Second round of smoking with my WSM.
Since I have access to a commercial kitchen for my business. I have plenty of room in the walk ins to begin a few brines. The first, a 5 lb grass-fed, pastured, organic chicken brined overnight in buttermilk. Nothing fancy in the brine, just fresh ground black pepper and fresh grated green garlic I picked up from the farmer's market yesterday.
For brining, I use 2 1/2 gallon buckets w/lids. This size will fit 1-2 chickens. Once in the brine, I place a heavy plate onto the chicken to keep it submerged. For whole chickens, I suggest you brine overnight. For smaller pieces, a few hours is all that is necessary. Once removed from the brine, I patted the chicken dry with paper towels and let rest in the refrigerator for an additional hour to dry. I used a light rub I threw together from the spice rack. Not too much, as my gf prefers less spice on her chicken.
I made the change to using lump charcoal for this smoke. All the seasoning smokes(3) and the char siu on Monday, I used Kingsford Blue briquets. Personally, I prefer to use lump in my Weber kettle and am still experimenting with my WSM. I placed the chicken on the top grate, in a hot smoker(320-330) for a total time of an hour and a half. When the chicken reached an internal temperature of 150, I removed the drip pan and placed the chicken on the lower grate to crisp the skin and to finish smoking(internal temperature of 165).
For a side dish, I roasted some baby red potatoes in EVOO, salt, fresh ground black pepper and rosemary. I placed the potatoes below the chicken to catch the drippings for the first hour or so.
The chicken turned out moist and tender with a nice smoke flavor. The breast meat was exceptionally moist(not my favorite part of the chicken ).
Wings(gf's favorite) on sliced breast meat, roasted rosemary red potatoes, roasted corn with sauteed green garlic, green onions and kale in a chardonnay reduction sauce.
Next time, it's going to be a slow smoke(225-250) on the brined chicken, with a fast sear on the weber kettle to crisp the skin. Still in the testing stages.
Can you say tri-tip? Could happen as soon as Friday...
Going to stick with the easier smokes for now, at least until I am more comfortable with my WSM. I figure it will take 3 weeks to brine a brisket into a pastrami, beginning next Tuesday. In that time, I should have at least 10-15 smokes under my belt.