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My First Whole Chicken

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Just started smoking earlier this year. Ribs a bunch, never a chicken. Doing my first one tomorrow. I have a MES 30.

Have the whole chicken in brine overnight. Seems the common theme is 4-6 hours at 225ish until IT is 165.

What is best practice after brine? Paper towel dry, dry rub? I've seen some use butter or EVO pre rub?

If I spatchcock, no rotation needed inside smoker?

How long do you let the bird set after removing from smoker?

Sorry for all the questions...need some help!

Aaron from Iowa
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron315 View Post

Just started smoking earlier this year. Ribs a bunch, never a chicken. Doing my first one tomorrow. I have a MES 30.

Have the whole chicken in brine overnight. Seems the common theme is 4-6 hours at 225ish until IT is 165.

What is best practice after brine? Paper towel dry, dry rub? I've seen some use butter or EVO pre rub? Yes, rinse & dry it off, then you can coat with EVOO, or plain yellow mustard, then your rub. I like Montreal chicken seasoning. You can also put butter & garlic under the skin.

If I spatchcock, no rotation needed inside smoker? Correct

How long do you let the bird set after removing from smoker? Half hour is good.

Sorry for all the questions...need some help! Let us know how it turns out.

Aaron from Iowa
post #3 of 6
I really like to spatch a bird. I put SPOG on the bone side, rub butter under the skin on the breast side with some basic rub. Then butter on the outside with some rub and then a little shake of Weber Kickin' Chicken. I like to smoke a bird with some apple chunks at 300-325*. This gives me a good color, good skin with some higher temp and an awesome flavor with the butter and rub together.

Good luck with your bird. Try to post some pics. Joe
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 


Color was nowhere close to what I wanted, but the meat was really good. Even my wife (who is insanely picky with chicken) liked it a lot. Skin was pretty rubbery, but expected in a MES and my first time around. Thanks for all the tips...definitely helped!
post #5 of 6
Tasty looking bird! With the MES you'll probably need to crisp the skin in the oven or on a hot grill. Searching the bird helps too (which you did). Another tip is to get the skin as dry as possible prior to putting it inn the smoker. Air drying in the fridge overnight is best. But in a limited time frame you can use hair dryer on low right before putting the bird into the smoker. A dry put chamber will also help when smoking at lower temps.

Give a naked bird a try. Remove all the skin and save it for making schmaltz or use it for stock.
post #6 of 6
I'm doing my first whole birds today. I'm fairly new to smoking. I'm using my MES 40.
I did a little digging and it appears that 225 degrees is the winner. I soaked the birds in a salt and brown sugar brine for 24 hours. Removed from the brine,rinsed with cold water. Pat dry and rub with evo , salt and pepper.Cut up apples(Granny Smith),lemons and garlic. Mix with salt,pepper and evo and stuffed them birds. Looks like it's gonna be about 5 hours. I'm super stoked and will post some pics when there done. Was gonna ask about the rest time but y'all have already covered that.
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