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My First Smoking (Critique Please)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I smoked for the first time today on my new Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 " and would love some feedback. I had 2.5 lbs of chicken drums and 3.5 lbs of chicken thighs that were brined for 3 hours (salt water, worchestersire sauce, cajun seasoning), smothered with mustard, and rubbed some Stubbs chicken rub on them before i put them on the smoker. My total cook time was 2 hours and 14 minutes and my average smoker temperature was roughly 245 degrees (temp log shown below). I sprayed the meat every 45 minutes with apple juice and had the water pan 3/4 full. I started off with 3 cups of apple wood chips, and ended having to add little handfuls every 35-40 minutes because they burned so fast (would chunks be better?). It had a great flavor and was juicy all of the way through. I was able to pull the bone through my hand and rip all of the meat off. The only thing i did not like about the meat was that the skin had a rubbery texture and was not crisp. I would like a crisper skin. Please give me some critique's.

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 14
Run higher temps at the end to crisp the skin or put in high temp grill to cristp the skin.
post #3 of 14
If you want crispier skin then skip the mustard, when you take it out of the brine pat it dry then apply your rub and put it back in the fridge for a few hours for the skin to dry. When smoking don't spritz with anything and crank the heat up to 275*-325*. The skin needs to dry to get crispy, all that mustard and apple juice never gave it a chance to dry and get crispy.
Other than that your chicken looks Delicious!!!
post #4 of 14
Just like Dave said.. Drop the spritz, dry skin and keep the smoker hot plus feel free to sear at the end to crisp further.

Some might laugh but after I cook whole chicken @325 plus I'll sometimes hit it with weed burner torch real quick just to further dry the skin.
post #5 of 14
Hawg you might want to replace the water pan with a clay pot or something.. Water won't let you reach the temps you want for chicken.
post #6 of 14

Good looking Bird there , Hawgman.  Great color and looked very juicy.

 

Good job with the "LOG" . Helps , add anything you might important...biggrin.gif

 

Have fun and . . .

post #7 of 14

Looks like ur off to a good start...Nice job !

post #8 of 14

Looks delicious! I have nothing to add to the great tips already given.

post #9 of 14

I have learned in very short time, leave the water out, pan out if you chose also.  Or put sand in the pan.  Makes for a better temp and cook.  Spritz them once, but not so often.  Opening you smoker so often makes for a big temperature drop also.

 

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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawgMan88 View Post

I smoked for the first time today on my new Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 " and would love some feedback. I had 2.5 lbs of chicken drums and 3.5 lbs of chicken thighs that were brined for 3 hours (salt water, worchestersire sauce, cajun seasoning), smothered with mustard, As previously mentioned, lose the mustard.  and rubbed some Stubbs chicken rub on them before i put them on the smoker. My total cook time was 2 hours and 14 minutes and my average smoker temperature was roughly 245 degrees As previously mentioned, chicken likes a higher temp. I like to run mine wide open for an average of between 350˚ and 375˚. Anything over 300˚ will be helpful.  (temp log shown below). I sprayed the meat every 45 minutes with apple juice and had the water pan 3/4 full. As previously mentioned, don't do this. Chicken likes a dry cooking chamber in order for the skin to not be rubbery.  I started off with 3 cups of apple wood chips, and ended having to add little handfuls every 35-40 minutes because they burned so fast (would chunks be better?) Yes, chunks would be a ton better. For chicken I use a full chimney of lit coals. Minion method is for long, low and slow.  I dump a little less than half in my coal basket, then place 3 or 4 good sized chunks on top of that, then dump the rest of the coals on top of that. It will flame up and smoke like hell for a few minutes, but usually within 10-15 minutes I'm getting thin blue smoke which will last for more than long enough for a chicken cook. It had a great flavor and was juicy all of the way through. I was able to pull the bone through my hand and rip all of the meat off. The only thing i did not like about the meat was that the skin had a rubbery texture and was not crisp. I would like a crisper skin. Please give me some critique's.

Pretty much everything has already been said, but that's my take on it. Welcome and good luck on your future smokes!

post #11 of 14

I agree with the others - lose the mustard, dry the skin, no spritzing, and crank the temp up towards the end and you will get a nice crisp skin.  Or, if you really like the flavors from all that, put them in under a low temp broil at the end to dry out and crisp up the skin (but be careful you don't burn it or dry out the food)

post #12 of 14

One more thing to add, you didn't mention anything about internal temp on your chicken. If you get into whole chickens or mixed parts, you'll really want to keep an eye on this. Dark meat can take 185˚-190˚ and still be perfectly good, whereas white meat really starts to go downhill fast after 170˚175˚. Monitoring the temps of the smallest pieces will give you time to get everything out of the smoker at the optimal time. The smaller pieces will reach temp first, so you can move your probe from smallest to largest as you remove pieces. I shoot for 165˚ in white meat and 175˚-180˚ in the dark meat.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Internal temp of the chicken was 180-185 when i pulled it off. Unfortunately I have a manual thermometer and I don't feel like I can get a good read on it


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post #14 of 14
I would highly recommend getting the iGrill dual probe. I have one and it is my go to therm. Was spot on accurate right out of the box. It interfaces with the iPhone or iPad. The custom temp alarms are great.
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