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1st Cook with the new smoker

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ok, today is the first cook with my new smoker. Its been a couple years since I smoked anything.

 

I opted for pulled chicken. Thighs are forgiving, inexpensive and don't take all that long.

Oh yea, I'm throwing on on short rope of cheap Italian sausage for the heck of it.

 

Off to get the blue smoke!

post #2 of 9

Let us know how it goes.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

It was a success! My kids (5 & 6) were on their seconds when I was just sitting down for my 1sts.

The sausage was delicious. It had the texture of kielbasa.

 

I just winged it with the spices and the sauce. Next time I will keep track of what I do and the amounts.

 

I learned a few things with the heat/smoke control.

 

One issue, maybe the Board can give some insight...

I removed the skin from the thighs, did my spices and put the skin back on for the smoke.

When I was done the skin was like leather. I couldn't gnaw through it.  It wasn't an issue for me because I removed the skins to pull the meat. 

 

What is the term for the skin when its cooked like that and how do you avoid it?

 

Next time I think I will wrap the chicken about 2.5 hours in. There was just a bit too much smoke for me.

post #4 of 9

The skin is a tough one for me.  I have never had perfectly edible skin as it always comes out too hard.  What temp did you cook at and what kind of smoker?  I also don't know about wrapping the chicken as it will ruin the skin by making it too soft in my experience.  What I do with the chicken is just use a small chunk of cherry and a small chunk of apple and call it good.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have the vertical Trailmaster (Brinkmann) my temps fluctuated from about 210 to 230. I'm still learning the temperature control. 

post #6 of 9

What I learned about chicken here on the board is to go with higher temps. 300 or higher. Then crisp the skin directly over the fire. My chickens, spatchcocked, are ready after 1.5 hours. With the higher temps it's easy to overdo them, I had one get to 185 and it was dry.

 

Like nstolzner I've been happy using just a couple of chunks of apple.

post #7 of 9
I also like to cook chicken between 275-300*. My chickens are usually done in 3 hours or less. Then, I put them on my FB grate, skin side down for just about 3-5 minutes to crisp the skin. Usually works pretty good. I cook with oak for heat but use 3-4 chunks of apple for chicken at the beginning. After that, the oak doesn't add any flavor that I can tell. The chickens that I cook now are spatchcocked and I put butter under the breast skin with a little SPOG, then a little butter and SPOG all over the outside and a light shake of Weber Kickin' Chicken all over.

Good luck and let us know how you come out, Joe
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwschenk View Post
 

What I learned about chicken here on the board is to go with higher temps. 300 or higher. Then crisp the skin directly over the fire. My chickens, spatchcocked, are ready after 1.5 hours. With the higher temps it's easy to overdo them, I had one get to 185 and it was dry.

 

Like nstolzner I've been happy using just a couple of chunks of apple.

What  kind of smoker are you using?  My WSM will get to 300ish and they still take around three hours spatchocked.

post #9 of 9

Got a 18.5" WSM. My current method is to use a full Weber chimney of briquettes and a couple of apple chunks. No water in the pan and vents open, then using the bottom vents to control the temperature.

 

When using water in the pan, the temperature was lower and the chickens would take 3 hours. I think the dry pan is the difference. That and keeping a close eye on the IT of the chicken.

 

I've been using the stock thermometer on the Weber. A new Thermoworks DOT thermometer just arrived, so it will be interesting to see what the smoker temperatures have really been.

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