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Smoked chicken hints/tips/ questions on moisture, time and temp

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

What have others found to be the best temp for a moist bird.  Injecting vs. brine?  if you have time, then brine?  is that always true?  many books and recipes say smoke the whole bird at 200-220.  Seems low, and the length of time it would take seems like it would dry out the bird.  I would be interested in hearing other's thoughts and results.

post #2 of 8

I always brine chicken. Smoking low works great if you don't care about the skin. If you want crispy skin then you have to smoke at 275 or higher (or smoke low then finish on a grill).

post #3 of 8

For something different, try brining in pickle juice.   I take a good quality jar of pickles - like vlasic kosher dills (the ones in the refrigerator section).   Costco also has Carnegie Deli pickles that are awesome.  Anyway, save the juice and brine in that juice for 6 hours or more.   It tastes spectacular!

post #4 of 8

Chicken does better at higher temps for juiciness, tenderness and better skin. UDS style i cook over 350 and rotisserie I cook 400 to 600-700*. 

 

Chicken also absorbs smoke easier than other meats so doesn't need much time exposed to it...very easy to over smoke poultry.

post #5 of 8

What FWI said . . .:cool:

post #6 of 8
I'd always been a hot and fast guy when it comes to chicken. My reasoning was that the most important thing was the final internal temperature, and how it got there was of little importance. In addition, the higher smoker heat aided in making the skin less rubbery.
But then...
I believe it was Kevin (Foamheart) who vehemently argued that low and slow was the best for chicken. His argument made sense, but my experience with chicken or turkey cooked at lower temps was always a little grainy.
And then...
I started messing around with reverse searing steaks, chops and roasts.
And a lightbulb went off over my head. I realized a couple things.
1. The grainy unpleasant texture I'd experienced from the low and slow poultry wasn't a result of the cooking temperature, but a result of the internal temperature. They'd just been overcooked.
And 2. If you look at chicken like a prime rib roast, when cooked at high temps, by the time the center hits 165°, the outer 2/3 of the meat is going to be upwards of 195°. Just like the "Bullseye" effect in beef. Only it's not as obvious in chicken.
So I started playing with chicken. The best results I've gotten have been to brine it, let it dry overnight in the fridge, smoke at 250°-275° til it hits 150°-155°, rest for 15-20 minutes then sear the skin over screaming hot coals.
This is not a new method, I'm just explaining how this stubborn cook got around to realizing how and why it works. Long and short is that as long as you don't overcook it, chicken will be really good. But for me, the method I mentioned above makes some of the best chicken I've ever had.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdboatbum View Post

I'd always been a hot and fast guy when it comes to chicken. My reasoning was that the most important thing was the final internal temperature, and how it got there was of little importance. In addition, the higher smoker heat aided in making the skin less rubbery.
But then...
I believe it was Kevin (Foamheart) who vehemently argued that low and slow was the best for chicken. His argument made sense, but my experience with chicken or turkey cooked at lower temps was always a little grainy.
And then...
I started messing around with reverse searing steaks, chops and roasts.
And a lightbulb went off over my head. I realized a couple things.
1. The grainy unpleasant texture I'd experienced from the low and slow poultry wasn't a result of the cooking temperature, but a result of the internal temperature. They'd just been overcooked.
And 2. If you look at chicken like a prime rib roast, when cooked at high temps, by the time the center hits 165°, the outer 2/3 of the meat is going to be upwards of 195°. Just like the "Bullseye" effect in beef. Only it's not as obvious in chicken.
So I started playing with chicken. The best results I've gotten have been to brine it, let it dry overnight in the fridge, smoke at 250°-275° til it hits 150°-155°, rest for 15-20 minutes then sear the skin over screaming hot coals.
This is not a new method, I'm just explaining how this stubborn cook got around to realizing how and why it works. Long and short is that as long as you don't overcook it, chicken will be really good. But for me, the method I mentioned above makes some of the best chicken I've ever had.

x2

post #8 of 8

Lots of great advice above

 

Gary

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