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Doing my first chicken

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ok gonna try my first chicken. I want crispier skin. I have seen people smoking them at 300-350 degrees for 2 hours give or take(till temp of chicken is 165-170....to get the skin crispy and ive also seen people doing the lower temp smokes in the 240-260 range for 3-4 hours...ive got my rub recipe ready...ive got the chicken....now im wondering 300+ or 250 degrees(im assuming for 300+ id leave the water out to get my heat up that high???) also what should I use wood wise..I have a bit of hickory, some  mesquite, apple and Cherry...I dont think I will beer can this first one as I dont have the stands and not sure if I could get them by the weekend..any other tips for me??


My last smoke with turkey breast and ribs came out great btw thanks for all the tips.

post #2 of 10

275 to 300 is best for a crispy and good looking chicken

  Apple and cherry are both good or mix them and on my MES and

WSM ,I leave the water pan out ,

 for some really good chicken ,get some rub under the skin

 and enjoy   

post #3 of 10

Now I'm with Dave on this one. I would also go with the higher temp in the smoker and then take the yardbird to 165°-170° in the thickest part of the breast. With the higher temps you will get crispier skin or if you want to smoke it at a lower temp 230°-250° or so you can always throw the bird on a scorching hot grill to crisp the skin too. But you can do so many things to the bird but the one thing you have to do is Q-view my boy q-view.

post #4 of 10

I'd stay away from too much hickory or mesquite... in my experience chicken is pretty good at picking up the smoke flavors, and those are stronger than the rest.  That being said, I love mesquite and wouldn't mind using it for a little while, or in a small amount. 


I've never used a beer can stand to do a drunken chicken.  it takes some patience but usually its not too hard to get them to to stand... just gotta work them legs!  The legs and can sort of make a tri-pod.


I do everything at 250, but then again we usually pull the skin off and pull the chicken for sammies.


Good luck, and lets see the view!

post #5 of 10

I use Mesquite on chicken being sure not to overdo it, but fruit woods (apple, cherry) are great, too.  I've never been able to get crispy skin in my MES, though -- maybe because I used the water pan, I'll try it without next time.

post #6 of 10

What worked for me was, except I didn't put any butter up under the skin on the breast.

This is from my Blog SQWIB'S RF Cooks in my signature.


I used Cherry wood.


Remember food safety especially with chicken, do not "cross contaminate" and keep a bleach based cleaner on hand to wipe everything down each step of the way.

When working with chicken get everything ready and mixed before ever handling the chicken.


Preheat RF to 350°.


Mix some sweet basil with butter to rub up underneath the skin in the breast area.


Prepare your beer can and pour out half the beer, take a can opener and remove the top of the beer can.


Remove chicken from refrigerator, remove the gizzard goodie bag, rinse chicken and set aside.


Add the giblets neck and liver from the bag and a teaspoon of rosemary to the beer can.

If you want to make gravy, you can add salt and other spices such as garlic and onion powder and when you remove the can from the chicken, place in a pot and dress up a bit, get creative here.


Some people do not like the taste of liver, so you may not want to add the liver to the beer can if making gravy.


I have noticed that spices such as Rosemary and Thyme added in the can really impart flavor into the chicken.


Place the Beer can on a cookie sheet. Rub chicken with olive oil and add your favorite rub or spices. Place chicken on the beer can.


Heat the RF up to about 350°, remove the “Beer Can Chickens” from the cookie sheet and place directly on the grates.


Cook about 80 minutes, I did 90 minutes last time and it came out pretty good. The chicken makes for an incredible chicken salad the next day.


The safe temp to cook a whole chicken is 180°; I don’t mind overcooking these guys because they still come out OK.


The safe temp to cook a whole chicken is 165°


FSIS recommends cooking whole chicken to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured using a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.


I humbly apologize for this error, I had my notes screwed up, I hope I didn't kill anybody's chickens.


Just make sure to get some butter up under the skin at the breast area, because the breast can dry out before the chicken is done.



Remove the chicken from the grill, place in a clean steamer pan and rest for about 15 minutes before carving.

If you are making gravy, do so while the chicken is resting.

Remove the skin and place on the still hot grates, if there's a hot spot on your smoker place the skin fat side down on the hot spot, carve the chicken and after the all the carving is done remove the skin from the smoker and cut into strips to serve alongside the meat.

Edited by SQWIB - 8/30/10 at 11:45am
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

lol id have to go buy beer just to make the chicken like that :) I dont own(nor drink) cheap canned beer..all I got is bottled beer that was like $10 a six pack so I dont think that would work lol...but I will use the higher temps ive decided wife said she wanted crispy skin so I said "ok" lol.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Oh and im assuming with my meat thermometer 167-170 should be a ok internal temp??? I did the turkey till 167 took it off foiled it and put it in the oven under a low temp to keep while I finished off the ribs(didnt realize on my first smoke that there would be a big difference in the finish times of the ribs VS the Turkey breast lol)

post #9 of 10

Whole chickens are recommended to be at 180 degrees.


I apologise, got my notes messed up it is 165 degrees.


FSIS recommends cooking whole chicken to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured using a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.




I dont know how the heck I let this happen, Sorry


You do not need a beer can only a can, hell you could use a cranberry sauce can and mix some spices in that with water

Edited by SQWIB - 8/30/10 at 11:40am
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Its ok...I let it get to 170 just to be sure and it was still VERY juicy. took about 1 hour 50 min or so....skin was not too bad could have been crispier but the run/taste was excellent...then had it for leftovers yesterday..biscuits and chicken W/Gravy...very good!

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