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BBQ This weekend, need to figure out how to get everything done.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I am having my 5th annual spring BBQ and this year I am down to 3 smokers instead of 4. My old ECB that I have had for 20 years has retired underneath the deck as it has finally rusted itself apart. I used it to do little things like beans or ABT's or fatties these last few years, but I am afraid it no longer has any life left.


With that said, I have a schedule in mind to utilize all three smokers to try and get things all done and be able to get some sleep. The one outstanding item that I am thinking about how to finish is chicken. I am planning to do some chicken thighs as I have a few people coming who do not eat beef or pork.


So I want an opinion on my thought on how to do the chicken and see if anyone has done it this way before. I was thinking I would do it a day ahead of time (brined and rubbed), then once complete I would pack it away and refrigerate it. On party day I would then pull it out, put some kind of BBQ glaze on it, and throw it on my regular grill for a few minutes to heat it up. I am also doing some smoked salmon and I did that a day ahead last year and served it warmed up and never even got a chance to try it because it went too fast. Plan on doing that again this year.



post #2 of 10

I do my chicken on the same smoker I do the pulled pork. When I remove the pork to let it rest wrapped in a cooler or the oven, i will then add the chicken. It only takes a couple hours at 300 degrees...... I also only add the BBQ glaze the final 30 min. I find they have a high sugar content and will burn if on longer.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Normally I would be using the same smoker as the pulled pork, but I personally think ABT's and fatties are better straight from the smoker than letting them sit too long, and those are next on my schedule after the pulled pork and brisket are done so that will not work.


The other thought on the chicken is that if I put it on a hot grill I can crisp up the skin some then put the glaze or sauce on in the last couple minutes before pulling off so it does not burn. I just don't know if that will all work well or not or how much it might change the flavor and texture of the chicken.

post #4 of 10

Not sure how big the smokers are. But 3 smokers full of fatties and ABT's is a lot of food. Yes you can cook the chicken on the grill set at low then turn it up to crisp the skin and set the glaze.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sorry, let me explain a little better. This is actually a party for about 30-40 people, and it is not just ABT's and Fatties in there on the party day, there will also be ribs, beans, and a few other things, not to mention the pork shoulder and brisket where the times can be difficult to determine so I am not entirely sure when those will free up. I do not intend on cooking the chicken on the grill, I intend on smoking it the day before and then warming it/crisping the skin/setting the glaze on the day of the party. I have just never done chicken that way so I was looking for any advice or recommendations on whether this is a good idea or any tips on it.

post #6 of 10
I personally would do the chicken fresh day of. I know it is a lot of work and a long day, but here is an idea of a time line.......... assuming it is a lunch and at your house.......I will be doing a similar time line for my daughters Sweet Sixteen in a couple weeks.......

5pm brisket and pork into smokers at 250-275 and smoke until about midnite........ I need my sleep or I get cranky......... Place the pork into deep roasting pans and place a bit of liquid and cover with plastic wrap then foil. Into the oven set at 190....... Place the brisket in a roasting pan with a wire rack in the bottom to keep it out of the juices and cover with foil and put a hole about the size of a quarter in the middle and into the oven......... now this is assuming you made the 140 IT mark...........this will allow your long cooking meats to slow cook while you sleep........I am usually awake by 5am the next day and first thing I do is check the meats to see where they are........9 times out of 10 my pork is done with no issues, but you have some time if it needs to go longer.........briskets take forever at 225, so at 190 they will take longer. Check it with the toothpick and adjust as needed.......

Ok so a little about the method behind my madness........ By holding at a higher then normal temp you are still slowly cooking the meat. By having the oven only at 190 your meats will not go over that temp. Most people feel 205 is the target temp for pulling, I am one who likes a bit of texture to my PP so I only go to 190-195 and allow it to rest then pull it. Wrapping it you will almost be braising it in its own juices, which also make a great finishing liquid. The plastic helps keep the moisture in and keep the foil from turning. For the brisket you don't want it sitting in the juices or it will braise it and get over tender. By wrapping it and putting the hole in the foil you are keeping it moist, but letting the excess moisture out. I hope that helps explain a bit of my madness, if I left anything open please don't hesitate to ask......

After checking the PP and briskets..... Proceed how you would normally do the rest of the items......I would do the ribs ( only the 3 hr part in the smoker and the 2hr part wrapped in foil in the cooler) and chicken then placed into coolers to hold hot, then fatties and save the ABT's for last and serve them from the smoker. You can set the sauce for the chicken and ribs if desired on the hot grill.

I hope this helps.

post #7 of 10

I'd do the pork shoulder a day or 2 ahead and the brisket the night before like jarjarchef said. The shoulder reheats very well, and the brisket will hold in the cooler for several hours. The chicken, on the other hand, will lose significant quality being chilled and reheated. It'll still be good, it just won't be as good.

Also, it's been my experience that ABT's and fatties take to the fridge very well. They can also be done in advance and reheated in the oven with no noticeable loss in quality. Same for beans.

Really ribs and chicken are the only ones I'd really be concerned about doing day of.

So, long story short, you can get probably 80% of your food done in advance and no one will ever have to know. It'll make your life a lot easier.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well, unfortunately getting things done days ahead of time is not possible because life and work intervene.


I have found that with ABT's they are just better fresh out of the smoker. I did not like them after being refrigerated. Beans are fine to do ahead I agree. The rest of the things I am just doing my tried and true methods that I have found work well and earn me a lot of praise come party day.


SO my new plan is to do the beans early Saturday morning, then seal them and put them away and reheat right before the party. This will free up that smoker to do the chicken in the afternoon.


Thanks for all the suggestions. I will certainly take them into account for future BBQ's if I can actually get some time off before the party.

post #9 of 10

just my 2 cents but if you want to smoke the day before you could have pulled chicken sandwichs . just pull the chicken after a little cool down time, put it in some ziplocks with a little juice and reheat the next day.reheat on the grill with your sauce and stir often 

post #10 of 10

Do some stuff a day ahead , like Fatties , Butts , Brisket) free-up those smokers. As stated, Butts and Briskets Can set ( and actually tender-up better) in Double foil, and wrapped in a Towel placed in a ore-warmed Ice chest (hot water in for 30 mins. to heat-then dry out).


The Fatties can be sliced ahead of time and they will then heat up in apox. 10min.


Now you only have the Chicken ( which Martin said) will be better on the day , Chicken will dry out on you and the Bird eating bunch will be ticked of at the sub-standard stuff you give them, you want to shine here so plan ahead of yourself. They'll never know and you'll get to enjoy your patry.


Time is a cooks best friend...as always, have fun and. . .

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