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BBQ Chicken - First Smoke!


Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 18, 2016
My first smoker came in the mail (thanks Amazon) on Friday, and was able to take christen it yesterday.  Based on a lot of research here at SMF I was able to read that WSMs tend to run hot at first and that chicken is a forgiving bird for novice smokers, I decided to go with a BBQ rub on chicken for the first smoke.  

The rub is dark brown sugar, kosher salt, ground coffee beans, ground black pepper, garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne pepper.  I used a couple chunks each of hickory and apple for the smoke wood.

For the charcoal I was not sure how much was required, so I guessed and used half a chimney of lit coals and half unlit in the smoker.  After looking at the smoker this morning, there is still a fair amount of unspent fuel.  It is a pleasant surprise to see how efficient the smoker runs, even brand new.

The birds went on at 1:20pm when the cook temp (probe suspended below top cooking grate) was at 265.  Temp dropped to a low of 187 but after five minutes began to climb.  I was able to keep the temp between 225 and 240 without too much effort spent adjusting the vents.    

After three hours on the smoker I put the second thermometer probe into the thigh of the bigger bird.  It hit IT of 165 at 5:20pm, exactly four hours after it went on.  Interestingly, the smaller bird was only 163 at this time, but came up to 165 within 10 minutes.  

For a first smoke I am very happy with the results, and it did taste as good as it looked.  Most importantly, my wife dubbed the chicken as "restaurant quality", so that'll justify plenty more long afternoons in the future relaxing by the smoker with a few cold ones.

Before and after pictures below.  

Birds rubbed and ready to go on:

Unlit coals with smoke wood:

Birds with IT at 165, ready to come off:

Resting for 10 minutes (seemed a lot longer!):



SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Great job for your first run with a new smoker!




Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 17, 2016
Nice job on the birdies and congrats on the new smoker.

POINT for firsts

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