I like rotisserie chicken. I like smoked chicken. Why not do both?
I got the idea for this shortly after I got my AMNPS a few months ago. I had seen people using it inside their gas BBQ, but it didn't seem right to me to place this into the heated chamber. After all, the AMNPS can smoke on its own for cold smoking, and putting it above the gas flame is almost certainly going to overheat the pellets and make it burn too fast.
So, where to put it? Well, in my old Weber Genesis gas BBQ, I thought perhaps I could put the smoker down into the drip tray, and have the smoke travel up from there. As you will see, the idea worked, and worked perfectly.
I won't spend much time on the recipe part of this. I simply brined the chicken for 90 minutes, and then applied some rub I had on hand. Pretty much any rub will do because the real star of this performance is the juiciness provided by the rotisserie process, combined with the flavor of the smoke (I used hickory).
Here is a picture of the overall layout (yes, the chicken is too small -- it's all Safeway had that evening).
As you can see (lower left corner) I have already started the AMNPS, using only the heat gun.
I need to upload a short video tutorial of how I use just the heat gun to start the AMNPS. With pellets, I have found that I can start the pellets faster, and have had no problems with them going out, once I figured out how to start the chips using only the heat gun, without any torch. Using just the heat gun you not only can light the pellets, but you can give ALL the pellets a nice pre-heat and drying out.
Note that the BBQ drip tray is pulled out and is lying on top of a trash bin. The AMNPS fits perfectly into the bottom of this tray. I scraped out all the old crud, down into the trash bin, before putting the AMNPS into that tray. Here is what the AMNPS looks like, in the BBQ drip tray:
The AMNPS gets all the air it needs, and is not affected by the intense heat of the flames, the way it would be if you put it next to the food, even if it was not directly over the flames.
To keep the chicken fat from dripping directly down onto the AMNPS, I use a drip pan under the chicken. I'd use this anyway, even without the smoker in the main Weber drip pan:
Then, here is the Weber drip tray and AMNPS, pushed in about halfway into the BBQ.
As soon as I pushed it in the rest of the way, the smoke you see going up the outside of the BBQ instead traveled up through the BBQ.
Like all my rotisserie cooks, I turn off all but the front burner (this old model has the burners front, back, and center, rather than right to left). I adjusted the gas output until the BBQ chamber temperature stabilized at 300 degrees. I cooked this small chicken for about ninety minutes (which is why you saw so few pellets in the AMNPS).
I stupidly forgot to take a picture of the final result, but the chick looked absolutely marvelous, and tasted better than any rotisserie chicken I've done since I got the rotisserie back around the start of the millennium.
What would I do differently the next time? Only one thing: more smoke. Each row of the AMNPS burns for a little less then three hours. I knew the chicken would only cook for about 90 minutes, so I filled 1/2 of one row. However, the BBQ doesn't contain smoke quite the same way my MES does, and therefore I need more smoke. So, next time I'll fill two half rows in the AMNPS and light both. If that isn't enough, I'll light three 1/2 rows.
I hope this gives people some ideas!