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Newbie Beer Butt Chicken Question

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
New to the forum and new to smoking. My family gave me an early Christmas present, a Traeger Texas! Gonna try a couple of beer butt chickens but have never done it, or used a Traeger. So, I have some basic questions.

What temp should I set the Traeger? I have the upgrade thermostat, and the ambient air temp should be around 35-40.
How long should it take to smoke them?
What is the target temp for my meat thermometer in the breast?

Many Thanks
post #2 of 8
Welcome to the forum! Try and get your Traeger stabilized at 250° and leave your bird(s) on until they reach an internal temperature of 165° or so. Cover them and allow them to rest a bit and as they sit the temp will continue to rise a bit and get close to 170° which is just about right! As for time, that all depends on the size of the bird and how many times you peek! icon_wink.gif Set aside up to four hours or so.
post #3 of 8
Remember at those temps the skin will be rubbery and best not to eat. If your smoker can get to the 325º area, you'll see the skin crisp up nicely. You could always roll it around on a hot grill for a bit too.
post #4 of 8
I like to pull my chicken at about 160 and throw it on the grill for a few minutes to crisp the skin - that will take it to about 165 or so - any further and it starts drying out for my taste. Dont really care about the color of the meat - key is are the juices running clear
Lots of folks are gonna disagree with me on the temp thing. It is just a personal preference and again my key is the juice color must be clear if you use this method
post #5 of 8
I run my smoker at about 300 to get a crisp skin. I take the breast to 165ish then pull.
post #6 of 8
Remember - the chicken thigh temp should hit 170° (breast then, in turn - will be around 160 - 165.)

I always go with the temp. probe deep in the middle of the breast, because it's easy to place there, and you are less likely to accidentally hit a bone, which throws off the reading.

So when the breast hits 160, take the temp in the thigh and it should be 170...if it's not - let it go another 5 min. and check it again.

Then you know you are safe...

Also regarding skin. You can crank the smoker up to 325° and MAYBE end up with crisp skin, but the other factor is moisture. If you have the fridge space, after you rub the chicken, or inject...and for sure if you brine - let the chicken sit in the fridge on a rack over a cookie sheet - and let it drain.

A lot of moisture will drain out, and that will help you get crisper skin.

This is just MY opinion, but I've tried a lot of ways to get that crisp, 325° dry, oven-heat kind of roasted skin...but it's never the same on my smoker.

To me, the chicken tastes so much better smoked, I don't care about the skin - I just remove it. The bottom line is, you can get all kinds of complicated trying to smoke a bird and still end up with crisp skin...but it always involves a LOT of extra screwing around...in my opinion - or I should say, based on my experiences trying.

I remove and discard the skin before serving...if I want crisp skin - I'll fry the chicken!

When I want awesome, smokey taste and don't mind not having the skin -I smoke it PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif

Just my way - not necessarily the right way, that's whatever you decide! Let us know how it turns out...
post #7 of 8
I agree with Bman 101%. He covered it all and did a nice job too. points.gif
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great replies. I will let you know how it turns out. Maybe get a picture or two to post.

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