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Chicken is too smokey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by didiscd, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. didiscd

    didiscd Newbie

    I was just reading Jeff's recipe for beer can chicken which sounds delicious. However, when I have cooked beer can chicken or chicken wings they taste so smokey that is ruins the poultry. I am using pecan wood at 225 in a side smoker called the Old Country BBQ Pits Pecos Coal Smoker. (I know side smokers aren't the best but I am stuck with this one for a while).

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. I leave it fully vented so the smoke isn't trapped in there and wait until some smoke burns off the initial log before putting the chicken on. I even tried wrapping the beer can chicken in a cape of tin foil after an hour.


  2. Can you try a bed of charcoal then add a little wood just for some smoke flavor?

    I got the same result last year when I did it over Hickory chunk... it was just to heavy on the smoke flavor side, really killed all other taste..
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Like PigBark said get your heat from another source like Lump Charcoal and just add chunks of wood for flavor. Another option is to use Fruit Wood. Apple, Cherry and Peach are mild. So is Oak and Maple...JJ
  4. If its too smokey try reading the part of Jeff's book on the minion method ...it really works..instead of using chunks of wood just use chips...for my offset smoker I took a short fat pot(or use any charcoal basket that will fit...start my coals in my chimney then in pot or basket take a piece of 4" stove pipe or coffee can put that in center of pot or basket and fill around pipe or can with layer of charcoal...then layer of chips or cgunks then another layer of charcoal and one more layer of chips or chunks....then pour hot coals in pipe or can and witg gloves pull can out of pot...so the hot coals are in center and it burns from inside out....works great...*when filling around center pipe or coffee can dont pack it full cuz can or pipe wont pull out easy..also in that pot i used drill lots of holes
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  5. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    I'm really surprised to hear that it's too smokey, I use the Old Country Wranger and I find that most of the time the stuff I cook isn't smokey enough for me. You could always bump up the heat so it cooks quicker and isn't in the smoke as long. Also make sure you are burning a clean fire with thin blue smoke the whole time.
  6. gringodave

    gringodave Fire Starter

    I agree with the others who suggest that you use charcoal as your heat source and just add some wood chunks as you go. Poultry loves smoke and will absorb as much as you give it. What I do is add the wood/smoke just at the beginning and let the charcoal do the rest. Good luck!
  7. dan - firecraft

    dan - firecraft Smoke Blower

    You can try cooking at a higher smoker temperature. I usually run my pit at 250 until the chicken gets to a certain temp. Then i increase the temp to around 325-350 to crisp the skin a bit. Higher temperature will burn a bit cleaner and you won't have the chicken on as long. Chicken absorbs smoke pretty easy so you will still have a nice smokey flavor. I also burn lighter woods like cherry when I do chicken.
  8. didiscd

    didiscd Newbie

    I could. I start now with a cylinder of charcoal then drop a log of pecan onto it. Part of me wants to stick with smoking vice charcoal only because I bought a smoker (vice a charcoal pit) for that purpose, but there is also a reality that I need the food to taste good when all the prep goes into it, so maybe I will try just charcoal with small pieces of wood. Do I put the charcoal in the side box or in the pit itself and use it as a charcoaler? thanks Chris
  9. ted campbell

    ted campbell Newbie

    I agree with PigBark.  I would use a good lump charcoal like Royal Oak or even Cowboy and then add only a chunk or two of hickory or whatever wood you choose.  Remember you don't need much smoke at all coming out of the smoker to get the best smoky flavor.
  10. didiscd

    didiscd Newbie

    Thanks JJ. I will try some fruit wood.
  11. didiscd

    didiscd Newbie

    Sounds great Smoke. I just ordered the book and will give that method a try.
  12. didiscd

    didiscd Newbie

    Thanks. I burn blue smoke off the first log but I usually put a second one on and for a while it burns white smoke before it burns down.
  13. didiscd

    didiscd Newbie

    Great idea, thanks!
  14. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    Also if you keep your next log on top of the firebox to heat up, it will ignite faster and you will have less white smoke. It just takes practice to get a good clean fire. There isn't much benefit to smoking chicken at a lower temp, plus a higer temp yields crispy skin.
    didiscd likes this.
  15. You can use the side firebox. Cut your pecan into fist size or slightly smaller chunks. Mix in well with lump charcoal using the minion method. I do this all the time and have never had a problem with too much smoke from seasoned pecan.
  16. cappyr

    cappyr Meat Mopper

    A lil smoke goes a long way with chicken.  When I do drunk chicken I use natural lump charcoal alone.  gives plenty smoke.  If ya doing it over direct heat its a good trick to put chicken standing in a pie pan that helps roll the heat around.  Ya can poor beer in the pan too for extra flavor.
    didiscd likes this.
  17. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can go either way. If doing a full smoker use the SFB if you are only cooking enough to fill half the grate, you can build a fire on one side and cook the chicken on the other. Below is a recipe I came up with just for this indirect method of cooking...JJ

    didiscd likes this.

  18. in this pic, that smoker is not cooking .. I am just getting it fired up, when its warmed up and ready there is only heat and a few streaks of smoke coming out.. Mostly  clear heat..

    I have a small pan and add wood to it and cover it with foil and poke a few small holes in for smoke to escape, set it on top of the hot coals and let r cook...

    Chef JJ that recipe sounds pretty good.. Does it have a strong Vinegar taste or is it on the mild side?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
    didiscd likes this.
  19. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No strong vinegar taste just a bit of tang. It really is one of my best Chicken recipes. There was an old black guy that set up a corrugated steel pit in the parking lot of a beer distributor. Metal milk crates made the base  and held a bag of lit Charcoal Briquettes with the corrugated just wired together to form a box and a sheet of expanded metal for a cooking grate. He put the chicken halves on and just kept turning them and drenching the birds with a Vinegar based sauce out of a gallon jug with some holes drilled in the cap. Was the best chicken I had ever eaten. I ate it so often that we got friendly. He talked a little bit about what was in the bottle but was not giving up the full recipe. I would talk him into some extra sauce on the side for dipping. I messed around with trying to reverse engineer that stuff for a couple years. The recipe above is very close and just as good...JJ
  20. As long as its a tangy flavor I will love it- some recipes the vinegar is way to strong for me and reminds me of Carolina style Q.. im not a big fan of it lol...

    ill give that a shot here soon...