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smokin' in the cold...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Just put 4 four pound chickens on the Brinkmann about 1/2 hour ago. I brined 2 of them and rubbed the other two just as tasty experiments.

I tend to have issues keeping the smoker temp around 225-250 so i dumped a small chimney started of lit, prepared coals on one side of the charcoal pan along with 2 chunks of cherry wood and one hickory chunk and layered the other side with unlit coals as this is somewhat how i took the 'minion method' to be. Temp inside is currently just about 300 degrees. Granted its only 29 degrees outside currently so i'm guessing that temp won't hold or raise much longer.

My question is...should i have started with 1/2 or 2/3rd a chimney starter of lit coals instead? Any other suggestions are welcome as well. I'm guessing i just have to keep playing with it as much as possible smoking tasty treats until i get it right...dang. any opinions welcome.
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
hour and change later and temp's holding about 275. I tossed on 2 more chunks of cherry and sealed 'er back up.

I'm guessing barring any incident like the dog knocking the smoker over, I'm in the clear for a steady smoke 'til these birds hit 160-165 on the breast.

just noticed i posted this on the roll call forum...oops.
post #3 of 8
You should be just fine... A lot of folks ( myself included) like doing poultry at or above 300 anyway.. Makes the skin crispier instead of rubbery.... Make sure and post some pics of the birds icon_smile.gif
post #4 of 8
Are you using a water pan? If so, switch to playbox sand during the colder times of year. You'll get higher and more consistent temps using sand. You can also reuse the sand several times if you place a foil sheet over the sand. To redampen it some, just add a cup of water and stir.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'd heard of 'cold smoking' with sand before, but never tried it. Got plenty of cold temps still here in IA for the next couple months so i might give that a go.

no pics due to myriad issues with the camera and other attributing factors. Chickens turned out fantastic though! 3 hours was all it took to get breast temp to between 160 and 165 respectively across all four. I took 'em off the smoker, double wrapped the birds individually in foil and then doubled them up and wrapped them in beach towels before stuffing them in a large cooler.

I only intended to have them in there for an hour, but the wife was gone leaving me in charge of our 3 year old and soon to be 1yr old. Soon as they both went to sleep i was able to finally get pickin' at them. Took the first two out after what had been an hour and a half. By the time they were picked clean the other two had sat in the cooler for 2hrs. The extra time didn't bother the meat at all. It all fell right off the bone as it should.

The two birds i brined were the first two i'd ever brined. That was the best white meat i've ever had in my life. i will always brine poultry going forward no matter how i cook it.
post #6 of 8
Sounds like everything went perfect. Write down what you did, so a few weeks from now you won't be saying "how did I do that?". ALWAYS make notes on the ones you REALLY like!!
post #7 of 8
Welcome to SMF.
post #8 of 8
You've done great, and welcome to the forum. Soemtimes I spritz my birds with OJ. Works great on turkey too.

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