I wanted to try out my brand spankin' new MES 40 so I thought I'd go cheap and try something I could afford to fail at - whole chicken - $7.00.
Spatchcocked and rubbed with SPG.
I made so many mistakes on this one - here are some of the highlights of my adventures.
I did not brine the bird. Not sure if this mattered, but thought I'd mention it.
i burned the new MES 40 at max temp (275) for 2-1/2 hours with a bit of smoke for the last 1/2 hour to season. Then wiped down inside and grates to remove and other residual oil. This seemed to work fine.
I decided to smoke the chicken at 275 too.
I had a brand new bag of Alder chips and an opened bag of Mesquite chips so I used...Mesquite. Fail. Way too strong and too much "bite".
I used the meat probe integrated into the MES. Fail. It COULD NOT have been correct. I should have tested it before use, but did not. I also could have used my ET-73 but did not.
In the smoke. Seemed fine, not too much volume and it was definitely TBS. I thought I was doing well at this point.
Then it happened...
The meat probe on the MES 40 was placed in the breast. Maybe I should have put it in the thigh? Either way, the probe read 165 after only 75 minutes. I thought "wow, that was fast - I expected it to take much longer". Looking back I could kick myself.
The bird did look pretty good when I pulled it out.
Only rested it long enough to take the pic, then started carving. I knew immediately that the bird was undercooked, but SWMBO was hungry so I hoped for the best and continued carving. FAIL.
Skin was like leather. Not rubber. Leather.
Meat was tough. Too smoky. Undercooked. It was juicy, but the juice was kinda pink. Gross.
I ate one wing, which seemed to be barely cooked. Not horrible, but not good.
The rest went into the trash.
I share my misery to help others learn from my mistakes. I hope this thread will prompt recommendations and we can all possibly learn from this.