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Another Failure :(

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Trying to cook drumsticks. I thought I had a game plan but I was mistaken. I'm using a modified Brinkman smoker. Made it an electric. I can now get it up to 300* no problem. Here was my procedure. About 10 am, inject the wings with a combo of Creole Butter and Franks Hot Wing Sauce mixed about 1:2 (thanks s2k9k). Sprinkled some Tony chachere's seasoning on them.

Stuck back in fridge. 5 pm, take out of fridge and set on counter while I get the smoker ready. Used a combo of apple and mesquite wood chips. At about 5:30, put chicken in, using two racks. Pick the largest drummy and insert my temp probe from my et-732 into it. Cooked steady at 275* . No water, sand in my pan. It took about 90 minutes and my food probe said the internal temp of the large drummy was 167* . I figured they were done enough because I like crisp skin and was going to put them under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp them up.

Should of took pictures. Took them out of oven after five minutes. Very disappointed. I couldn't really taste the sauce I injected at all. It did have a smokey smell and flavor to them. It even seemed on some pieces that there was red around the bone. So I stuck them back under the broiler for another 10-15 minutes. The skin was rubbery too not crisp at all. At this point I knew that once more I have failed. What am I doing wrong ? Could it be my smoker? I mean if I can produce the heat and create the smoke that pretty much all it takes right? I'm going to try ribs again tomorrow. My last attempt at ribs was a failure cause I don't think they were thawed out enough. The smoking Gods have not been kind to me. Any suggestions? Thanks!


Edited by randycandy - 9/1/13 at 5:18am
post #2 of 10
I think you just need to cook them a little longer. Hard to tell if you were smoking wings, drumsticks or the drumette portion of the wing, but in any case 90 minutes at 275 just isn't enough. As for the lack of flavor, try backing off on the butter. Maybe try 3/4 hot sauce to 1/4 butter. Fat can mask brighter and hotter flavors. Keep at it and you'll get it!

Edit:
A few more things. First and foremost, stop talking about failure. Smoking meat is a simple process, but one that's filled with mystery and nuance and is pretty much impossible to master. Every "failure" is in fact a learning experience and another hurdle overcome. You'll get there, it just takes time.
Next, it's hard to get a good temp reading, especially with the klunky probes of a Maverick, on a small piece of meat. Get an instant read thermo to give you a better idea of what's going on temp wise. Once your Maverick tells you you're in the ballpark, you can verify it with the instant read.
Next, wings don't cook like the rest of the chicken. They're weird. They have a harder, denser fat under the skin and a whole bunch of connective tissue. For this reason, pretty much the ideal method for cooking them is deep frying. But that doesn't help us here. Another option is Alton Brown's steaming method, but that's kind of a pain. I really think you were on the right track, you just didn't take it far enough. Maybe after smoking for 90 minutes plop them in a 400˚ oven for 20 minutes, then check and see what's going on with the skin. The meat can take high heat and longer cook times due to the fat and connective tissue. You also might try bumping your smoker temp up over 300˚.
Edited by Mdboatbum - 9/1/13 at 6:38am
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mdboatbum View Post

I think you just need to cook them a little longer. Hard to tell if you were smoking wings, drumsticks or the drumette portion of the wing, but in any case 90 minutes at 275 just isn't enough. As for the lack of flavor, try backing off on the butter. Maybe try 3/4 hot sauce to 1/4 butter. Fat can mask brighter and hotter flavors. Keep at it and you'll get it!

Edit:
A few more things. First and foremost, stop talking about failure. Smoking meat is a simple process, but one that's filled with mystery and nuance and is pretty much impossible to master. Every "failure" is in fact a learning experience and another hurdle overcome. You'll get there, it just takes time.
Next, it's hard to get a good temp reading, especially with the klunky probes of a Maverick, on a small piece of meat. Get an instant read thermo to give you a better idea of what's going on temp wise. Once your Maverick tells you you're in the ballpark, you can verify it with the instant read.
Next, wings don't cook like the rest of the chicken. They're weird. They have a harder, denser fat under the skin and a whole bunch of connective tissue. For this reason, pretty much the ideal method for cooking them is deep frying. But that doesn't help us here. Another option is Alton Brown's steaming method, but that's kind of a pain. I really think you were on the right track, you just didn't take it far enough. Maybe after smoking for 90 minutes plop them in a 400˚ oven for 20 minutes, then check and see what's going on with the skin. The meat can take high heat and longer cook times due to the fat and connective tissue. You also might try bumping your smoker temp up over 300˚.
 
MD, thanks so much for taking the time to reply:)  I was smoking Legs. I shouldn't of used the term "dummy". Last week I tried smoking wings going by Scarbellys recipes . I smoked them at 300* for three hours. Injected them the say way. They came out overdone. I thought if I went by IT, I would be better off. Apparently not. I got a instant read thermo I will use next time and I will leave them in longer. I'm doing some ribs today.
3,2,1. I hope they come out ok.Thanks again!
 
 
 
 
 
post #4 of 10
You just needed to cook them longer usually 3 hours at least at the lower temp. Then into the oven say 425 at least. Season the outsides and forget the injection for now. A lot of times with that small a piece of meat most of what you put in it gets cooked out and ends up in your drip pan.

You will get it keep at it. The chicken you made was edible correct? That my friend shows you are off to a good start.
post #5 of 10
I smoke my wings for 2 hours at 230 and fry the sause on them using a cast iron skillet on the bbq. Makes them crispy. No injection just rub.
post #6 of 10

Randy, morning.....  I read somewhere that red bones is not necessarily a sign of "not thoroughly cooked"...   has something to do with the age of the bird or something...  can't remember for sure....   If the juice is clear, and the meat is a solid color, not translucent  like raw meat, the bird is done...    I know all too well, some folks won't eat chicken that has a red bone...  Done lots of BBQ's and had to nuke many hunks of chicken for folks...   Try smoking the bird at 225 ish for a couple hours to get the bone up to a higher temp, and the meat up to 160 ish....  then sear on the grill or under the broiler or in a 450-500 deg oven...   Hopefully that will take care of the bone color....  

About the flavor...  I have injected legs etc and I don't get any return on investment of the injection either..   Don't know why that is...  My best chicken leg/wings etc. have come from the low temp pre cook like I stated above, then tossing in a butter, hot sauce, salt, pepper, rosemary etc. mix and putting in a 500 deg oven on a rack and sheet pan....  Those came out pretty darn good..  

 

Like boatman said...  It's all a valuable learning experience...   You'll get it...  

 

Dave 

 

edit: found an answer... this is the one I remember......

 

Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

 

Bloody Chicken

The author (a Ph.D according to that page) did a number of experiments where he cooked a chicken and checked the internal temperature everywhere, ensuring that it was in fact pasteurized and thus free of any bacteria, and parts of it were still bloody on the inside.

According to him (and a few other sources I found), it's because the chickens are very young and their bones have not hardened properly; when you cook them, the marrow seeps out and ends up looking as you describe.

If you're using a meat thermometer to test the chicken for doneness, and you are certain that it got hot enough, then don't worry about the blood. It's not appetizing, but it's not harmful either.

FWIW, I ate the chicken when it happened to me, and did not get the slightest bit sick.

post #7 of 10
I also find that if you use fresh never frozen wings at room temp after rub (30-45mins) you can't go wrong
post #8 of 10

Also, Make sure and get fryer wings and not hen wings. Yes there is a difference! Hen wings are to tough to smoke IMHO.

post #9 of 10

Smoking is just plain fun and is an experiment each and every time I do it.

 

We also can be our worst critics too....don't be hard on yourself.

 

Keep a written log and if you don't like what happened in "this smoke"....next time change only 1 thing...see if that suits your tastes better.

 

Practice makes "purrrfect"! and Perfect is only to the taste buds of the hungry folks eating it!

 

Kat

post #10 of 10

If you want flavor in drumstick, or any chicken, brine them.  I use a very simple brine for all poultry and soak it for at least 3 hours.  When I cook or smoke any chicken, I take the breast to 165° and the legs/thighs to 175°

 

Here is the brine I've been using

 

4 cups Hot water

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

 

Mix until ingredients dissolve and pour over chicken in a large bowl.  Pour another 4 cups of cold water in, or just enough to cover the chicken and refrigerate.  Soak for 3-6 hours.

 

You could add a little cayenne(maybe 1/2 tsp) if you wanted it spicy

 

 

I've found it helps for me to keep a journal, of sorts, on my process.  I write down prep notes, smoker temps, times, and internal temps.  If it turned out well, I put it in a text document on the computer for future use.  If it doesn't turn out so good, I tweak the process for the next time.  Keep trying....it will all work out.

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