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spatchcocked yardbird problem

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Inaugeral smoke for my MES 30 gen 2.5. 

 5 Pound Chicken ( spatchcocked ). Smoker set to 275 deg. Trying for IT of 170. 

 4 1/2 hrs in, and IT is at 164. I did have a long stall at about 150 deg.

 She Beast decided frozen pizza was going to be dinner tonight, we'll reheat chicken for tomarrow night. Not the worst thing, good chance to crisp the skin.

 I admit I cut the bird, rinsed and laid on rack over drip pan, then placed back in fridge for 30  mins or so while smoker came up to temp. I did nothing else to dry the bird before putting in the smoker.

 Could this be why the cook is taking so long ?


 Additional info : I have MES probe in one breast and second digital therm probe in other breast. I began to wonder about the smoker temp and placed the probe from anouther digital therm a ways down thru the vent. It agrees with MES controller at 275 deg.

post #2 of 10

Something is definitely wrong.


A spatchcocked chicken that size should only take a couple of hours to cook at 275.


Smoker temp, therms, something is off.



post #3 of 10
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post

Something is definitely wrong.

A spatchcocked chicken that size should only take a couple of hours to cook at 275.

Smoker temp, therms, something is off.


I agree, something is off with your therms or your smoker or both.

I'd check all your probes that you can using this method:

post #4 of 10
I think Al and Dirtsailor are mostly likely correct but there is one outlier. I smoke a lot of chickens that size and every once in a while I'm in a hurry and not paying attention. "Why is this bird not done? It's always done by now." Almost every single time, I threw it on in a hurry and let the ends fold under the breast a little. Even just slightly has jacked me up. So if your therms check out, try it again making sure nothing gets folded under.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I tried following proven examples, that's why I thought something was up when we were knocking on 3 hrs and 150 IT. At 3 1/2 I had 160 ish. It finally hit 170 at 4 hrs and 45 mins.

 I will recheck therms again. Cheapo Therms, so frequent checks are a good thing anyway.

 I just pulled it from the fridge (uncut from last night) and nothing is turned under. The skin was crisp when it came off the smoker. I'm going to sample it in a short bit.

 The chicken wrapper does state in very fine print "contains up to 8% retained water"


 How do y'all normally prep the birds prior to putting in the smoker ? Night before and air dry in fridge over night ? just before and set on counter for an hr (not real comfortable with this) then smoke ?


 Edit to add :

 I checked the therms and both cheapos are Reading 210 F on a temp calculated to be 212 according to the link provided.

Edited by mosparky - 5/24/16 at 5:36pm
post #6 of 10
I usually prep it right before it goes on the smoker.
post #7 of 10
Air drying overnight when possible is always the best bet, especially when your smoker can't get above 275.

I don't rub any of the meat I cook until right before it goes on the smoker. The only exception to this is when I'm traveling and know that prep will be easier at home.

Good therms are your best friend. If you have to pinch and save to get yourself a reliable set. I have the Mav ET 732 and the iGrill2,(four probes). My go to is the iGrill. It's spot on. I do test my therms once a month or so. I also really like my instant read therm. It's the Lava tool $25 dollar special on Amazon. I have bought 4 now and given 3 as gifts. They are spot on accurate.

That's my two cents on this. Check out the chicken section in my thread here:

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Mav 732 is on my short list. I needed a cook in place and found these marked down to $7 each at the end of season last fall. Being short on funds, it seemed like a reasonable bandaide to get me by until funds allow for a Mav. I know they are cheapos and will always be suspect.

 I also got an instant read (weber). Maybe not as good as the Thermoworks or Lavatool, but will get me by til the right deal or extra cash comes along. All will be tested on reg basis.


I finally got to eat some of that bird. OMG...so good, juicey and tender. Knowing what a night in the fridge can do, I honestly think if we ate it last night we might have needed straws. I was so tender tonight I think it had to be near liquified last night. The she beast even gave her consent to do it again. Maybe because it means she don't have to cook, she can be devious that way.

 But I gotta get this time thing under control. I seldom have 5 hrs to devote to dinner. Other cooks can be done, if not trying to eat it that night.

 Nice thing about working in the meat dept, I have an idea what going to get marked down and when. I can time my purchases accordingly.

post #9 of 10

Sure glad the bird turned out great.  It was well worth the extra time and effort.


I have a Weber instant read that I use all the time, along with my 733.  It is a little slow--takes about 8 seconds to get the "instant " read, but it is bang on for accuracy.  For $12, I figure its a really great therm.



post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

My only complaint with it is the over all length. Checking burgers on the grill is a challenge. I've learned to move the burger away from the heat before checking it. Saves the hair on the knuckles.

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