First whole yardbird

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Original poster
Jan 7, 2007
I have about a 4.5lb bird thawing on the counter right now. I intend to smoke after brining it overnight and rubbing it. This will be my first bird ever. I will use one of the brine recipes from this site.

Does anybody have a good bird rub recipe or is there a store bought one that's worth buying?

Also, can anyone tell me how to estimate the cook time?

Once, brined and rubbed I assume that I just throw her in the smoker and cook at 225 until the bird hits 165, right?

Someboy help a brother out. I am the household's hero after last week's pulled pork. I've got a reputation to worry about now.
Hey, Dan!

My first suggestion would be to thaw your chicken differently. Meats, and most especially poultry, should be thawed slowly in the refrigerator. Counter top thawing allows for the bird to thaw from the outside to the inside and the outer bird can develop all sorts of nasty bacteria when it reaches room remp, even if it is wrapped well and the innner part is still frozen.

Also, do not use a microwave to thaw because it will cook some of the bird.

To thaw more rapidly than the refrigerator can and only if the bird is tightly wrapped in plastic, you can immerse it in cold water. Also, although I do not recommend it, put your well wrapped bird in a doubled paper bag and tightly seal it and leave that in a cool room, say a breezeway or even the garage. This will trap cooler temps from the inner bird and keep the outer bird somewhat safer.

As for a rub, investigate a whole bunch of possibilities in the Rubs section on the forum. Just pick one you like.

In my GOSM a 4.5 lb bird has taken anywhere from 2 to 3 hours. Rely on your thermometer. A lot depends on what else goes into the smoker and how often you peek.

When your bird is almost done you may want to crank up the temp to 300 or a bit better to crisp the skin.

Good luck with your bird!
Thanks Steve,

I put the bird in the fridge. It doesn't need smoked until tuesday so there is plenty of time to thaw and brine first.

I just put a 4.5lb boston butt on. I'm smoking it with pecan until I run out. I'll switch over to hickory to finish it if I need to. I will try out SoFlaQer's finishing sauce on it. I hear that it is fantastic. I also have Allman Brothers music playing to provide the proper mojo.

Between the Allmans, pulled pork sandwiches, and playoff football it is shaping up to be a pretty good day. Heck, both kids even sleapt late this morning!

Thanks again for the tips.
There are 2 recipes on that thread. There were a few people saying that they'd run a comparison, but nobody posted results. I am about to go to the grocery store. Does anyone have some comparison results to share?
I have now soaked my bird for 12 hours in a brine made of water, kosher salt, garlic and onion powders, black pepper, sugar, fresh thyme, and soy. I removed the bird from the brine, rinsed it off, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge.

I have a bunch of hickory chunks in the garage, but I have been using a lot of hickory lately. I have some apple chips. If the wood that I ordered last week doesn't arrive today I may choose to use the apple. I haven't ever used chips in my smoker yet, but I figure it'll be alright.
I agree, go with the apple and maybe just a little of the hickory mixed in....Birds don't do well with a strong wood like hickory or mesquite

Good Luck!
I haven't soaked the chips. I have seen wet wood soot on the food before. I heard that the chips will last longer if they are wrapped in foil with holes in it. Has anyone around here ever tried this before?
Sure , wrap em up , I prefer chunks myself, they last longer, but use what ya got!
I agree. I like to use chuncks myself. Oh well, since the only chunk that I have is hickory and I don't feel like using it on the bird and I haven't seen the UPS guy yet, it's starting to look alot like I'm going with the foil wrapped apple chips. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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