Another Big Day Tomorrow

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
Apr 17, 2006
Greenwood, MO
Just finished washing, cleaning, and splitting 8 chickens in half. I'm going to brine them overnight and get them on about noon tomorrow for dinner around 5 or 6 pm. MmmMmmm, chicken leftovers. We wrap these up in foil and freeze them then reheat foiled in the oven. Almost as good the second time around.

I'd never brined this much at once before, me almost runneth over the cooler. :oops:
I'm on it GoFish. There will be pics, but they will be later. These were brined overnight and I am smoking today.
I just finished butchering 106 chickens. We'll smoke about 20 them next Saturday.

I haven't been here in while. My computer took a nap for a few weeks. The guy that fixed it found over 200 viruses, worms and Trojan horses. I guess I'll have to keep my virus software updated better.
Glad your back GS! I just wish I had known you had butchered all those chickens. I could have saved some money and talked ya outta some of them.
Here are the chickens loaded up and ready to smoke. I wish I could do 20 or more at once. These are all right 4lbs. and split. Eight is pretty well all that is going in there at once. When I get around to getting the extra shelf ordered I can do ten. Oh well, I guess I get to smoke more often this way. :P

Chickens at 5 pm. They've been in about 2 1/2 - 3 hrs. here.

I prolly got another hour to hour and a half left. Hopefully timed out about right, the boss said 6:30. As usual I just said OK. :shock:
Good looking yard birds there ultramag. you have been smoking this weekend. I'm jealous, smoked my first turkey yesterday, today, nothing.
Have never split my birds. Do they smoke faster, better that way?
Hope they worked out okay. I like smoked chicken but have never liked to cook it myself. Other than the brine, did you do anything else to prep them?
Yup, been a great weekend, I'm usually working right now. I'd drive ya'll nuts if I was off weekends all the time with the humans. :cry:

As far as splitting them, I think they smoke a little faster. Probably take about 3/4 the time as one left whole maybe a bit longer. It's not a huge difference and not why I do it.

As far as better, I changed up a couple other things the first time I split chickens so.....well let's just say I would hate to start a chicken feud and say it is the best way, but I used to smoke chicken because my Mom and Wife liked it. Now I like it as well. It ain't brisket, but these chickens like this are great. I had never brined these before and I only hope it makes them better yet. My only brining experience has been on bone in thighs and breasts grilled. I thought it really wasn't necessary, but broke with my hard headed ways and tried it. If it makes my chicken halves more moist I may drown at dinner. :P

Anybody wanna buy a drunken chicken holder???
I used to not care to cook it much either Ice, but I really enjoy it now. I usually marinate the halves in Italian Dressing then coat all over with rub. If I didn't get it marinated I would at least use Italian Dressing for a binder and just rub it all over the halves and apply the rub.

This time I just rinsed off the brine, patted them dry, and shook on the rub. I didn't want the Italian flavor mingling with the brine, I just wanted to see what the brining alone would do.
To Brine or Not to Brine........ What was the question? Got a couple well used yard bird holders, even got a turkey cannon(still brand new), but you can't beat those birds. Never used that italian dressing, never brined, just injected, rubbed and in the smoker. What brine did ya use? Ya split the birds. Gonna have to try that. Anyway ultramag, think ya had a "smokin day". Bacon...yard birds...yep smokin day.
I say the only way to do poultry is to brine. Especially with some kind of fruit juice. I have also omitted the sugar and used a 2 liter bottle of 7-Up or Sprite. A friend of mine swears by Mountain Dew. But that's what I love about brine. As long as you get the salt in there, everything else is fair game.
7-up or Sprite. I never would have thought that. Gunny, where does the salt come in ? Add it to the 7-up or Sprite? What amount?
Come and get it:

I am willing to send the leftovers anywhere in the continental U.S. Shipping is on me, I mean it is Christmas:

Any takers? :twisted:
Well, I guess I'm gonna be against the grain. While I will try it again with some different brine ideas (Mountain Dew sounds interesting) I don't see this as a must do at all. If it was more moist, it wasn't a bunch. Not enough to really be worth the money and time it took to brine. The halves where wanting to fall apart a little more than usual when I tried to get them up off the grate and move them around to package and freeze. However, they also didn't seem that much more tender eating. Don't take this wrong.They were very,very good just not leaps and bounds better than my standard easier method. Maybe as GoFish brings up in the second post for some reason a big batch doesn't take the brine as well. Maybe brining is hyped so much I was just expecting more.

Cajun_1, what GS is talking about is 1 C. kosher salt to 1 gallon water ratio to start a brine. Kinda of a base if you will. I can tell you everything that was in the brine, but I don't have a "recipe".

The aformentioned "base"

Orange Juice

Brown sugar

Worchestershire sauce

Old Bay Seasoning


Course Grind Black Pepper

I think that's it. They are in approximate order of most to least. I palm measure and eyeball brine with the exception of water and salt.

Please do GoFish, I will be very interested to hear your results. It does make sense I guess that you could have too high of a meat to brine ratio. I sure didn't think of that when I made the big batch. My wifes half was much better in the breast than mine was. All the rest of the meat was moist and tender in both halves. My brine situation also sounds similiar to what you describe. I had 3 to 3 1/2 gallons brine for the chickens. (depending on exact water amount of ice melt) They were always submerged, not by alot but submerged.

Well, Saturday or Sunday next weekend is 2 briskets and 2 butts so you'll do it again before me so please let us know. Inquiring minds want to know. ;)
I know it makes a difference in brining salmon if its a large or small batch.I use an old cooler and if I am brining 1 smoker load I have a mark for one mixture and a different mark for 2 loads.I kinda forgot that with the larger amount of birds I brined this last weekend and I think I should have had more brine.
ultramag, just got back from Dutch's part of Utah yesterday, my how you have been busy...should have had you send me a platefull :lol: while I was there.
BTW: Thanks for the nomination.
Great info GoFish. I guess we've learned a lesson. Now I'll have to try one or two birds split to be sure I want to switch to brining them all. Then I'll have to push it and figure out just how many I can do at a time.

Thanks for posting the update Randy. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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