Beer Butt Chicken Questions

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Original poster
Apr 28, 2010
Charlotte, NC
Hi all, plan on smoking a few small chickens this weekend with family in town.   I've read several threads on the beer butt chicken, some say to brine them, some say they are still moist without brining and some say cook low and some say over 300.  This is what I had in mind:  throw a few pads of butter under the skin, stick an onion in the neck and a half full beer can in each chicken (2).  Toss a light coating of rub on the outside and let em rip with some cherry or pecan?  Will this work and keep the meat nice and moist?  I'll be doing this in an MES 40, can I max it out and be okay or should I do a lower temp?  Cherry & Pecan ok, or would another wood be better?  This will be the only two things in the smoker, which rack would be the best?  I was thinking the 2nd rack above the water pan.  Any help is appreciated.
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Now I havew smoked my fair share of yard birds and they have always came out moist and yummO. I have brined them and I have not brined them. If you deside to brine the bird then you can add your spices into the brine and it will get into the bird pretty darn well too. I have also just smoked them out of the frig with nothing but smoke on them and they have came out killer that way to. Basiclly I guess you can do just about anything to your brids and they will come out good. I do however run my smoker alittle hopttetr then normal maybe 275°-300° or so and then they take about 2 hours or there abouts. So good luck and don't forget the Q-view.
Yep mballi gave ya some good advice A little higher temps and to brine or not is really up to you,if you never have before i say give it a try.Either way brine no brine it should turn out great!! Good luck and bring on the pics!!!
I agree with what has been posted so far.  The low-and-slow method is to break down the tougher meats.  Chicken is not a tougher meat, thus you can hotter with your cooking temps.  The added benefit is it gets the skin nice and crispy.

Brine or not brine is purely an option.  I tend to not brine when I am doing beer-can chicken.  I only brine when I am not.
I picked up a trick from Bbally that is awsome for poultry. When you remove the giblets before you season, pierce the membranes inside the bird so the seasoning can penetrate the meat from the inside as well. Personally I ALWAYS brine chicken no matter if its pieces or whole. Also try adding some of your rub into the beer can. I use lemon pepper, minced garlic etc.. As far as the low and slow I'm from the high heat school for chicken. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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