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First time smoker - Wish me luck!

pug mom

Newbie
6
10
Joined Jul 6, 2017
Hi there everyone! 

My husband and I gave each other our anniversary present of a Smokin Tex 1400 yesterday.  Oh, who am I kidding?  We got it for ME because I am the grill queen of my family. 

We seasoned the smoker last night after I got home from work (didn't get home 'til 9:30 which meant we were up 'til 2:00 to do the seasoning. . . . )Today I am going to smoke my first batch of chicken.  We got some BEAUTIFUL chicken leg quarters on sale and brined them for a few hours.  We are planning on putting a basic season salt rub on them and smoking them for about 2.5-3 hours at 225.  I've already got a dual probe temperature gauge ready to go so I can monitor the internal temperature of the box and the internal temperature of the birdies as they cook.  I am also going to be slashing up some potatoes, putting some olive oil and seasonings on them and tossing them in as well.  

Now some questions:  

Do you all recommend spraying down the of the chicken with Pam or olive oil before putting on the rub or just putting the rub on directly and letting them go?

Does the ARRANGEMENT of the racks in the smoker affect cooking time at all (like should the potatoes go higher than the chicken or should I put the biggest pieces of chicken closest to the smoker box) or does it not make a difference (meaning I should think of the smoker like an oven where the temperature in the compartment is pretty uniform?

When you make a MEAL, do you try to smoke as much of that meal as possible or do you do one or two things and then make the rest on the stove?  For instance, I was thinking of tossing some ears of corn in the smoker as well, but I wonder if I shouldn't so I can contrast the flavor of the smoked stuff with the stuff that ISN'T smoked.

Wish me luck everyone!  I am so looking forward to playing with my new 'toy'.
 

social d

Newbie
20
12
Joined Sep 11, 2016
Now some questions:  

Do you all recommend spraying down the of the chicken with Pam or olive oil before putting on the rub or just putting the rub on directly and letting them go?

 I spray my grates with Pam. I put just rub on after I pat the chicken dry, no oil.

Does the ARRANGEMENT of the racks in the smoker affect cooking time at all (like should the potatoes go higher than the chicken or should I put the biggest pieces of chicken closest to the smoker box) or does it not make a difference (meaning I should think of the smoker like an oven where the temperature in the compartment is pretty uniform?

You will have to experiment as most smokers can have temperature fluctuations inside of them. Heat does rise, and temp could be hotter towards the top.  I usually put meat lower than potatoes so they do not get dripped on.

When you make a MEAL, do you try to smoke as much of that meal as possible or do you do one or two things and then make the rest on the stove? For instance, I was thinking of tossing some ears of corn in the smoker as well, but I wonder if I shouldn't so I can contrast the flavor of the smoked stuff with the stuff that ISN'T smoked.

 I usually just do meat. You can overpower the flavor of meal by having too many item on your menu smoked.  

Good luck and let us know how it went!
 
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pug mom

Newbie
6
10
Joined Jul 6, 2017
Well, I am about an hour in to the smoke and I am a little worried. I just can't seem to get the temperature probes situated correctly. First, the one that is supposed to sit on the bracket near the thermostat just wouldn't stay. Then the one that is supposed to measure the internal temperature of of the chicken was placed incorrectly and so was pretty much reading the box temperature as well. I tried resituating it, but still no go. So, I have unplugged it. Most troublesome, the probe measuring the box temperature has not hit 200 degrees yet. I DO have TBS going, so I am just going to leave everything alone until the smoker has been going for two hours and forty five minutes.
 

griz400

Master of the Pit
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Joined Mar 27, 2016
I always rinse .. and pat chicken, then spray with olive oil, then some rub,spg and  ( usually mccormicks smokehouse maple) seems like the olive oil with help crisp up the skin ... if not, toss on a gas grill to finish it like 1 minute a side .... internal temp of 165 ..you could pull it at like 163 ish ... cover and it will get there in a few minutes ...note most of the time i spatchcock all birds anymore 

https://www.mccormick.com/grill-mat...blends/grill-mates-smokehouse-maple-seasoning

walmart = 2 bucks 
 
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pug mom

Newbie
6
10
Joined Jul 6, 2017
And the results - FANTASTIC!!!! Crispy skin, a WONDERFUL flavor and oh so tender! The leg quarters took about three hours at 225. I never DID get the temperature probe right. I guess it's too hard to properly insert a temperature probe into leg quarters. I am going to try using the probe when I go for a pork butt on Saturday.

Thanks for listening everyone!
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Glad to hear everything turned out so well!

Nicely done!

Al
 

sauced

Master of the Pit
1,794
167
Joined Aug 9, 2015
Glad your chicken was a winner! I never smoke other side dish items, too much smoke on the plate, takes away from the meat which is the featured item.
 

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