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Weird chicken smoke on the mini

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Subtitle: Just because you've done something the same way a hundred times doesn't mean it will turn out the same way on the 101st.
Just some quarters and drumsticks rubbed with an off the shelf citrus chile rub and some lime juice.
It was a strange smoke. I filled the basket with Kingsford blue bag, as that's all I could find at the local hardware store. To fire it off, I lit all the Cowboy lump I had left, about a third of a chimney. I used 4 chunks of pecan buried in the pile of KBB. Temp got up to 322°with all vents open, then I closed one side vent completely and set the other at about 20% open, like I usually do. The temp stayed at 322° +\- for about a half hour until the smoke thinned to a nice wispy blue, like it usually does.
At this point all was normal.
Then I loaded the chicken pieces on. Since the rack was packed and there was no room to clip the probe for the Maverick, I opted to just remove it. I even commented to my wife "Well we know what the temperature is, and we know it'll stay basically the same, so we don't need the thermometer. "

So all went completely the same way it always does. A friend came by and we sat around chatting and enjoying the nice weather. The mini was making the same little sizzling noises it always does when I smoke chicken. I checked the temp of the chicken with my Thermapen periodically until it hit 155°. Wanted to plop it directly over the coals to sear while it traveled the last 10 degrees. All was nice and normal until I looked at my watch. It was almost 8. I'd started the mini just before 5. Now normally at 320°-325° I can count on just about an hour. This time it took two and a half hours just to get to 155°. I hadn't noticed the time as we weren't in a hurry and enjoying ourselves.
I suppose when I loaded the chicken on, the temp dropped. And since the rack was completely loaded, it wasn't able to recover. So I'm guessing I was smoking in the 225° range.

Moral of the story? Check your pit temp. As this was only the second time out this year for the smoker, I got a little lackadaisical and didn't pay attention to the details.
It all worked out fine. The chicken was delicious and the searing over the coals added a nice crispness, in addition to that "grilled" flavor.
post #2 of 6

A good lesson for newbies . Good post , MB .

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Learned another valuable lesson this morning. We'd all commented that while the chicken was quite tasty and tender and juicy, the flavor was very muted. Looked more closely at the jar of rub this morning and there it was. SALT FREE. The devil truly is in the details!!
post #4 of 6

lol... yeah. Another thing I have ran into was sometimes when I buy the chicken from the store and it looks and feels thawed, it turns out there is still a little bit frozen down near the bone. That can add a lot of time to a cook as well. As for the salt thing...... may I suggest reading glasses? :biggrin:


I can't talk - I can't see $*^%$ without my glasses on.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
HA!! You may be right on the money. I didn't have my glasses at the store but did have them when I read the label this morning.
post #6 of 6

Look at it as a relaxing time. LOL

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