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First ever smoke

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Okay. This is my first time smoking. I conditioned my MES30 last weekend and began planning. In the end, I kept it simple for the first run. I did chicken (leg/thigh) and italian sausage. I choose these because 1) I had them on hand and 2) figured I can't really mess them up. I used a Belgian-style white ale marinade on the chicken and I think it came out pretty well... at least it smelled amazing. 

I started off at 250 and added some pecan wood chips. Love the smell of the pecan! I think I added too much because I had a lot of white smoke and a flare-up. I eventually got it down by reducing the number of chips but for a long smoke I can see how this could be a problem.

My son said the sausages were "awesome" and ate two which he barely eats one when I've made them before. The skin was snappy. The chicken was ok... I don't particularly care for the leg/thigh... but the skin was a bit chewier. Any suggestions are appreciated.







post #2 of 9
Wow, that's one clean smoker!! The food looks great, nicely done!

I have the same smoker as you, the temp only goes up to 275 and that will not crisp up the skin. One option would be to finish the chicken on a hot grill.

You are right, the wood chips do become a pain. What many others have done, myself included, is purchase an Amnps and do a mailbox mod for the smoker. Do a search on both of those items and you will find out everything you need to know. You will get a good 10-12 hour smoke without having to tend to it by doing those two things.

Third, cover your drip pan with aluminum foil, it makes cleaning it so much easier.
post #3 of 9


It all looks good. Your MES won't make crispy skin. It won't get hot enough. You can give them a few min. In the oven or a gas grill to crisp up the skin.

Happy smoken.


post #4 of 9

Try these...JJ


Juicy Smoke-tastic Chicken and Turkey


Here is a Brine and Rub that is a Favorite with members of my Family. I like Apple and/or Hickory with Chicken or Turkey. We determine doneness by measuring the Internal Temp (IT) in the thickest part of the Breast and Thigh, 165* and 175*F respectively. For a One Step Smoke with Crispy Skin the birds have to be smoked at a temp of 300-325°F. You can figure about 15 minutes per pound to reach the desired IT. Electric smokers usually only go to 275°F. With these you will be smoking at the most common temp range of 225-275°F. You can figure on about 25 minutes per pound cook time + or - 5 minutes depending what part of the range you choose. Usually the skin will not crisp so if the skin is not Crisp enough when the IT is 145*F in the Breast, put the Bird in a 425*F Oven to finish cooking to 165* and Crisp the Skin...JJ



Families Favorite Brine


1/2C Kosher Salt

2T Paprika

2T Gran. Garlic

2T Gran. Onion

2T Dry Thyme

2T Black Pepper

1C Vinegar (Any)

1-11/2Gal Cold Water to cover Chix


1/2C Brown Sugar, Optional

1T Red Pepper Flake Optional


Mix well and Soak the Bird over night or up to 24 Hours.

Remove the Chix, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.

Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.

This will give a crispier skin when Smokng or Roasting...


Bubba Chix Rub


1/2C Raw Sugar

2T Paprika (I use Smoked if I'm just Grilling)

1T Cayenne

1T Gran. Garlic

1T Gran. Onion

1tsp Black Pepper

1tsp Wht Pepper

1tsp Allspice

1tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning or Thyme


Mix well. You can put directly on the skin or mix with Butter, Oil or Bacon Grease and rub on and under the Skin.

Reduce Cayenne to 1 teaspoon if less heat is desired. Add 1T Kosher Salt if the bird is not Brined.


Place a pan with some veggies under the Turkey to make some Gravy. Here's a recipe. 


Pit Chicken aka, Roadside Chicken


This Chicken is Grilled/Smoked and sold all across the country at Roadside Stands and at Firehouse Fund Raiser BBQ's. Here is my version

Pit Chix Basting Sauce


2C Apple Cider Vinegar

1C Olive or other Oil

2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

1/4C Brown Sugar

1T Smoked Paprika

2 tsp Granulated Garlic

2 tsp Granulated Onion

2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

1 tsp Celery Salt

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle powder. Add more if you like Heat.

1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

2Lrg Egg Yolks


I always Brine my Chicken with my Families Favorite Brine and apply some Bubba Chix Rub. This is then Grill/Smoked over indirect heat at 300-325°F until the Internal Temp (IT) reaches 175°F. If the skin is not Crisp enough, a few minutes, turning frequently, over direct heat will get you there.


This stuff is Tangy with a Sweet and Spicy Finish. If you wish, instead of Brining, you can make a Double batch and add 1T Kosher Salt to half. Marinate the Chix for 4-6 hours with the salted half of the Brine/Basting Sauce then use the rest to baste during the Cook.


I would squirt the Sauce on with a Sports Bottle about every 15-20 minutes and used all but 1/2 cup that I took to the Table to add a fresh Punch of flavor. Great Stuff!...JJ


post #5 of 9

Hey, Mike, your smoke looks way better than my first. Great start!



post #6 of 9

Mike , kudos on your first. Nice looking grub :drool.


Keep doing you thing there and send plenty of Q-view...


Later , Tater . . .

post #7 of 9
Looks to me like you've done real well. Just keep learning as you go. On this one you figured out to moderate the smoke output and about chicken skin. Chef Jimmy chimed in with his always delicious suggestions and recipes. Try a brine with poultry..... I went for years with very good smoked poultry until I brined. Now its GREAT poultry cause I brine it every time.
post #8 of 9
Great job for the first run.

If you dont have a grill to use to crisp the skin. You can use the broiler on your oven. Go 1 shelf lower then the middle and set the broiler on low. This should allow you to crisp it up.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the tips/suggestions and JJ thanks for the recipes.

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