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Original poster
Dec 20, 2013
Decatur, Ga
My wife asked me if I would smoke something this weekend, and how could I say no.  Who on this site could for that matter?  I asked her what she wanted and she gave me options...chicken or pork.  With that being said, I need to make a few decisions.  I have done ribs a couple of times, as well as butts, but nothing else.  So I want to stay away from those, which still leaves plenty of options.  Here are my circumstances...

- Chicken or Pork?

- Cut? (Pork - Loin, chops, other? / Chicken - Wings, breasts, whole chicken?)

- Limited skills, will only be my 5th attempt at smoking, so I need something relatively easy-ish.

- Time is not of the essence.  I will only have about 6 hours MAX to smoke, so it needs to be done on or before that time frame.

- Overall, just want a very flavorful smoked meal, that my wife will love.

Thanks for the help,

I have considered doing a beer can chicken.  Any more info on what you did?  Did you use a rub, or just smoke it?  I purchased Jeff's rub and it is amazing.  That should turn out pretty well on this.  How long did you smoke for and what type of wood chips?  Thanks.
id use jeffs rub on it, id rub it the day before and let it rest in the fridge overnight. i smoked it for about 4 hours and i used hickory wood for my smoke turned out excellent. the wife wants me to do it again.
Thanks for the help.  Anyone have any links/suggestions for a brine and is there a cook time per lb deal on these?  Also what temp to set my electric smoker to?  I have read articles about smoking for a while, then moving to a preheated grill or oven?  What about wrapping in foil after removing from smoker?
for a basic brine.. just remember ... 1 ..... 1 gal. water- 1 cup of kosher salt - 1 cup of sugar... both dissolved well... (water clear)

then you just add other spices you would like pulled into the meat... (ie; fresh garlic. oniions) ... brine over night (12 hrs)... rinse well after brine...

a few pointers when brining... "DO NOT" dump used brine down kitchen sink... If you have a utility tub, do all your rinsing and dumping of the brine in it ... I found out the hard way and had to replace the strainers and some piping in the kitchen sink... salt made them rust ....

Before brining I will separate the skin from the breast and thighs by working my fingers under the skin from the neck down.... eventually getting a finger or two to go around thighs and legs .... make sure to rinse under the skin as well after brining....

when I put rub on I hold the skin out at the neck and let wife sprinkle rub down onto the breast meat and try to get it down in around the thighs as well .... If the skin tears just stitch it back together with tooth picks when done.... then put rub on skin too ..... a second coat when putting on smoker ....

hope that helps some ....

(edited) ... if no utility sink , dump the brine down the toilet
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If you like Chx dark meat, i'd go with leg quarters. Relatively inexpensive and I've never had a fail with them. A little EVOO & Jeff's rub on and under the skin the night before and the wrap and into the fridge. At a smoker temp of 230 to 240 it should only take a few hours to get the internal temp up to 165. Wood is a pretty individual thing but I think oak taste really great with that sweet, juicy dark meat.
I have also considered just keeping it simple with the brine.  Over the years I used an italian dressing to soak the chicken in, and it always turned out great.  Thought I could go with that idea and use that for the beer can chicken.  Any thoughts on that?  Also, do I just rinse the chicken before I brine, or do I rinse after as well?
A "weak brine" which is generally considered to be one with up to a cup of salt per gallon of water and the proper balance of sugar does not need a rinse. It should be just about right. I only cook splits and this is my favorite brine.

Bigwheel's Grand Prize Winning Chicken Brine (Rev 1/12/07)

1 cup pickling/canning salt
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup Brer Rabbit Mild Flavored Mollases
1/2 cup Kikomann Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Lea n Perrins Wooster sauce
2 T. black pepper
2 T. bbq rub* (make sure the rub aint got any meat tenderizers in it or it
will cause the skin to bust. If it mention Papain dont use it)
2 T. Granulated Garlic
2 T. Dried chopped onion

2 T. Liquid Crab boil (I like Tex-Joy but Zatarains will work also)
2 T. Dry mustard
1 Bay leaf
1/2 t. Mixed Eyetalian spices (oregeno, basil, tarragon, etc).

Mix it up in a gallon glass jug and fill with hot tap water. Screw on the lid and shake it up good. Let it set at room temp for a few days if you have time giving it a shake occasionally. Get it ice cold before using. Makes enough brine for two chickens or one turkey. Need to be in there 12 hrs and kept cold the whole time. I brine in double trash bags either in the fridge or ice chest.

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I would consider my basic Italian dressing "brine" as weak, so do I still need to rinse afterwards? Also, I know with pork butts I add mustard to help the rub stick to the meat. Do I need to use anything like that to help the rib stay on the chicken? Also, just to make sure, I only use a half full can of beer?
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Never heard of mustard on chicken..but am a bag fan of the stuff of brisket..butt and ribs. The Eyetalian brine should not need rinsing if it dont exceed 1 cup salt per gallon of water with an equal amount of sweet to offset the in matching the salt with a cup of sugar. Not sure where the beer comes into the pic..but me and beer can chicken do not play well together. I cook splits. In fact being around folks who cook beer can chicken drives me
I would consider my basic Italian dressing "brine" as weak, so do I still need to rinse afterwards? Also, I know with pork butts I add mustard to help the rub stick to the meat. Do I need to use anything like that to help the rib stay on the chicken? Also, just to make sure, I only use a half full can of beer?

Yes, half can of beer with the top cut out of the can... put a couple tbls of rub in the beer as well... can also put fresh herbs and spices in the beer as well .... I have seen people take quarter pieces of onion and stuff in the neck after it's sitting on the can... helps hold steam inside the chicken as well as give it flavor .... is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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