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First Whole Chicken

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I did my first whole chicken last weekend.


4qt water
1 cup sea salt
2tbsp garlic powder
2tbsp onion powder
2tbsp paprika

Brined for 5 hours.
Smoked with 50/50 hickory/apple.

Smoked at 230 degrees which I know is a little lower than recommended for chicken but also had pork loins in at the same time.

I had the termometer in the breast area and removed the chicken at exactly 160 degrees. It took 3 hours and 20 minutes to hit 160.

Because the pork loins weren't done yet I foil tented the chicken for an hour while waiting for the loins to get done.

The breasts were tender and juicy and not any pink at all. Very tasty and moist.

However, the legs and wing areas seemed like there was quite a bit of pink to them. And with the brining when I cut into the leg/thigh area there were just tons of juices but the juices seemed pinkish. This freaked the wife and I out a bit so I put it in the oven under the foil tent at 375 for another 20 minutes just to make sure it was done. Unfortunatley I didn't get any pics because the kids were starving so getting them fed got me sidetracked from taking pics.

What I'm not sure of is if it was just that smoking/brining causes the darker meat areas to seem undone or if there were in fact not done. Like I say the breast area was perfect and I took it out at 160 degrees. Any feedback on this is greatly appreciated so I know whether to cook it longer next time or not.

Oh, and one more thing. This is newbie mistake. I put the chicken on the bottom rack and the pork loin and ABT's on the upper racks both of which were wrapped in bacon. So, the bacon grease dripped all over the chicken.

Pic of chicken, pork loins, and ABT's in the MES:

Chicken done (see the bacon drippings):

post #2 of 12
Hey there Teeroy. Looks like the smoker temps were ok, but I would have let the internal temp on the thickest part of the breast hit 165 degrees. When it does, pull it off the smoker, foil it, let it rest and the temps will still climb a bit further ensuring that the whole bird is at a safe eating temp. Other than that, I'd say the whole smoke looks pretty darn good. And the bacon dripping on the bird? I would not worry about that too much, as bacon makes everything taste great. LOL. But I would not any poulty juices dripping on other meats. Next time, maybe try putting a small tent of foil over the bird, to keep and drips off it. Don't enclose it foil, just like laying a layer of foil loosely over it, like an umbrella.
post #3 of 12

Oh, and one more thing. This is newbie mistake. I put the chicken on the bottom rack and the pork loin and ABT's on the upper racks both of which were wrapped in bacon. So, the bacon grease dripped all over the chicken.

I don't view this as a mistake at all. There are lots of folks, me included, who intentionally put something bacon wrapped above a bird. It makes an easy (and tasty) baste. Everything else looks good. Just make sure you always let the temps tell you when its done. Poultry needs to get to an internal temp of around 170 in the breast and meatiest part of the thigh.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK, thanks. For some reason I thought 160 was when I should pull it. I'll pull it at 165 next time and foil it for a good 1/2 hour rest or so.
post #5 of 12
In past chicken smokes I've had the breast hit 165 but when I cut into wing/thigh area, it does appear to have that pinkish color to it.

With your next chicken smoke try to probe the thigh/wing area before pulling the bird, even if the breast hits 165. That will give you an idea of how much temp fluctuation there might be between the two parts of meat.
post #6 of 12
Man that is one pretty chicken! I'm with the folks who like some bacon drippin' grease on the bird as it smokes, tho I can't do that on my offset SnP. Liked the melty cheese drippings too! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #7 of 12
I really think the bird came out alright even with the dripping marks that just a sign of goodness and flavorful bird. You always want the bird low and the other stuff on the top racks. Have you ever tried crab boil in your brine it adds alittle kick of cajun goodness to the mix not to much flavor but just a hint it knda makes you go hmmmm.
post #8 of 12
Not so, you should always put raw poultry on the bottom to avoid cross contamination...

It looks Great...PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #9 of 12
That's a big chicken. I usually cook the smaller ones over higher heat (spatchcocking).
post #10 of 12
I take my birds to 170° in the breast. Ya always wan't yer juices ta run cleare. Now, ya might find some pink er red around the joints, just means the bird was frozen once an won't hurt nothin long as the juices er clear.

I always keep poultry under beef er pork to avoid contamination, some say it ain't necessary, but I don't like the hospital that much so is better safe then sorry.

Nice lookin bird!PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #11 of 12
Like the rest said if ever in doubt just take the temp probe to that section of meat if it is under the safe zone you aren't done.
post #12 of 12
If you do that combo again, go ahead and bump up the heat......the loins can handle it. In fact, I think they do better at higher heat since the fat content is so low..........brine the loins also while you are at it.....that and higher heat and you won't need the bacon on there unless you just want it for the flavor.
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