Whole chickens advice

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by ufert, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Hey guys i am needing some advice on smoking whole chickens please. I am using a Cajun Injector Electric Smoker. I was wondering what's the proper internal temp I am looking for?? I assume I flip the chickens so not to dry them out?? Any good rub or brine advice would be greatly appreciated also. Thanks everybody.
    gumbleboy likes this.
  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    165. No need to flip. Brine if you want, I do and think it helps. Others will tell you it's not necessary. Rub according to your taste. You may want to look through a few posts on here, all your questions have been addressed literally hundreds of times.
  3. Finished product!!
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Remember its about fun and deep contemplation of the origin of the universe.

    Have fun and enjoy your smoke!
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  5. raastros2

    raastros2 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    165 in the thigh my man......no reason to brine if you don't have the time.....rub a necessity though
  6. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Between brining and not brining, it is a matter of taste. I find it is like the difference between grilling a good steak and reverse searing it. Both are great but different. Brining definitely keeps the chicken moist. Not brining gives a better texture in my opinion. However, an overcooked unbrined chicken will be dry. Because I am old and can't make up my mind, I do both depending on what I feel like it. 

    I agree with an IT of 165 F but make sure you check it in both thigh and breast, they cook at different rates. You want to make sure both are over 165 F.

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Brine or no brine, inject or no inject, marinade or not to marinate, all are simply ways to modify the flavor of the chicken.

    I am a proponent of learning to drive properly before adding larger tires, better exhausts, 4 barrels, NOX systems.

    If you can deliver a beautifully cooked chicken then you can adventure into the world of modifiers. Know the taste of a properly smoked nekkid bird first. If you do not start with a solid foundation, how can you ever know what each modification truly brings to the table? If you can not perfect the plain bird, how do you know if you perfect the modified bird?

    The Nekkid Chicken (which is never truly perfected)


    You can not appreciate Geometry until you have understood arithmetic. Learn the bird first. It only takes a couple of smokes, its not hard, then look at your modifiers. You'll of course have to try the modifiers but afterwards, you may find that the chicken tastes awfully good as a chicken. Maybe even how to make crisp skin with an electric and no other help.

    There is a lifetime of enjoyment to learning and honing your skills, don't expect a drivers license then to drive at the Grand Prix of Monaco.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  8. jmgreen

    jmgreen Fire Starter

    The Temps above are good. I highly recommend Beer can Chicken. There are all kinds of rubs, brines, methods. I would imagine there are several that can be found here. One of my favorites is from Smoke & Spice cook book.
  9. smellthesmoke

    smellthesmoke Newbie

    I agree! Beer can, a small aluminum hat and a nice brown sugar rub with whatever spices you like on it. Yummy to die for. 165 is mint my friend. Melt in your mouth. I mix the brown sugar with the spices and massage.
  10. nlambert

    nlambert Newbie

    I too use the beer can method and I've never brined the chicken although I wouldn't mind giving it a try. Just haven't felt the need to as the beer keeps the chicken really moist. I have found that using a dark beer such as a Guiness or a Murphy stout will give a little bit of a nutty flavor while a beer like Blue Moon will give it a citrusy flavor. I typically rub mine in a light coat of olive oil, then rub on some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Smoke over pecan or apple wood depending on what I have lying around.
  11. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    I just don't know what I'm doing wrong.  If I beer can a chicken, it turns out beautifully moist, but it simply doesn't matter what kind of beer I use---I get NO extra flavor.  The question of the universe--why???

  12. Maybe try it at lower temp , 5lb bird took me 6.5 hours on 240 deg. I don't brine but I do rub them and let them sleep in the fridge all night. Leg qtr took 4 hours
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    External moisture does not normally add flavor, internal by brine or cure or injection works. But I have never been able to discern a taste difference with apple or cranberry  juice in a pan or a beer up its derriere !! I have no idea why garlic and onions can be tasted when stuffed full in the cavity. But even that is not as predominate as it would be brined.

    I am doing a nekkid chicken right now, been on about an hour and a half at 275, guessing will be done pretty quick.

    Just checked its at 140 IT now. Starting the sides now.

    I will start a thread after the chicken is pulled, sets, and then cut up. In other words after I eat it.....ROFLMAO!!!
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  14. IMHO a beer without a stong taste (I.e. pilsner,brown, wheat, etc) wont give much flavor, where an IPA, Imperial Stout, belgium will give some. However the flavor doesnt go throughout the meat, just into the inside of the breast.

    Had a buddy do one with code red mt dew. It didnt do much for the flavor but the inside of the breast was a bright pink color. It was interesting just to see where the steam actually went.

    This is also on a grill with direct heat under it. On the smoker side of my pg500 the beer really dosent do much at all
  15. I cant say much for beer chicken nor will I ever do one, I loaned my son in law my gas grill because he wanted to do beer chicken for a bunch of people . well after getting my grill back a month later the tank and everything was so nasty from what ever that beer chicken did to it I gave him my grill to keep.  NOTE TO SELF if you ever want a new grill just loan it to your son in law .
  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Its the nature of the beast. Its part of the job description. Don't you remember your father-in-law?

    I know, I know we were just brought up that way......... Sureeeeeeeeee. LOL
  18. Everyone should give a beer can bird a try sometime, it does make a nice bird and they look pretty cool standing up... :)

    A couple of things come to mind. If he made a mess of your grill, that was an error in his method. I always cook mine over a catch tray and the grill or smoker is probably cleaner than with most anything else I cook. Done properly It's not a messy process...

    AND... here is where people like to argue with me... I'm not sure that the beer or whatever you put in the can does anything. I can't tell the difference in flavor at all between a variety of beers and soft drinks I've tried. I've use the rack without a can of anything there at all and can't tell a difference... Now, I still use a can of something in there because it's tradition and it makes for better theater if you are cooking around people... I made two last night and they were pretty darned awesome! But, I don't think it had anything to do with the beer...   :)
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  19. jmgreen

    jmgreen Fire Starter

    I tend to agree, I usually inject and add rub as well as a beer can. Personally, I like the way they stand there like little soldiers and it seems to allow for a more overall smoke. I found a great recipe for jalapeno/peach BBQ sauce in Smoke and Spice, that's very nice with chicken. I'm thinking of making it and those bacon wrapped chicken thighs sometime soon.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014

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