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First real smoke on my Kamado tomorrow!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My schedule opened up a little and my wife asked me to smoke some chickens tomorrow!  I've smoked on one of those small Brinkman Smoke N' Grill jobs a couple of times and the chicken came out great!  This will be my first real smoke on a Kamado, so any advise would be really appreciated.

 

Some questions...

 

  • With my little Brinkman, I used to soak the wood chunks in water for a couple of hours ahead of throwing them on the charcoal.  Should I continue that?
  • How many fist size chunks should I throw on there?
  • I'm using chunks of hickory; because it's what I have.  But I also have a couple of other wood chips (mesquite and pecan I think).  Is there any benefit to using some of the chips too?  If so, how much should I use, when should I add it, and should it be water soaked or dry?
  • It's my understanding that I don't need a water pan in the Kamado because they tend to hold the moisture and not dry out the meat.  (I'm using a drip pan with some water though, positioned on the plate setter/stone thing, to catch drippings and keep the drippings from burning).  Should I consider basting the chicken in something (I've used beer or Jack Daniels mixed with butter in the past) to keep it moist?
  • Can I open up the vents at the end to bring up the heat and crisp the skin on my chickens?  I've never been able to get my little Brinkman to crisp the skin.
  • What temp do you guys recommend I get the chicken up to?  Is the chicken done when it gets up to that temp, is it done?  Or is the goal to get the internal temp up and hold it for a period of time?  I'll be using a Maverick RediCheck.
  •  

Any other advise will be appreciated!  I'm looking forward to sitting out in my driveway, smoking these chickens, and drinking some Jack Daniels!

post #2 of 4

Hello John,

 

Good luck with that first cook!  I've tried to answer all your questions below in red...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Battersby View Post
 

My schedule opened up a little and my wife asked me to smoke some chickens tomorrow!  I've smoked on one of those small Brinkman Smoke N' Grill jobs a couple of times and the chicken came out great!  This will be my first real smoke on a Kamado, so any advise would be really appreciated.

 

Some questions...

 

  • With my little Brinkman, I used to soak the wood chunks in water for a couple of hours ahead of throwing them on the charcoal.  Should I continue that?  Opinions sometimes vary on this, but IMO that's a waste of time.  Any water absorbed by the chunks (which won't be much) will have to evaporate before the wood will burn and make smoke.  Anything you get before that is just steam.
  • How many fist size chunks should I throw on there?  Always depends on how much smoke you like...in my gravity fed smoker, I like to start with about 3 fist sized chunks, then add another one every hour or so.
  • I'm using chunks of hickory; because it's what I have.  But I also have a couple of other wood chips (mesquite and pecan I think).  Is there any benefit to using some of the chips too?  If so, how much should I use, when should I add it, and should it be water soaked or dry?    It certainly wouldn't hurt to add some...the chips will ignite faster than the chunks, providing almost immediate smoke...but of course they will burn up much faster.  As already mentioned, soaking is a waste of time.
  • It's my understanding that I don't need a water pan in the Kamado because they tend to hold the moisture and not dry out the meat.  (I'm using a drip pan with some water though, positioned on the plate setter/stone thing, to catch drippings and keep the drippings from burning).  Should I consider basting the chicken in something (I've used beer or Jack Daniels mixed with butter in the past) to keep it moist?  Totally a personal preference IMO.  When I baste poultry (which isn't very often) it is to add flavor.  I don't have much problem with it drying out.  The secret is don't overcook.  Use a good temp probe to closely monitor the internal temp in the deepest part of thigh (but be sure to stay away from the bone).  Pull when the IT in the thigh reaches about 165*.  You can get a more even cook between the breast and thigh if you spatchcock the birds...and they'll cook faster which also helps prevent drying out... just something to consider.
  • Can I open up the vents at the end to bring up the heat and crisp the skin on my chickens?  I've never been able to get my little Brinkman to crisp the skin.  That's exactly what I'd do.  The last 20-30 minutes, crank up that heat to get the skin nice and crispy.
  • What temp do you guys recommend I get the chicken up to?  Is the chicken done when it gets up to that temp, is it done?  Or is the goal to get the internal temp up and hold it for a period of time?  I'll be using a Maverick RediCheck.  See above answer.  When the thigh reaches 165* its done.  I'd allow it a short rest (maybe 10-15 minutes) then eat up.
  •  

Any other advise will be appreciated!  I'm looking forward to sitting out in my driveway, smoking these chickens, and drinking some Jack Daniels!

 

 

I hope that helps...looking forward to seeing how it turns out for ya!  

 

Happy Smoking!  Thumbs Up

 

Red

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you!  I appreciate the help!

post #4 of 4

Sounds like Red has you covered.

 

Al

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