Rough spell...

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by vetmp, May 19, 2013.

  1. Hey y'all,

    Got a technique question for ya but let me let you know what has been going on first. In the past few months I have cooked chicken twice. Once was a "Heavy Fowl" and the second (yesterday) was regular Perdue chickens. The Heavy Fowl gave me some trouble as the dark meat wasn't done after 4.5 hours and yesterday one of my regular yard birds had dark meat that wasn't done. Now, I am cooking them at 285-300 for 4 hours and am falling short. Is there something that I can do to the dark meat to help it cook better or am I at the mercy of brining and then injecting the white meat to compensate for the extra time for the dark meat? Yesterday was the first time that I spatchcocked my chickens and one of them turned out beautifully (Pics to follow in another post). What am I doing wrong and what do y'all have to recommend. Thanks everyone...[​IMG]
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What IT are you cooking too? Have you verified that you therms are accurate? At those temps (285-300) you should be done in about 2 hours tops. I regularly smoke spatchcock chicken and I run the smoker at 325* and typically the bird is done in 2 hours. The IT should be 165* measured in the thigh.
  3. I've been shooting for 165* in the thigh and the breast. My last venture, one was done and the one closest to the fire was not. I am only cooking at no more than 300 in a little LP Smoker (Until I get all big and growed up and can get a stick burner). Should I go up to 325-350* cooking temp and see what happens then? Also remember, I haven't been brining. Something that I am looking into but I don't have the fridge space for a bucket or two and would have to use ice....[​IMG]
  4. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    As dirtsailor said... Is your therm accurate. Are you cooking at the right temp. More than likely with a small lp cooker this is where your problem is. Buy a remote chepo therm, stick it through a potato and place it next to whats being cooked to verify chamber temp....

    Good luck
  5. Lookin at your photos I see this ain't your first rodeo.  I always spatchcock chicken and have not YET brined.  Just a thought: assuming your therm has not packed it in. If your vents are almost closed the heat in that small unit is collecting at the top and your burner is not running often with the birds acting as a heat sink. If the bottom bird is not done you would assume it is hotter in the top of your smoker.  You could open your vents more to great heat flow, of course that means burning more fuels.  Second try swapping the birds around after maybe half way through the smoke.  Have you tried just one bird and did that work out ok?  Just an idea to discuss.  Good Luck.  Keep Smokin!
  6. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree , this sounds like Temp. trouble . You shouldn't go by estimated time for cooking ( they are for planning time and not the actual cooking time), the temps. have to be there-i.e. 165*F in Breast and legs . As stated. you need a reliable Therm. and calibrate it every time.

    This sounds like a PITA but will help immensely .

    Also the scenario in which Kc5toy mentioned could be the trouble spot. I am a wood burner and only grill with Gas and cannot reliably say what a Gas (Propane) rig will do. However , if you are closing the vents, I see the build-up of heat in the top. Air must flow to get the heat more even for cooking.

    Suggestion; take a day and play with your Smoker. Learn how it draws air , where the hot spots are , how to contend with hot spots , what happens when Chunks are introduced and how the smoke looks . In other words , Practice ,practice , practice .  Once you find all the idiosyncrasies ,  you will be able to more confidently operate the Smoker with less stress and NO MICROWAVE [​IMG].

    Hope all goes well and as always ...


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