Well, I finally did my first smoke and it was something else!! I was initially nervous because I wasn't used to using charcoal as I have a gas grill. I assembled all of my supplies and thought I was ready to go. After reading through the forum, I decided to splatchcock the chicken. The bird was seasoned the night before and had been marinating in the refrigerator overnight. When I tried to light the lump charcoal that I was using, it seemed to take a long time. Although I purchased a chimney starter, I didn't use it because I didn't think that I would need that much lump charcoal. [Wrong!!] I put the chicken on the top shelf and used apple juice in the bowl and apple wood chunks. Since this was my first time using my WSM, I didn't really know if it was going to hold the temperature for the entire time I used it. To my delight, it did. This is when I must say that I didnt' have enough lump charcoal and I had to add some more because the temperature wouldn't get high enough. Once the bird got on the smoker, I was mesmerized by the temperature gauge. I put a chair on the deck and just kept watching it, like it was a baby. I was excited and couldn't wait until it was finished. Here are the things that I believe I need to work on or did wrong:
1. I kept the chicken on the smoker way too long, especially since it was splatchcocked. It was on there about 6 hours.
2. Tried to eyeball the chicken to see if was done since the meat thermometer that I have is broken. I need one.
3. I opened the vents with my fingers,not thinking that 225 degrees is very hot. Burned my fingers. Rookie mistake. I need some gloves.
4. The skin of the chicken was tough. I couldn't eat it.
5. Since it was cold and windy, I need to take that into account when smoking.
6. I was confused because the Weber manual says to use briquettes and I had lump. I wasn't sure how much to use and I didn't put enough in the first time.
Overall, I don't think that I did too bad especially since I didn't burn down the deck,LOL. My family like the flavor and I can't wait to put a pork butt in the smoker.
Thanks for reading and any comments are appreciated≥