Six Smoked Chickens

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by sawhorseray, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    Found a decent deal on large whole chickens, 79¢ lb., so I picked up a 6-pack. Whipped up my favorite turkey-chicken brine:

    2 gallons water
    1 gallon 7-Up™ (soft drink)
    2-1/4 cups powdered dextrose
    1-1/2 cups salt
    1 cup Prague Powder #1 

    Shot up each bird with about 8oz of the brine and then let them soak in the brine overnight in a cooler full of frozen OJ jugs, about 39º

    After wrapping the birds in stockinettes I pre-heated the Pro 100 to 110º with vents wide open and let them dry for one hour. Then I closed both upper and lower vents to 1/3 open, raised the temp to 125º, and put on a pan of moistened applewood for four hours, then it was time to change the chip pan and raise the smoker temp up to 140º for another four hours. It was then time to remove the chip pan, close the vents, and raise the temp  to 185º until the birds registered a internal temperature of 165º. I pulled the 6-pack of chickens from the Pro 100 and let them cool on racks on the kitchen counter for about four hours before going into the fridge overnight. The next day I whacked the birds in half, shrink-wrapped and froze. There's something about the 7-up in the brine that make these chickens, or turkey, stay really juicy with a great smoky flavor. RAY

    PS: I didn't get the pics to DL in the proper order, but it's easy to figure out the sequence. I'll keep working on that!
    mike w likes this.
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So you put 1 cup of curing salt in the brine?
  3. I am having safety concerns with this.

    Happy smoken.

  4. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Really....I hope that's a typo
  5. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    Nope, no typo. One level cup of Instacure #1 to the three gallons of liquid and other ingredients, shoot the birds 10% dry weight, brine overnight. Been using that formula for a few years now, never a problem. RAY
  6. According to the label use 1/4 teaspoon per pound of meat. Their are 48 teaspoons in a cup. The label also says not to use more than 1/4 tsp per pound. So your chickens need to average 32 LBS per bird.

    Overnight is not long enough for a full cure. So I don't think they have absorbed the full amount of cure. But with injecting then brining you have no idea what the concentration is.

    Then the next issue is the time and temp. You are in the danger zone for way to long.

    Happy smoken.

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  7. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    I tend to go more by a parts per million formula. Brining this way and then smoking to a proper IT eliminate a danger zone I believe. RAY

    1. Making A Brining Solution

    How much salinity is recommended? A favorite 40° SAL brine in many recipes is made by adding a pound of salt to one gallon of water (see brining chart). Thus the formula for ten pounds of beef rounds in ½ gallon of liquid requires ½ pound of salt.

    How much brine should you make? There’s a simple ol’ timer’s adage that reads, “The amount of brine should equal about forty or fifty percent of the weight of the meat being cured”. In other words, you don’t need a barrel-full of brining cure to baptize one duck! So simply use enough brine to equal one and a half times the duck’s weight.

    How strong does it have to be? The FSIS limits the in-going nitrite limit in immersion, pumped, or massaged products to 200 parts per million. This is achieved when 120 grams (4.2 ounces) of Cure #1 is added to one gallon of water. One gallon of brine (according to the ol’ timers adage) will accommodate 20 pounds of meat. This means that ½ gallon of brine will be sufficient for 10 pounds of beef round. Here’s the arithmetic:

    One gallon of brine cure (with 120 grams of Cure #1) is enough liquid to treat 20 pounds of meat. So, if you are brining 10 lbs. of meat, you need to only use about half a gallon of brine.

    0.40 x 10 = 4 lbs of water (1/2 gallon)
    [1 gallon weighs 8.33 lbs.]
    Therefore, one half gallon of brine will sufficiently brine 10 lbs. of meat in the proper container. 

    Oh, all I've got for containers and refrigeration are 5-gallon buckets and a 165 qt. Igloo cooler. Done this for years now, never a problem
  8. Among others, I've got 2 issues with this technique:

    1. An overnight sit in this cure isn't enough to fully cure the bird, even when it's been injected. Thus making your extra low and slow cook VERY dangerous and something that shouldn't be done.

    2. The amount of cure is way more than advised and injecting 8 oz of it directly into the bird is alarming considering you have no idea how much is actually getting in there.

    The fact that you've been doing this for very long with no issues doesn't negate the fact that it's still a very dangerous cook method. Cook as you will, but I'm saying you've been lucky up till now and I suggest no one else try this method. 
  9. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I can't follow your math. You used 3 gallons of liquid and one cup of cure. You have a total of aprox 31lbs (liquid+salt+dextrose). One cup of cure has 14g of nitrite. That gives you something around 1000ppm nitrite concentration.
  10. Can I ask where this came from?

    Happy smoken.


  11. Hope this helps.

    Happy smoken.

  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just chimeing in to see if Pops or Martin show up with some insight.
  13. Ray

    I would like you to know that we are all very happy to have you in SMF. None of us are trying anything other than to help you. I have sent a PM to JJ, Pops and Martin asking them to take a look at this thread. Between the 3 of them they have been curing and smoking longer than I have been alive. When the proper amount of cure is used you can make some aw some stuff. When to much is used you can cure your kidneys and liver. Most of us here would do anything we can to help you. We are very big into food safety.

    Happy smoken.

    fisherman93 likes this.
  14. David just sent me a message but I'm kinda busy right now and ain't got a lot of time to explain but what sawhorseray posted is mostly correct.
    I know that looks like a hella lotta cure but it's within the limits for a brine.

    Stan Marianski sums it up here....just for reference there are 16 tablespoons in a cup.

    Happy to answer any questions later if need be.

    BTW...that looks like a Chuckwagon recipe!!!!!! :biggrin:
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
    themule69 likes this.
  15. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

    It is most definitely a CW recipe! He's a good pal of mine and my sausage and smoking guru> RAY
  16. sawhorseray

    sawhorseray Smoke Blower

  17. Martin

    Thanks for jumping in here. Your a trusted leader in the cure world of SMF.

    Happy smoken.

  18. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yup. Safty first. That just seemed like a lot of cure
  19. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Still don't understand how they got 200ppm @ 1 cup of cure/ 3 gallons. The brine strength is around 1000ppm. Accounting for the weight of the meat ....overall 600ppm.

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