First cook on MES 30"

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by creolesmoker, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Just put a spatchcock 5 lb. chicken in my new MES 30. After reading a lot of reviews on wood preference and cook time, I felt confident on trying it out for dinner. I sprayed it down with PAM and generously sprinkled a spicy dry rub I concocted. I used peach wood since I don't hear too much about it on these threads. Sprayed with apple juice every hour at 275•

    After 2 hrs internal temp was at 170 so I removed and let rest for 20 min. The chicken came out moist and very good but not that much of a smoky taste. I can't complain on the outcome but I think next time I will try either a lower cook temp or different wood or mixing with stronger profile wood. Any suggestions anyone?
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Peach is one of the mildest woods you can use. So i would try something with a bit more oomph. I really like using cherry or a mix of cherry and pecan. Another favorite is Kiawe.

    I wouldn't lower the temp. Poultry is best smoked at a higher temp. Lower temps will leave you with a rubbery inedible skin.

    Another option would be to do a naked bird. Remove the skin and smoke the bird. The meat will absorb more of the smokey flavor.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
    creolesmoker likes this.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I like hickory & oak.

  4. @dirtsailor2003 my MES max is only 275°, is there any tricks to get skin crispy without over cooking the chicken? Or finish in over at higher temp?
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That is a common issue with the MES.

    Spatchcock the bird, it is the most even cooking method.

    There are several ways that you can help get the crispy skin. First make sure that the skin of the bird is extra dry. The best method is to air dry the bird uncovered in the fridge overnight. If you do not have time to air dry the bird overnight you can use a hair dryer on low heat right before putting the bird on the smoker. Dry skin is essential to getting crispy skin. Don't spritz or mop. NO need to put oil, butter, etc on the skin.

    You can crisp the skin in a high temp oven or grill if needed. I would pull the bird off the smoker when the IT hits 150°. Then finish under the broiler in the oven until the IT hits 165° (safe temp for poultry). Or place on a hot grill.
  6. I think your best bet is to finish on a grill or under the broiler if you are trying to get a crispier skin.  Maybe pull them 5-10 degrees before done if you're concerned about over-cooking.  I use blazing-hot direct heat to crisp up that skin.  I'll even throw smoked wings in the deep fryer for a bit to crisp them up.

    A lower temp might help with the amount of smoke it takes on just because it will take longer to cook to temperature.  Lower temperatures will make it even more necessary to try to crisp up the skin. 

    Another option I use with chicken sometimes is to put it on the smoker just a little bit frozen - maybe 50% thawed.  And the longer cook time gives me more time to add smoke.  I'm sure someone will explain to me how reckless that is and how it hastens my impending demise, but it works for me.
    creolesmoker likes this.
  7. This sounds perfect because I have been spritzing. It's funny how after the experts give advice it all makes sense. I guess keeping and it simple is the best way to do it. Thanks again.
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    KISS - Keep It Simple Smoker! One of the best methods to use!
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You got some good advice from a couple of Pros above, but 275° should be hot enough for Chicken. Works for me all the time.

    I like to smoke chicken at around 240°-250°. Then finish it off at the Max of 275° on my MES 40.


    Chicken Thighs (Hickory Smoked)

    Chicken Thighs (MES 40 Smoked)

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
    creolesmoker likes this.

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