Newbie Smoked Christmas Chicken with Q-View

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Aug 28, 2011
Osaka, Japan
So here in Japan, the traditional Christmas dinner is fried chicken thanks to a KFC ad campaign a few decades ago (Really.  Look it up if you don't believe me).  I decided to smoke a chicken instead, using my modded ECB in only it's third run (smoked a chicken back in November, did a small Thanksgiving turkey, and now this). 

After defrosting it, I left it uncovered in the fridge for a day or so, and then injected it with Tony Chachere's Cajun injection.  I chose this because A) I bought it because it came with an injector, and B) I still don't really know anything about injection marinade.  Rubbed the chicken with EVOO and The Meat Guy's Almighty Spice, which is a combination of the lighter herbs (rosemary, sage, stuff like that) that goes well with pork and poultry.  Then I chopped up half an onion and put it in the cavity, not to eat as stuffing, but to help flavor things.  Don't know if that helped or not, but hey, it's an onion, can't hurt.

Put it in the smoker with a couple of blocks of Smoke Wood tucked underneath in burned clean tall cans.  Of course, I lost the label for the Smoke Wood, so I have no idea what flavor I was using, and I haven't done this enough to know by taste.  Maybe cherry.  I'm new at the game.

I modded my ECB as soon as I got it, legs on the outside, holes in the bottom of the firepan, homemade sheet stainless slider vent.  Since it's chicken, I left everything wide open.  It cooks in the oven at 350, as long as I don't go over that, I figure I'm good.  This being my third time cooking with charcoal, I don't have a great feel for temperature control, so I just tried to keep the grill temp between 250 and 350.  On a slightly windy day with an outside temperature of 46, the ECB decided that we were cooking around 280 today, which seemed OK to me, so I just chucked in more charcoal every time the temp did its nosedive, and everything seemed to work out after about two hours or so (cooking to temp with a Maverick digital thermometer):

I cooked it right to 165.  It looks a little pink in the middle but it tasted OK.  I think next time I may go a few degrees higher, it's hard to find the right spot to hit with the probe on such a small chunk of meat.  Tasted great, my wife was quite happy, and today the carcass is going into the pressure cooker to make stock.

Thanks for looking!


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Sep 30, 2010
Central Florida
Looks great..... Yes a little pink, but that is where practice and time will fix it.

I love the subliminal messages from your plate: mouthwatering , crunchy, sweet...........

As for injections. I have seen all kinds of marinades used. I have done ones with butter, no butter, EVOO, peanut oil, etc...... They all work and have upsides and down sides. The part I try to remember is to make the marinade a good infusion of the flavors I want to use. I will make it days in advance to allow the flavors to marry and build. I will then strain all of the solids out before injecting. Obvious reason is so it will not clog the needle, the other is if not you will find pockets of the marinade solids in the meat after cooking.


Nov 8, 2012
Vail, AZ
Looks really good 
and I do understand the concern about how it is pink on the inside. The best and only way, in my opinion, to check to see if a chicken is done is to use a thermometer where the thigh/drumstick come together on the inside near the breast. This part of the bird takes the longest to cook so if you temp it at 165 the breast might be higher, but still should be juicy. I've attached a picture from the FDA to better describe where it should be temp'd!

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