Of all the yard birds i have seen. I have to say you nailed it.
Thanks BD...eyes aren't what they used to be. Need to do an upgrade on the glasses.
Great looking birds! I'm a newbie doing my first smoke on the 4th. I have a the 40" Masterbuilt new gen and will be doing 2 costco birds.
My questions are
1) how long did you cook at 225? I am also going to be doing 6 racks of ribs with the 3-21- method, so I'm figuring the birds will need to go in at the 1 hour mark, thus allowing the brids to cook for 5 hours - or is this too long? I realize I need to use a thermometer to monitor meat temp but need a rough estimate of time? I've read around 4-5 hours, but I live in Las Vegas and its supposed to be 113 on the 4th so I fear this could effect (shorten) my cooking times
2) Did you brine your birds? I was planning on doing a simple brine for 16 hours prior to the cook.
3) Did you use water in your pan? Again I ask because I am fearing the heat and low humidity in Vegas could effect my meats.
Sorry for all the questions but you seem to know what you're doing! Anyone with any insight please feel free to chime in!
Thanks in advance!
DJ Good morning
First let me say that your profile photo exhibits the attitude of a great outdoor cook. Relax and keep it simple works every time!
1. With the additional meat load of the ribs in your MES I'd expect it to take about 5 hours for your chickens to cook at 225. BUT please go by the internal breast temp for best results. That should be 165 degrees. Your MES will cook a bit faster in the Vegas heat especially if its out in the sun. Consider setting your temp a bit lower at 220. Chances are it will maintain the higher cooking temp just because of the outdoor ambient temperature.
2. To brine or not to brine. I do not. And the reason is 2 fold. Most chickens now come swimming in a solution anyway. (I'm not happy about that but its whats available.) Second because I keep my cooking relatively simple and easy. And it works.
3. I use water in the pan only for chicken. No water for all other meats including turkey. Now you've got ribs on at the same time which will be a bit confusing. If it were me I'd use water for this smoke.
4. Above all enjoy the holiday.
Thanks for the words of advice. I wanted to follow up on my results.
1. I ended up cooking 2 birds from costco and 6 racks of ribs . I smoked the chicken for a total of 5.5 hours at 225, Ribs for 6.6 hours with 3-2-1 method (Both ribs and chicken needed an extra 30 minutes, I assumed from all the opening/closing for the 3-2-1 method). I did end up brining them so I took their internal temp a little higher to 170-175. The chicken came out great and everyone at the party raved it was the best chicken they had ever had. I did notice however that my chicken did not have that "bronzed" look like your chickens.
2. I did end up brining only because of the low Las Vegas humidity and temp was 109 the day I smoked.. I read on several different posts that brining will help maintain moisture throughout the smoke and I am a firm believer that it was beneficial.
3. I used 1/4 cup apple juice and 1 cup water in the pan. HOWEVER, at the end of my smoke the pan had literally tripled in volume and was overflowing by hour 6. I can only assume that the 18 hour brine soak had caused the chickens to retain so much fluid that they just purged during the smoke? Any ideas here?
4. It was enjoyed!
Just a note to people using the new generation MES 40 - The built in meat probe thermometer was inaccurate by approx. 10 degrees throughout the smoke. We ended up running to the store and buying another meat probe and used it as our guide on the chickens.
Overall it was a huge success. We smoked over 35 pounds of meat and I thoroughly enjoyed the process from start to finish. Everyone at the party complimented the different meats and I was totally hooked on smoking.
Thanks everyone for your help!