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Planning Smoked Chicken...Got Some Questions

 
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gibby
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31 13 7:37 am    Post subject: Planning Smoked Chicken...Got Some Questions Reply with quote

Hey all,

Looking for some advice. I'm going to do the second cook on my new custom 24x40 offset (see signature) this weekend. I've decided on smoking up a couple of chickens. Tonight, I'm whipping together a simple brine to soak the birds overnight. Also, my plan is to halve the birds so I can cook them a little faster.

A few questions:

I'll cook them around the 260-270 as I've read its better to cook them with a little more heat, unlike pork/beef. Do you all agree/disagree?

I know I need to use a therm and the feel test to check to see if it's done. That said, approx how long should I plan for the halves to complete? I was thinking somewhere around 4 hours or so.

Any other tips suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks fellas
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31 13 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gibby, if it were me I would raise the temps to 325°. At that temp halves take about 1.5 hours. If you stick to the 260° to 270° figure about 2hr. to 3hrs.
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patruns
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02 13 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What KAM said... maybe even 350. In my unsolicited opinion, birds should be smoked at the same temp as if you were roasting in the oven, which is 350 for me. The skin will crisp up nicely and probably not get as bitter as it would at a lower temp as the skin tends to absorb more smoke than the meat.
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Chef
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04 13 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am with KAM on this one. I cook my chicken hotter and it does just fine and its only about a one hour cook.
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capitalism
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04 13 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How'd it go?


I'm in the indirect @350 ~ 1 hour crowd and I've been known to crank it at the end.

Also, after an overnight bath, I like to let them air dry in the fridge for a few hours.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04 13 12:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Planning Smoked Chicken...Got Some Questions Reply with quote

gibby wrote:


I'll cook them around the 260-270 as I've read its better to cook them with a little more heat, unlike pork/beef. Do you all agree/disagree?


Ok...I'll ask...

Why do you think more heat is bad for pork/beef?
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samson
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05 13 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lower temps will help tough and fatty meats like brisket or butts break down connective tissues and slowly melt the fats. That method will help these cuts of meat remain tender and moist. Cook too high and you will end up with tough dry meat.

Chicken on the other hand is pretty lean so you want the higher temp to cook them fast since too much cook time would dry them out.

Thats the way i understand it. Hope that helps.
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Pit Boss
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05 13 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

samson wrote:
The lower temps will help tough and fatty meats like brisket or butts break down connective tissues and slowly melt the fats. That method will help these cuts of meat remain tender and moist. Cook too high and you will end up with tough dry meat.

Chicken on the other hand is pretty lean so you want the higher temp to cook them fast since too much cook time would dry them out.

Thats the way i understand it. Hope that helps.


My question was sort of rhetorical.

No...brisket and butts don't need a low temperature. But any method will work if you know your fire and meat...low and slow works as does using higher temps.

I do wish these Internet fallacies didn't influence so many people.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05 13 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pit Boss wrote:
[I do wish these Internet fallacies didn't influence so many people.

Not my quote.
"A rhetorical question does not usually require an immediate answer, but is meant to draw attention to and start a meaningful discussion on the matter"
Evidently samson's response to your sort of rhetorical question was not meaningful enough for you.
To be more precise on the response to your sort of rhetorical question a private message to the OP with the question would alleviate anyone else on the internet trying to help with your question.
I hope this helps Very Happy
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05 13 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pit Boss wrote:
My question was sort of rhetorical.

No...brisket and butts don't need a low temperature. But any method will work if you know your fire and meat...low and slow works as does using higher temps.

I do wish these Internet fallacies didn't influence so many people.


LOL Internet fallacies, welcome to the Internet Pit Boss!

Need a low temperature for pork and beef, no it's not the only way to cook, but trying to get newbies to cook good and consistent food using high heat works only for 10 or 15% of them... Want to cook high heat once one has some experience, and are more willing to go with the flow of a high heat cook.

Big cuts of fatty meat that are full of connective tissue, are easier to cook to a satisfactory finish, low and slow. That's the whole reason that stews and casseroles work so well, when was the last time you read a recipe for either of those, where they say, get that oven up to 350 -375° and have a casserole in 2 hours instead of 4 or 6 or 8 hours?

I really like the theory of teaching a high heat school and cutting through the fallacies about low and slow being the way to show newbies and less experienced cooks the error of their ways in trying to get good product from a low and slow cook, and I for one will support your right to run that school!

So get to it, build your hot and fast school and show everyone the fallacy of low and slow for fatty connective meat, get your hot and fast truth out there and don't forget plenty of examples of the delusions and deceit that you have found in descriptions of low and slow cooking.

Please show us the errors of our ways, (this is a rhetorical request)!
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1buckie
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05 13 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a real simple, straightforward description of grilling, BBQ & smoking from Wedliny Domowe........

http://www.meatsandsausages.com/barbecue

I can do an 18~22 # clod on a standard Weber kettle ( yeah, I know, that''s not a smoker, you dodo, it's a GRILL....), but would not like it to run @ 350 degrees, as the outer 2 inches of the piece would end up dried out......
I could ( and do ) inject with stuff to keep the moisture up, and that helps......injecting, yet another Internet fallacy?

I've been injecting stuff since 1983....before there was an Internet.........

Hot & Fast butts & brisket,etc., go ahead.....if the cooker, conditions, experience of the cook, fuel, timing , time & fire management allows for it....drive on....

The cookers I use do this stuff better, lower....up above 275~300 things too often will keep right on going & skyrocket up to near 400f.......I like about 240~260....260 is kind of a pivot point........
It really does have something to do with the size, type & style of cooker.....blanket statements don't thrill me.... Very Happy

Now.....what were we talking about....oh, chicken....yeah, hot & fast.....except when & I want it done slow with extra smoke for chicken salad, or when it's cooking along with other things that don't benefit from a higher heat, like say 'Turds.....I don't like 'Turds done @ 350....too many blowouts & lost cheese ~~~>


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Alien BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06 13 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will go against the crowd by first saying fast or slow is up to you and what you expect and like in the way your chicken taste. Grilled chicken is very tasty but smoked chicken is my favorite. I normally cook my chicken at 250 ish. I cook quarters, I inject, and it normally takes 4 hours exactly. The chicken always comes out juicy. Again, it is up to you...... there is more than one way.
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Tim_Abrahamson
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06 13 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have cooked chix low and slow, hot and fast, direct, indirect... here are my observations from all these experiences

Low/slow + indirect = Intense smoky flavor, juicy meat, soft tender skin (often rubbery) 2-4 hours cook

Low/Slow + direct = same as above but the chicken tends to cook uneven as there are hot and cold spots over coals 1 1/2-3 hours cook

Hot + indirect = much shorter cooking time, juicy meat, crispier skin, lighter smoke, cook time 45-90 min

Hot + direct = as above, requires much more attention as pieces will burn with flair ups, cook time 30-45min

All will produce fantastic chicken... its is really about time and your experience cooking birds. I have been doing BBQ chicken since 1984 so I have a few years of experience to help me guide my decision. I don't limit myself to only one way of cooking.

Learn from every experience. I can give 100 people the same recipe and I will get 100 different results... Go, learn and discover your own poultry nirvana!
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BUGSnBBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06 13 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what it all boils down to is preference and the only way to get that is with experience. Tim's observations about chicken are spot-on, in my experience. Like Buckie, I do hotter when I want to eat the skin, lower for chicken salad. I cook a LOT of leg quarters. They're cheap, flavorful, and can doctored up in many ways. And leftover, cold is my favorite for lunches, pick-a-nicks, and salads.

Having said that...Fat cap up or down Wink Laughing
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DrunkPlumber
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07 13 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1buckie wrote:
This is a real simple, straightforward description of grilling, BBQ & smoking from Wedliny Domowe........

http://www.meatsandsausages.com/barbecue

I can do an 18~22 # clod on a standard Weber kettle ( yeah, I know, that''s not a smoker, you dodo, it's a GRILL....), but would not like it to run @ 350 degrees, as the outer 2 inches of the piece would end up dried out......
I could ( and do ) inject with stuff to keep the moisture up, and that helps......injecting, yet another Internet fallacy?

I've been injecting stuff since 1983....before there was an Internet.........

Hot & Fast butts & brisket,etc., go ahead.....if the cooker, conditions, experience of the cook, fuel, timing , time & fire management allows for it....drive on....

The cookers I use do this stuff better, lower....up above 275~300 things too often will keep right on going & skyrocket up to near 400f.......I like about 240~260....260 is kind of a pivot point........
It really does have something to do with the size, type & style of cooker.....blanket statements don't thrill me.... Very Happy

Now.....what were we talking about....oh, chicken....yeah, hot & fast.....except when & I want it done slow with extra smoke for chicken salad, or when it's cooking along with other things that don't benefit from a higher heat, like say 'Turds.....I don't like 'Turds done @ 350....too many blowouts & lost cheese ~~~>



Pretty much what buckie said here.

BTW, buckie, how'd you get that cheese to rise like that? Wink
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