First Run! A Success! (with questions) LOL

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by knight, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. knight

    knight Newbie

    Hey guys,

     My son and I did our first cook tonight'

    Chicken breasts... Only took 1 hour..

     Only question is, shouldn't it have taken longer?  Or is this correct?

     I put some rub (see pics) on the chicken 2 hours before the cook, Jack Daniels wood chips soaked for 2 hours.

      Hit the breasts with a meat tenderizer but not real hard, just enough to flatten down a little and make 

    more uniform thickness.  Put them in the smoker and chips in the center tray with water in outside ring.

     Didn't watch it as close as I should but I did go out and check 3-4 times on temps.  Mostly stayed around 225-250 ish.

     Fourth time out and the thermometer was beeping indicating 165 degrees.  I checked a few more pieces for correct temperature and all were good!

    Would like some critique'

     I will say that this batch tastes 100% better than all the chicken we've been doing regularly on the grill and the reason why 

    I purchased a smoker in the first place..  Wife loved the taste!  LOL

     I realize I used a store bought rub and the thermometer and the smoker isn't the top of the line but it's a start right?

     I think I'm going to have fun here...  LOL


    gunkle likes this.
  2. Hello.  Glad the first one came out good.  I think it's a GREAT start.  You are hooked now!  BTW!  There is no 12 step program for this addiction!  [​IMG]   You are good with that 1 hour chicken breast.  I don't have your smoker but with that temp it usually takes "around" 1- 1-1/2 hr. to smoke a spatchcocked whole chicken.  The IT is what you want and you followed that.

    I don't want to start the age old battle;  [​IMG]   But I think you will like it even better if you do not soak your chips.  My thoughts are that the chips are only steaming in that time, trying to dry out.  If the producers think the chips should be soaked as they say on the bags; why don't they sell them wet?  Surly they could charge you for the water they add.

    Thin blue smoke ( TBS ):  That is what we all NEED for that long slow smoke.  Now chicken breast or spatchcocked chicken can be different.  It cooks so quickly that if you get some white smoke don't worry.  Something cooked that quickly can stand some white smoke.  Same as with a hot grilled steak when adding some wood chips.  If you are going over 1-1/2-2 hr. ( tops ) you need to stick to TBS.  If not the meat will have a nasty taste and you will develop creosote in your smoker that will ruin future smokes.

    GREAT first smoke.  Welcome to the fun.  UH!  Do you have room on the drive for that 15' custom built, trailer mounted reverse flow smoker that will be coming into your life?  You also need to start now on the "story" you are gonna give the wife explaining why you need to spend $2000 on that smoker.  [​IMG]   Keep Smokin!

  3. rmmurray

    rmmurray Master of the Pit

    Good looking breasts😉! McCormick does make a decent off the shelf rub. KC5TPY is right, don't soak the chips. Great job!
  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    That is just about right for breasts. Good job as they are so easily overcooked. I concur, no soaking of wood ever. Wet wood does not smoke. Now I have seen quite a bit of talk about these smokers and some easy mods you can do to make the smoke better and last longer. check out the search bar at the top of the page and type in your smoker name. You will get lots of good reading for what to do to get the most out of that smoker.
  5. gunkle

    gunkle Meat Mopper

    Awesome first smoke. Looks great.
  6. knight

    knight Newbie

    Hey, thanks guys!

    Thanks for the thumbs up!  

     Ha Ha 15' Trailer Smoker!  SOunds like me! My wife knows when I get into something I tend to go all out! LOL

      For the time being I think I have a lot to learn though!  For instance, you mention TBS/White smoke?

      How do you obtain TBS?  Timberjet mentions some mods for this specific smoker (Thanks Timber!) which I will def do but in the mean time

    what and how about TBS vs White?

      I hear you guys about NOT soaking.. Sounds logical to me that the chips will just steam off at first trying to dry before smoking.

    Thanks for that tip... No more soaking for me.  What about putting the chips inside of a foil ball with holes in it? Seams there wouldn't be much oxygen to support combustion and they wold smolder longer?   I don't know though.

    Murray thanks bud!

    Thanks Gunkle!

  7. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    TBS (or Thin Blue Smoke) is different to achieve based on the smoker. You will have to play with the quantity of chips you add and how often you add them to achieve a consistent level of smoldering chips so they put off a nice light amount of smoke. If you are going for a thicker white smoke then you would want to add more chips (If your unit has capacity in the chip tray). 

    I would suggest either investing in some digital thermometers or calibrating the analog ones. Analog thermometers are not that accurate so you could have been smoking at a higher temp then what you thought.

    Just keep trying different things and eventually you will get to know your smoker and have it cranking out great food.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
  8. knight

    knight Newbie

    Let me ask, do you put your food in the smoker and then fired it up or do you get everything hot first and then put your food in?
    I put the chicken in right away and then turned on gas.
  9. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Fire it up, get to your desired temp then place your meat in.
  10. knight

    knight Newbie

    Thanks Bruno'
  11. Good job, looks great,  also some good advice from Danny

  12. knight

    knight Newbie

     I've read about brining chicken and such but is that just for whole chickens/turkeys or do you guys

    ever brine just breasts too?

     Was wonerin' 
  13. Hello Knight.  The foil wrap idea is good, used by many; and your thoughts are correct.  The whole idea about smoking is oxygen control/air flow.  Control the air flow and you control temp AND the smoke produced.  Learn to control the temps and the smoke will pretty much take care of it's self so long as you don't just DUMP in a lot of chips.  TBS:  When you learn how your smoker runs and you start to dial it in you will see just a faint hint of blue smoke coming from the smoker.  Sometimes it is very hard to see.  Often I use my hand to "waft" some exhaust toward my nose to smell the smoke.  Often when you first add more chips you will see a white smoke coming from the smoker.  On a long smoke, so long as that clears in around 7-10 minutes you'll be fine.

    As stated above you will need to learn your smoker.  Each can be a little different.  Get a good dual probe digital therm and use it.  Have fun.  Keep Smokin!

  14. knight

    knight Newbie

    Thanks KC!

     Matter of fact I found myself looking very carefully for the smoke cause I could hardly see it

    BUT it sure was there! TBS!    LOL  

      Wife picked up some more chicken today!  Got to try a different Rub and different chips!  LOL

     I'll take pics!

  15. Hello Knight.  GO FOR IT!!  Mix and match and find what you and the family like.  When you find that, then you have found the "correct" way to smoke.  Here is a big tip:  Write down EVERYTHING!  Everything you can think of.  Outside temp.  Smoker temp.  Of course meat smoked.  Rub used.  How long it took.  Chips used.  Marinate.  ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING you can think of.  Create a smoking book.  That way you can recreate a successful smoke or start to "tweak" one that you thought could be better.  Have fun.  Keep Smokin!

  16. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    Don't underestimate McCormick. They didn't get to be a conglomerate because they produce bad seasonings.
  17. knight

    knight Newbie

    Thanks again KC..

     ALready wrote everything down!  :  )

     But what about soaking breasts in brine?  Do you guys do that or only full birds?

    Monkey, I will look into them!  Was reading some threads on purchasing or mixing your own! 

    I'll purchase for now and maybe refine one that I find and like..

     McCormicks site must be having problems right now, can't navigate to good over there,,

    Thanks guys!
  18. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    I like to brine poultry, even if it is just salt water; it seems to distribute the salt more evenly throughout the meat and I think the cooked meat retains more moisture, making it nice and juicy. You have to be careful not to over-salt it, maybe start with 1/2 cup salt to 1 gal. water overnight. If it turns out not salty enough, add more salt next time (that's why you keep notes). Rinse meat after brining. If you are going to use a rub on brined meat, make sure it doesn't contain salt or it will probably be too salty.
  19. Hello Knight.  SURE! you can brine chicken breast.  One chicken breast, one pork chop;several.  Whole turkey.  Whatever.  Just a matter of time.  A smaller piece of meat would take less time than a larger piece; obviously.  Be sure to do your reading; don't confuse brining for flavor and brining for curing.  I'm sure you knew that but "the food safety thing".  Good to see both generations getting involved.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  20. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I brine parts all the time,simple brine salt,brown sugar, bay leave. Did some on Tuesday camera MIA found after the smoke.


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