This is the very first smoking in the MES.
Two chickens of equal size totaling 10 lbs. Took chickens up from Freezer on Monday night. Foamheart (a forumite) suggested "Nekkid Chicken" would be a good first choice so we learn the taste of plain smoked chicken. Thanks for your comments and note Foamheart.
Thursday, removed chickens and cleaned them. Chickens were dried with a towel. Smeared inside and outside with vegetable oil. Seasoned with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. The spices were applied gently to give a minimal amount of flavor. 1/2 and apple and half a medium onion were inserted into the cavity.
Preparation of the grill including placing a foil pan on the bottom shelf. Initially we thought that we would be able to fit to pans side-by-side inside of the smoker chamber. Unfortunately, only one pan with fit in. The pan was centered on the rack. Because putting two chickens side-by-side on a single rack would extend beyond the limits of the crease pan, the chickens were placed on racks one atop the other. There was no water placed into the unit.
The grill was preheated for one half hour to 275°F. The chickens were placed into the smoker. One half cup of apple chips were placed in the scope and were inserted into the smoker. Smoke began to develop after a short period of time. The vent on the upper left of the smoker was kept in the closed position. The closed position allowed to approximately 1/4 inch And the temperature probe came out through the vent. After approximately 50 minutes the smoke seem to be very light. A second scoop of apple chips were placed into the smoker. Smoke began free soon after the chips were inserted. The color of the smoke after the initial start was a very faint darkish, almost opaque color.
At 2 hours 30 minutes the temperature alarm operated at 165°F. When the grill was opened to additional thermometers were placed into the breast. One was placed into each breast. The temperature reading on both thermometers registered at 160°F. At that time I realized that I had improperly positioned the probe on the temperature monitor. The temperature monitor was reinserted into the thick part of the breast and it registered 160°F.
A photo of the chickens was taken in the oven prior to disturbing them. The color looked very good. The botton chicken had the grease from the top one drip over it, and I believe the cooking was slower as a result.
The door was free closed and the smoker was restarted to 275°F. After closing the door, the internal temperature was down to 230°F.
The temperature took about 15-20 minutes to recover and then the temperature began rising. After another 30 minutes, the internal on the top chicken was 165F. These are the chickens when at 165F.
The chickens were brought inside.You can notice the difference in the top chicken (near) and the bottom chicken (far).
I cut the bottom chicken first. The joints at the thigh were red. The juice was not clear. I cut it up, we placed it in an oven dish, and cleaned up all tools and dishes.
This is a photo of the top chicken. We then cut the top chicken and it is done and juices all ran clear.
There were two applications of apple wood. One initially, another after about 50 minutes. Smoke continued throughout the cooking and when the ash cup was extracted, the wood was totally ash. I am not sure if I should have put another tray of wood in at the 2 hour time point to keep the smoke fresher and less burned smelling.
The chicken was very good. It was not what we expected. The smoke flavor was throughout the chicken and had more of a burned fire taste than expected. The onion and apple picked up the smoke flavor and the onion smoke flavor was too strong for my wife. We started eating the chicken plain, then added BBQ sauce. When the BBQ sauce was added, the chicken was more as we expected the chicken to taste. The moisure content was very good. Even the breast was moist. The skin was good and not crisp.
On Saturday, we will cook the bottom chick in the oven. We will seal the pan with aluminum foil and place into the kitchen oven and slow heat it until it is fully cooked.
Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.