This isn't my first time smoking meats. I just got used to using my off brand stand up smoker that started to crap out and decided to purchased the Traeger Lil Tex Elite 2 days ago based on a friends recommendation. You would not believe the begging I had to do to get the boss to let me purchase this. Yesterday I went through the initial first burn and seasoning. Then decided to get a couple fryers and try out spatchcocking them. I didn't have time to brine because it was already noon and I wanted to try this thing out. I have never tried this even with my standup smoker. Sorry I only have 1 pic of the so called "finished" yardbirds.
Anyway, I'm sure my first fault was spatchcocking them through the breast instead of removing the backbone. I fired up the Lil Tex on smoke and put the birds in for about 20 minutes to get a good smoke on then moved up to 225 for about an hour. The temp was at 110 in the thigh with my wireless thermometer. I then cranked up the heat to 375 to get the skin crisp. After another hour the thermometer was at 168 in the breast (the breasts were about 3+ inches at the thickest part). I grabbed my metal meat thermometer to stick in the other bird at the thigh and it read over 190 which I concluded I grabbed the wrong one (i need to throw it out). I continued to cook till the wireless read 170 in the breast and removed then tented the birds while waiting for the sides to finish in the oven. I was a bit concerned the birds weren't done because they didn't have the dark smoked look when done right but, decided my wireless thermometer was right and didn't want dry breasts. Well, I went and cut the backbone off and the birds were still deep red at the bone side (I was sooo P'ed off) so I put the birds in the oven to for another 1/2 hour and they turned out so great tasting and not rubbery. My wife consoled me and said, "It was your first time using the new smoker and you'll get it right next time". My conclusion, I got in too big a hurry to try it out and next time I will set my target temp at 180 in the beasts on my wireless. Oh, by the way, I used a sprayer with Apple Juice and a bit of vinegar I had set aside for my ribs. As for the prep, I found a few sites looking for a home prep for the birds and went with one I found on YouTube and used my own judgement with how much of each to use.
1 stick of unsalted butter softened
1 TBS of Kosher salt
I'm guessing I used about 4 TBS of Garlic Powder. We like garlic!!
Pepper to taste
Mix all together then insert under the skin and rub. Guess I could have melted the butter and injected but putting under the skin made it moist for less spraying.
I then found a 2.75 oz bottle of McCormick Bacon Molasses rub I wanted to try and seasoned both sides till the bottle was empty.
Any pointers will be appreciated.