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Going To Try Beer Butt Chicken This Weekend In My Offset Smoker, Your Input Desired. Q-View, Too - Page 2

post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 

Chicken has been spachcocked and slathered in my special

blend, going into the fridge.



The highly modified Rivergrille.



The diverter on the right is stainless steel and the tuning plates

are 3/8 in. aluminum. With the current spacing the temp variation

is generally less than 10 degrees from front left to right rear.



The large firebox is what sold me on the Rivergrille. The basket

will easily hold over 10 lbs. of charcoal. And it is big enough to cook

with wood only. I will have to add another damper so that it can draw 

enough air to cook over 300 degrees.



Red oak is gooooooooooood for smoking. It has a nice, mellow smoke flavor.

And in this large smoker box you can't over-smoke at 275 degrees.



Plenty of red oak, and there is a white oak back in the woods

that has fallen over and will need to be cut up and dried.



It's a nice place to hang out while smoking.

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 

Here we go, smoker is up to temp and meat is coming up.



1 hour in and doing nicely.



If it is as good as it smells, I'm going to hurt myself.



I put it on the grate above the coals (skin side down) for a few minutes to 

crisp the skin. The one on the left is skin up in the pan, the one on the left is skin



Taste review to follow later.

post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 

I meant the one on right is skin side down in the last photo.

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 

The verdict is in.


I had seven people, including myself, work on the finished product. We all agreed it was as good as any we had ever had. Was it the best we had ever had? We were in agreement it was not, mainly because I am a self-proclaimed chicken grilling master with a killer chicken recipe that IS the best my guests have ever had.


Who were my guests and would they just say it was good so they wouldn't hurt my feelings? The guests were very close family members who know I prefer honesty over empty compliments. Also, if it isn't good they don't want to run the risk of me cooking it again thinking they do like it (by telling me it was good to spare my feelings). Also, they are all sort of picky eaters and if it wasn't good the evidence would be left on the table. The chicken was decimated, I don't even have any leftovers to try today while I'm not influenced by the adult beverages I had to consume to stay cool during the hot and exhausting 3-hour cook yesterday.


The olive oil/vinegar solution I put on the chicken before cooking added an excellent flavor, as did the salt brine. No additional seasoning was necessary. The saltiness of the chicken was just right, so a brine of 1-cup of salt to 1-gallon of water will be my base ingredients that all my future brines will be based on. The olive oil baste worked good to prevent sticking to the grates, and the lime and vinegar added a tartness that when combined with the saltiness of the brine gave the chicken a great flavor without overpowering the natural goodness of the chicken.


The only problem I encountered was when I moved my chicken to the grate above the coals. It was hot, and after a few minutes I opened the lid to check the progress and had a flare-up. I have done it with ribs before and didn't have a problem, but I cooked the chicken at a higher temp and it was very juicy, which must have caused it. I will need to work on that, or just use my gas grill to crisp the skin, if it even needed crisping, I didn't try it to see before I moved it over the coals.


And last but not least, the main reason we all do this, the first word in the title of this website--smoke. If you have ever cooked with oak (red or white), then you know that it is a mild, flavor adding/enhancing wood that is great for any type of meat. I have oak, pecan and hickory either growing on my property or nearby, so I am not limited to store-bought chips in a bag that may or may not be the type of wood I want. So, when I need wood for smoking, what do I go for? Oak. I just prefer it over the rest. I have apple and peach trees planted around the house, and when I pruned them I used to save the trimmings for my UDS, but the oak is just better to me, so I don't bother with other types of wood anymore.


I joined this forum to learn new techniques for smoking and grilling, since, as you may have noticed, my experience/skill is very limited. Other that being able to grill killer chicken on a Weber kettle grill, I was the master of nothing. Since joining, I have learned from you all how to cook pulled pork that impressed my guests and they have raved about it ever since. I learned how to smoke chicken, not the best they had ever had, but with your help, it will be one day I'm sure. So, I thank you all for your input on this site and welcome all of your comments, good or bad. In fact, I prefer criticism, since your praise won't make me a better cook.

post #25 of 26
Originally Posted by atomicsmoke View Post

Wow. That's a lot of beer....I mean chicken . Where do you brine 250 birds? You must have quite an operation to brine, safely transport and cook so much chicken. I am impressed.

I don't know about the laws in your state but where I live having an open alcohol container in public spaces requires a "permit". Would cooking beer can chicken at the park get one in trouble with the law?

A buddy of mine is a butcher with a large walk in refer. I use some of his food grade 55 gal brine barrels that he uses for bacon and hams. I can get between 55 to 60 birds in my  smoker at once. I use the kitchen at the Lions Club and the fire dept lets us use there parking lot as a "drive-thru" to pick up orders. Since we aren't serving beer, just cooking with it, no "permit" is required.

post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 

Next cook will be all wood for fuel. I didn't know if the wood that I had was dry enough, but it seemed to be.

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