I am a newbie to the forums, and I’ll use that excuse as long as I can get away with it. I have smoked & grilled and very seldom BBQ’d. I came here because I bought a small electric smoke box so I didn’t have to use a whole bag of charcoal to cook on a pit. I understand that every person’s way of cooking is a personal preference but………….
I don’t understand all the cooking times for smoking a chicken. I have seen 3 and 4 hour cooking times. I am now getting 5 and 6 pound “fryers” and the norm to achieve a no frills smoke is always less than 2 hours. If I inject it, it’s about the same, never been big on brines never saw them used as a kid.
I can understand the reason for a slow burn on a turkey or maybe a goose. But a chicken or any small fowl is about a juicy meat. All additives are basically I figured a flavor enhancement, am I wrong?
Smoke for approx. 90 mins. (That gives about a 165 IT with a 225 blue smoke), rest/redistribute for 15 mins.
What is the reason for a longer smoke?
Things I was shown as a kid:
You don’t need juice in the water pan for a chicken unless you are cooking it at a very high or long smoke. Of course I also live in South Louisiana and it’s never dry here, but it worked the same way in Odessa, Texas and that’s a cowboy desert like you see in the movies. Oilfield trash what can I say, even worse I was sometimes an oilfield peddler, (but I told Mom I was a piano player at a cat house so as not to embarrass my parents too bad).
I always rub down any fowl before cooking externally with “Kitchen Bouquet”, was always told it helps even out the smoke absorption so you never see those ugly patches. I have never smoked fowl without it so I cannot verify. Then apply some oil/butter that’s the suntan lotion and it’s also nice to help those external spices grab hold and hang on.
Compound butters between the skin and meat add flavor but if the chicken is smoked right I have never ever had a dry chicken, (except when learning a new pit/smoker).
I always go light with sweet woods for smoke. Sure I love mesquite sometimes but when I do it, its really light. More people I have met are turned off by over smoked meats than dry smoked meats.
So back to the basic question, what is gained by a long low and slow smoke of small fowl?
I wish I had a camera, y’all (LOL, no not youse guys) have got me trying brines again. Brined for 24, drying in the reefer for 12. We will see what happens.
Foam’s Scarbough Fair Brine (LOL)
2/3 C light brown
1/3 C pickling salt
Tsp. Garlic Tabasco
Tsp. Lea & Perrins