, then a decision if I need to add finely chopped skin to the mix for additional flavor as well as what to add to the final liquids for reheating....all to follow ASAP!!!

 

 

Eric

post #78 of 119

I had the honor of smoking for my nephews wedding, did pulled pork, fatties, ABT's a bean salad and a frozen fruit salad.  That ended up being our gift to him.  Smoked it all a week ahead of time and transported to Kentucky from the Indianapolis area the night before, my greatest regret, I didn't document it as well as you have.  Hats off to you, when you look back the smiles and full bellies MORE than make up for the time involved. 

post #79 of 119
Thread Starter 

Update: 8-bird smoke is over and pulled...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpopovitz View Post

I had the honor of smoking for my nephews wedding, did pulled pork, fatties, ABT's a bean salad and a frozen fruit salad.  That ended up being our gift to him.  Smoked it all a week ahead of time and transported to Kentucky from the Indianapolis area the night before, my greatest regret, I didn't document it as well as you have.  Hats off to you, when you look back the smiles and full bellies MORE than make up for the time involved. 

 

Ah, that would be quite a gift from an uncle, I'd say. It is a lot of work, but then, it's that labor of love, with a passion for food that keeps it so enjoyable, I think.

 

Yeah, the documentation here on the forums is bar none the best way to share the experience with others, as well as be able to look at what I did, how it all came out, and what I would change if given another opportunity to put a similar event together. It's all a learning experience with every smoke, and the bigger projects like this can present you with many obstacles, as I found out early. It does make me look forward to sharing this all with my daughter and her husband, and their guests. It should be a memorable part of a very memorable and special day for  the newlyweds.

 


I ended up resting all these birds for close to 2.5 hours, as they were plenty hot enough for some good burns to the gloved fingers, so once I started pulling I went swift and smooth. I did notice the first bird pulled more easily and was slightly drier in the breast meat, while the rest for the most part, pulled with a bit more effort, but I did not find any suspect areas (under-cooked), as it all looked a more pale color and juices were clear. There will be some variations to the level of doneness and textures it will give for eating, which I expected, but most of it seemed slightly firm after pulling, so the reheat shouldn't be too difficult to keep it from overcooking...more forgiving, if you will...bonus, IMHO.

 

I was somewhat surprised not to find any smoke ring, but then again I have seen that in the past with skin-on birds, while skinless can yield a light but deep smoke ring if conditions are right for it. As for the flavor and aroma of the heavy apple smoke for most of the duration of cooking, it seemed nearly perfect. Not harsh, not wimpy...very nice balance and flavor, and so, the skin did in fact get left out of the toss in the end (I'll send it ya , Bear! LOL!!!). BTW, I grabbed a small piece of the skin and chewed it up just for giggles, and it had what I thought was a strong flavor at first, being concentrated on the surface, but after a few chews, it still seemed smooth and slightly sweet, which indicated to me that the smoke was soaking through the skin quite a bit. The lack of smoke ring is due to the nitrogen-dioxide not being able to penetrate the skin.

 

I passed a few small samples of pulled meat around to anxious family here after pulling most of the birds, but I did grab a couple small pieces of white and dark meat earlier, from the interior areas inside and just under the skin, for myself to judge the outcome. I think it will bring on an even nicer, smoother smoke flavor from the pulled chicken, once reheated. That said, I don't feel it will need much to enhance it, other than some salted butter, melted and mixed with lemon juice, some fresh ground black pepper, and that's about it. As is, the meat had no salt other than from the broth it was soaking in, which seemed very low, but was still nice with just smoke. KISS method should do a fine job of finishing this all up for a great eating pulled chicken.

 

OK, where are  the final pics!?!?!?!? I did discover that pulled chicken, with little to no contrasting colors is a difficult subject to photograph...lighting and flash settings are tough to get a handle on, and this is one of the firsts for this camera having pulled light meat chicken, so bear with me...found the best representation from many sub-par pics...here we go...

 

First one out of the foil...still have that gorgeous color and most of the tightness of the skin, you could pinch a few small areas and see a bit more shrinkage from slightly looser skin, so carry-over temps likely had a role in continued cooking with these birds during resting...your nap time's over buddy, time to meet your maker:

 

Not sure how this will look when you zoom-in, but this is the driest off all the birds pulled...mostly just the dark meat here...large pieces in a 13 qt bowl:

 

EDIT: the first whole bird is pulled...light and dark meat combined:

 

 

Just in case the moisture isn't visible from the harshness of the flash refection on the nearly empty S/S bowl...no flash under CFL lighting:

 

 

OK, I hammered out the rest of the seven remaining birds before taking final pics...hope these zoom-in alright...these look much better...oh, I did have mostly juices in the foil (little to no fat, about 2 cups total) from resting and poured it over all the pulled chicken after taking these pics and tossed it lightly before bagging to freeze, so I was able to put a little more natural moisture and flavor back into the meat. Best of all, I got a nice, clean pull, which was a very important factor to me:

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOW!!! Just thinking back on this from the start a little bit...really not a difficult smoke at all...just keep it pretty heavy and steady for at least 4 hours or so, and be sure the drippings catch can handle all the initial moisture from the birds, and later on, the rendered fats. Of course checking doneness by tugging a bone or two is somewhat of an an acquired skill, but not that difficult to learn...similar to checking your ribs with a bone tug, only you're giving it just enough force to pull a joint apart if it's very tender. Feeling for less resistance, but not separating the joint when it's a bit less tender, and so on...it could be taught without a lot of time, I guess. I have only used that method a handful of times, as I generally rely on thermometers, but also, rarely do pulled birds, so lower finished temps (minimum of 165* or so) don't give an easily separated joint with a bone tug, if that makes any sense.

 

I didn't weigh this out, but from the fullness of the bags and heft alone, I estimate a 35% yield from the ~36lb starting weight for approx 12.5-13.0lbs pulled chicken...lots of bone and fats with yard-birds, and these were plumped-up with broth, also. I don't feel the need to make more, even though I've fallen short on weight, because I have so much other meats that we should have enough still for close to 140 people, and with the last looks at invitations, there should be no more than a bit over 100...no worries...the chicken pan may come up empty earlier, but there's plenty of other meats to dig in on.

 

 

The amount of smoke flavor and aroma seems dead-on, so that definitely is not a concern for me at this point...once reheated, it should meld into the meat even more. I am glad I had the opportunity to read the thread I linked earlier on this chicken smoke, as it explained a lot of what I had been doing for a few years already, only now I have a better idea how to make things come out even better, and the very cold meat going into the smoker was just another benefit with what could have otherwise been a blind experiment.

 

I think there were some other parts of this smoke that I wanted to recap regarding the overall smoke/cooking method, but I''m just too tired right now. I may have some time in the morning to look this over closer again to refresh my memory...I'll post whatever comes to mind of importance to duplicating this smoke, so others can try it the same way I did today, if they desire. I know I want to do it again, too, so if I miss anything, it could hurt my future smokes a little, as well as potential smokes for others...I'll get on it in the morning.

 

Three meats down, and one to go...next round is, last but not least, 15 slabs of baby back ribs!!!

 

See ya in about 6 more days for BBs!!!

 

 

Eric

 

OK, I did just edit a lot of this due to typo's and left-out info, so it should make better sense now, I hope...I also hope not too many have read it already, sorry...it's time for eyelid inspections.

 

BTW, I ditched the knife altogether after the first pulled bird, as all I had to do was tear away a wing or leg quarter and lift the skin to remove...most came off with little resistance, except on the smallest parts of the wings where the meat was cooked very well and the skin was bound to the meat a bit more. It cut the time involved for final processing enormously to just get after it and skip the formalities.

 

EDIT: regarding not checking internal temps as a final check before removing from the smoker, and going by looks and feel, bone tug/twist, etc, would not be recommended for those new to cooking whole birds, and I would not use this method for birds intended for cutting apart, as there is no reasonably effective manual gauge for doneness (such as tug/twist of bones for joint separation) until the birds reach very high finished temps when connective tissues have softened more than would normally be seen. This method is very similar to checking for doneness with pork shoulders for pulling, and can be very effective for either meat or poultry. Final check should be done with internal temps of the breast meat and thighs as a minimum, but for those more experienced, it can be done safely with birds intended for pulling (do not use this method for birds intended to be cut-up, finished at lower temps). My main reason for using this method for these birds was to minimize loss of internal moisture as much as possible, being they were intended for pulling which can cause more natural moisture loss due to a much higher finished temp, which causes the risk of internals not being at least above the minimum recommended by USDA to be far less than normal. This was a risk assessment on my part, but again, not for those with little experience. When in doubt, check internal temps, and always check temps for birds to be cut-up instead of pulled.


Edited by forluvofsmoke - 4/20/13 at 7:40am
post #80 of 119

Sleep well my friend you have earned it. Can't wait for the BB's.

Ronnie G.

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