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Quartered Yard Birds in my Gourmet: Method, Recipe & Q-view

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by forluvofsmoke, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Day 2 of my 2-day smokefest...

    I had these 4lb birds finishing their thaw in my fridge for 2 days after a 6-hr cold water bath to start the thaw. My Gourmet lower grate support mods were done just for quartered birds the first time around, and round 2 should prove just as successful as the first, only with the colder weather I need to monitor the water level in the pan very closely so as to be able to attain the chamber temps I want.

    I've found that keeping the level low allows for higher temps with lower intake air for combustion, and this also helps to keep from having tons of steam, as my charcoal grate mod lifted the coal base to the top of the fire pan and the coals are pretty close to the pan which causes a much more rapid boil-off.

    The plan for today was to smoke in the 190-200* range for 2-2.5 hours (which held pretty steady for this period), then allow the water pan to run dry and this will in turn bring chamber temps up about 60-80*, so I'll need to back off the intake air to bring it in to the 230* range.

    I took the birds out of the bags, rinsed thoroughly and broke through the back bone with the point of a medium weight chef's knife, cut through the entire back bone and then down through the breast, finishing by slicing through the skin. This was done with the birds laying breast-down the entire time, so I kept my handling time to a minimum. Then, I seperated the breast and leg quarters.

    Man, they sure are ugly critters when you first cut 'em open...but I intend to re-incarnate them very soon:



    One bird gets a light dose of my Red Bell Pepper rub...:



    ...and this fella got a new, but simple twist to one of my other favorite rubs, a Jalapeno based rub:




    2 Tbls freshly powdered jalapeno

    1-1/2 Tbls freshly ground black peppercoen

    1 Tbls garlic, freshly powdered from dried minced

    1 Tbls cayenne pepper

    1 tsp cumin, freshly powdered

    2 tsp oregano, freshly powdered

    2 tsp sweet basil leaves, freshly powdered

    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    3 Tbls kosher salt   (EDIT)

    Apply to moist chicken, generously dusting to cover all exposed areas, and under sides of wings, etc.

    I loaded the hot rubbed quarters into the lower grate...I don't want hot spices dripping onto the milder rubbed meats...no surprised looks at the table that way...LOL!!!:



    The milder RBP gets to ride through it's journey safely above the hot stuff:


    2.5 hours in, and the water pan is just about dry, so temps are climbing on their own...the skin is pretty moist still, so I want the dry heat to finish the birds for a firmer skin with a stiffer crust from the spices:





    I'll come back with the finish later. I've tried getting this thread started 3 times and had to dump the browser and start over in the middle of uploading from PB, so it's been about 2.5 hours getting this far. In fact, the birds are at 3 hours right now, just to give you an idea. Anyway, my newest computer crashed a couple days ago...cooling fan issue with the graphics card, causing it to overheat and shut-down. This older computer I'm now using has software/hardare issues as well, but it'll get me through a couple more days 'til the other one's fixed.

    Thanks for peeking, all!

    ...to be continued...

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  2. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    I don't know if it'll help you or anybody else, but I was having a lot of trouble getting dumped in the middle of a big Qview post.

    It would freeze up on a picture load, and I'd have to back out, causing me to lose the whole thing, and having to start over.

    What seems to help me now:

    After every two or three pics downloaded, I click on "Preview". 

    Then the ones I did are entered, but not submitted, because I didn't hit submit.

    Then two or three more downloaded---Then "Preview", until I'm finished.

    This way if it freezes up, and I have to back out, everything I "previewed" is still there when I come back to finish, instead of having to start all over.

    Hope that helps somebody.

    Nice start on the chicken Eric!

  3. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    It helped me...nice tip.
  4. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Bearcarver!

  5. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Lookin' good Eric, I have a Gourmet but I havn't used it in a while. After this I may have to warm it up!
  6. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    4-hr, 10-min update...

    I probed the two breasts on the top grate and had a flat 150* on each. The probe insertion was firm, so I knew right away before I waited a couple seconds for the reading that they needed quite a bit of time yet, but the 40-140* I/T in 4 hours was accomplished. These were fresh/frozen birds without any added brine solution or injection, but if they had been injected, I would still have had the green light. Chamber temps have been running an average of about 210* for the past 90 minutes or so and the water pan has been dry for about 45 minutes, so things are chugging right along like I want them to so far. The lower initial chamber temps and moderate to high humidity for the first 3 hours should keep things moist with the extended cooking time.

    Oh, I forgot to mention my smoke woods: hickory chips and cherry fragments (slivers). I added just a small handfull of hickory and placed the cherry frags on top of the chips, and this lasted for over 90 minutes. I added about 1/2 as much of each for the remainder of the smoke, so they've had a nice light dose for about 2.5 hours.

    I noticed some juices just started to ooz out of the meat when I popped the lid to probe, so there are still plenty of natural juices in the meat. I've been able to peek into my lid vent hole with a flashlight from time to time just to be able to look for things like this as well...nice way to have a smoker rigged-up if nothing else, just so your curiosity doesn't tempt you into opening the lid and loosing all that precious heat, humidity and smoke.

    Getting a really nice color transformation at 4:10 into the smoke, and the skin surface is almost dried off...should work out just about right for the crusty spices I'm looking for by the time they hit finished temps:


    More later!

    Thanks, bro

    Oh, yeah, if you've got a Gourmet in your arsenal with a few mods, they work out great for these smaller cuts. I like to smoke in my Gourmet charcoal more than my Smoke Vault 24 gasser, just for the added challenge (and a bit better flavor from the solid fuel fire, IMHO). I burned up a couple un-foiled butts in this rig last week, and that kept me fairly busy for 14-1/4 hours, but I loved it!

  7. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     Those look great Eric
     That's why I love my charcoal and stick burners, they impart the smoke flavor and it gives me some quality time with the one I love!
  8. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Day two of my smokefest is completed, and was a completely successful one at that, with only one minor glitch due to a CRS moment...just kidding!

    I forgot to rotate the grate positions during my battle with posting earlier (my CRS moment) and the lower grate with the Hot Jalapeno rubbed quarters were @ 172-173* in the breasts and 180* in the thighs, which is just about perfect for our liking. But, the upper grate loaded with the RBP quarters was lagging by 8-10*. A grate position rotation about 2 hours earlier would have gotten them done pretty much at the same time, but no harm was done. Once I pulled the lower grate, I dropped the RBP's back on, cut the intake loose and let it cruise up to 260* chamber temps and 30 minutes later they were on the table.

    The Hot Jalapeno rubbed just out:



    I let the largest breast rest for 8 or 10 minutes and took a cut just for kicks, and after seeing the pool of juices forming (@ 8 'oclock in the pic) a minute or so later, I just had to grab the camera again, and the piece I cut off and get warmed up for dinner!!!: 


    The RBP rubbed, after finishing temps of 170* in the breasts and 178-180* in the thighs...not much I can say that this pics doesn't tell on it's own...I know this rub well enough to know that these were killer-good eating I didn't need to eat any either, as I was full from the largest of the Hot Jap and sides): 


    The spices had almost a consistency of shake-n-bake...not a crunchiness like it would be in a hot oven of course, but it was a few steps below that texture. The skin wasn't rubbery, and that was one thing I wanted to do away with also, without using additives or fats if possible. I think the heavier coating of rub and the amounts of salt in the rub had alot to do with it, then changing to a lower humidity and higher chamber temp to push it all home.

    Oh, btw, this was the first run with the Hot Jap rub (I just conjured it up about 30 minutes before cutting up the birds), and it recieved rave reviews from my kids...I really like it, too. Simple standard household spices, so give it a shot, just for giggles. I don't think it'll be hot enough to remind you what you ate the next day while in the restroom, but it's a good flavor/heat combo, and the basil oregano seemed to pull it all together well for the mild flavored birds. Hmm, I didn't look as my other computer files are history, but this may be a similar rub to what I used on a pork loin for indirect roasting on my weber kettle a month or so back. That probably had rosemary and little/no cayenne pepper...can't remember.

    One more thing: in case you came in earlier and checked the recipe, I forgot to put the kosher salt in, so it's been edited to show that.

    Good eats and great smokes, everyone!

    I'll probably see ya in about 5 days (yep, sunday or monday, maybe both...ha-ha-ha!!!) for the next round of play-time with one of my smokers!

  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now thats a mess of yard bird quarters you have there Eric. I like the Jalapeno rub myself. I will go right along with that little pill I take every night. Protonix for acid reflux. It can get ugly too.
  10. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Red Bell Pepper Rub!  I've only used it a few times myself but it's the bomb!  Thanks! [​IMG]
  11. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks, Mark, lucky for me that I don't have gut problems or I might get myself in trouble now and then. Well, I don't eat really spicy foods that often, I guess, but if a guy gets carried away with it, it sure could turn on you in a bad way. I knew a guy in Colorado about 12 years ago who ate tons of hot homemade salsa, jalapenos and habeneros straight from the garden, and just about every imaginable source of heat he could pound into his poor gut. By the time he was in his early 40's he went to see a gastro-enterologist and was told if he didn't lay off, it would kill him. His stomach was so badly ulcerated that he was eating antacids like candy and prescription drugs wouldn't even put a dent in the suffering he went through.

    But, all things in moderation is a good rule to follow, spicy foods just the same.

    Ya like that stuff, huh? The sweet red bell pepper plays out such a nice flavor, you just can't go wrong, IMO. That rub has quite a history already with the smoking and grilling I've done with it since it's debut about...oh, I don't know...it may be alot longer than I rememeber, but, maybe 9 months or a year? Even on fish, with only two alterations, being reducing the salt and adding parsley flakes, it's pretty darn tasty.

    Anyway, yeah, we love the RBP, and I almost always have something going with that rub to go along with another rub of a spicier nature. This way there's always something for everyone in our house...4 of us like hot/spicy and 2 usually (not always) shy away from it...my wife's gut can't tolerate very much heat or spiciness at all anymore, but the RBP is just the ticket for her. So, I do two styles, sometimes three when if I'm experimenting (again), and everyone's happy.

    Oh, for the record, this RBP rub came about inadvertently by some inspiration from RonP, may he rest in peace. It all started with his uncased smoked beef salami about 2 years ago. I just had to try it. It went down so well that I started playing with the idea of my original recipe of sweet chicken sausage (he had that effect on me for sparking creativity) , which went over like wild-fire here, and then came my sweet red chicken sausage, which my family begs me to make everytime the subject comes up...best bribery tool I have in my arsenal, with beef jerky at #2...LOL!!! Well, that was the final step towards developing the simple but tasty dry rub we now know as Red Bell Pepper Rub. Just some info for the history buffs, and in my personal holding of a great deal of respect for our dearly departed friend, and fellow smoker, Ron.

    I can only imagine how many other recipes and methods there are which Ron had an influence in. I don't even know all of my own yet which he played a role in...yeah, there's more for sure.

    Have fun and great smokes, fellas!

  12. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I'm glad that helped you and Roller!

    I used to shudder to think about the "freeze", when I had a half hour of type, and 14 pics on the line.

    I now type most of my stuff some place else & copy & paste it here, but you gotta enter one pic at a time.

    Now that I learned this little trick, the most I gotta re-do is 2 or 3 pics---maybe 5 minutes.

    BTW: Great looking chicken as usual !!!

  13. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Hey Eric

    Great post and nice of you to follow up and explain things in such detail. Now send me some of that jalopeno chicken [​IMG]
  14. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great job on the chicken! Very nice color. Recipe sounds good too. Thanks!
  15. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What a great smoke!
  16. coacher72

    coacher72 Smoking Fanatic

    Great looking birds Forluvofsmoke !!!!

    Also thanks for the photo tip Bear.
  17. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  18. cricky101

    cricky101 Smoke Blower

    As a fellow gourmet user I love seeing all of your great posts. Thanks!!