Excessive time?

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social d

Original poster
Sep 11, 2016
Hey all. I have successfully smoked almost a dozen spatchcocked chickens, all of them hit 160 between 2-2.5 hours at 250 degrees.

Put one in for dinner at 4 o'clock and took until 9 pm to hit 160! 

Any ideas why this would be?

All the birds have been between 4-lbs and 5 lbs. The only difference with this one is it did not sit for an hour at room temp before going in. This came straight from the fridge. Would/could that double the smoking time??

Thank God I had a pork tenderloin marinating for tonight! Grilled in 25 minutes and was perfect!
Is your smoker insulated? Getting a draft? Outside air temps? What kind of smoker? You could perhaps double check your thermostat with a temp probe to se if it is regulating accurately. Getting your smoker up to temp and stabilized is important too.

FWIW I prefer a little higher cook temp than 250 for bird.
I never smoke poultry at that low a temp.  I'm usually 300F+.  Higher temps render the skin fat better and give crispy, bite through skin.

Short answer:  I suspect your probe hit a bone or the probe was very close to a bone (most likely) or the chicken was still partially frozen (possible, because it takes twice the time to cook completely frozen poultry compared to thawed poultry.  I've experienced this once, last year, when a turkey was still partially frozen when I put it on the smoker). 

The room temp thing is a myth.  You can test it yourself.

Long answer:  The counter time, especially for an hour, would cause a negligible rise in meat temp.  Conduct an experiment yourself: take the chicken's temp when you first take it out of the refrigerator.  You should see somewhere between 34 and 37F, depending on the temp setting of your refrigerator.  Let it sit for an hour, then check it again.  Best case you might see a 3 degree rise in temp, which is no where near room temperature, unless you're living in an igloo. 

This past weekend I smoked (or smoke roasted for the purists) a 16.3 lb turkey.  I took it out of the fridge and it sat on the counter for about 1 hr and 15 minutes while the smoker was finding thin blue smoke and I was prepping veggies and other meal food.  I had poured hot, melted butter all over it then seasoned it soon after taking it out of the fridge.  When I put it in the smoker and inserted a probe, the completely thawed turkey temp was 37F. 

A 16.3 lb turkey has more mass to hold onto temp than a 5 lb chicken, but trust me, the smaller bird won't see much of a rise.  It has to do with the physics of heat transfer.  A room temp of 75F just does not have enough of a heat differential to cause a significant rise in the temperature of a colder 5 lb mass in an hour.    
Is your smoker insulated? yes

Getting a draft? Not really, on a protected back porch. Smoke was vertical

Outside air temps? 75

What kind of smoker? Masterbuilt 30

I always let my smoker sit at the set temp for about 15-20 minutes before putting the meat in it.

Thanks for the response.
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