BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Recipe Discussions => Poultry => Topic started by: 4eversmokin on January 29, 2010, 07:42:07 AM

Title: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: 4eversmokin on January 29, 2010, 07:42:07 AM
I am new to this forum but have been reading it for a couple weeks now and I have to say its a great forum.  My buddy just bought the bradley digital smoker and it has been great.  We are smoking a chicken this weekend which I have done a ton on my charcoal smoker but I have never brined a chicken and then smoked it.  I would love to do that for this weekend. 

I have searched the site a ton about how to go about doing a brine for a chicken.  I am still a little uncertain how to go about it.  Can anyone recommend a simple brine for a 7-8lb chicken?  How long should I let it sit in the brine?  I am sure this has been discussed a ton but if anyone can give me some pointers of how to go about this I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks!!!
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: FLBentRider on January 29, 2010, 07:51:27 AM
W E L C O M E  to the Forum 4eversmokin!

I have used this recipe - it is great!

http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?p=46#post46
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: 4eversmokin on January 29, 2010, 08:25:23 AM
Thanks for the quick response and the warm welcome!  I will give that recipe a shot this weekend.  Do you think I need to vary it at all for the size chicken I am cooking, or will that work good for a 7-8lb bird?  Also me and my buddy already did a beer chicken in his bradley and the chicken was dripping alot of juices onto the heat shield at the bottom of the smoker and it seemed to keep the temparture really low to the point where we had to stick it in the oven to finish.  Do you think I should put a small pan beneath the chicken to catch any drippings so the tempature doesnt fluctuate to much?   Thanks again for all the help!!
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: FLBentRider on January 29, 2010, 08:29:22 AM
I'm not really sure the drippings have as much to do with the temps as the ambient temp and the wind.

Some people finish in an oven or on the grill to crisp the skin anyway.
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: OU812 on January 29, 2010, 08:48:35 AM
Welcome to the fun 4eversmokin

Heck ya, put a pan under that bird to catch the drippings, it makes some of the best gravy you ever had.

Poultry has allot of moisture in the skin.

Keep that vent wide open when doin poultry, closin the vent will keep all the moisture in the cabnet and all the heat will be absorbed by the moisture. Then you will get black crap drippin back on your bird which aint good and even worse the moisture can back up in the generator and really mess it up.

I cook birds at a cabnet temp of 250 F.
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: KevinG on January 29, 2010, 09:15:24 AM
An easy way to calculate the minimum amount of brine you should use is 50% in relation to the meat - Ex: 8 lbs meat, 4 lbs brine (1 gallon of water weighs 8.33 lbs). But you must take into account the size container you're using. So to do this, just place the bird in the container, fill it with water to 1 inch above the bird. Remove the bird and measure the quantity of water. That's how much brine you'll need.
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: OU812 on January 29, 2010, 09:19:39 AM
Great tip Kevin

Also try to get a container as close to the size of what your tryin to brine.
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: 4eversmokin on January 29, 2010, 11:46:44 AM
I'm not really sure the drippings have as much to do with the temps as the ambient temp and the wind.

Some people finish in an oven or on the grill to crisp the skin anyway.
When I first started the beer chicken I put a pan directly under it to hold the chicken up on the beer can stand and the temps were staying around 300.  Well we noticed that the top of the chicken was getting more done than the bottom so we figured the pan was blocking some of the heat. 

So we took the chicken off the pan and let it sit on the grate with the stand.  Then we heard the chicken juices dripping on the drip pan and the tempature dropped to 210 and never came back up and we moved it into the oven inside.  So I thought maybe all the drippings on the pan was killing the heat  ???  So I was wondering if this time I should put a pan on the grate below the chicken and see how it works.

Thanks for all the great responses everyone!!  I really appreciate you guys helping the noob out!
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: OU812 on January 29, 2010, 12:00:18 PM
I put a drip pan on the next rack down from the rack I'm cookin on.

Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: oakville smoker on January 29, 2010, 12:33:40 PM
If you really want that baby to rock, add some bacon strips on top of the skin while you cook
To quote my wife, "ORGASMIC"
I do agree
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 29, 2010, 02:06:59 PM
Hi 4eversmokin;

Welcome to the forum.

If you are going to smoke/cook this chicken beer can style try using a smaller pan, such as a pie pan.

I'm not sure if juices dripping on the "V" pan will have that much effect on the temperature. When you were using the pan to catch the juices, were you using a probe to monitor the temperature? If the probe was under the pan, that could explain the higher temperatures.

Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: 4eversmokin on February 01, 2010, 12:46:53 PM
Hi 4eversmokin;

Welcome to the forum.

If you are going to smoke/cook this chicken beer can style try using a smaller pan, such as a pie pan.

I'm not sure if juices dripping on the "V" pan will have that much effect on the temperature. When you were using the pan to catch the juices, were you using a probe to monitor the temperature? If the probe was under the pan, that could explain the higher temperatures.


I was just using the guage on the actual smoker to monitor the temp inside. 

I ended up just getting a 5lb bird which was the largest I could find at my local supermarket.  I used a 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar and a couple garlic cloves.  I didnt want to put to much salt in it and make it to salty so I went a little conservative with the brine.  Let me tell you how juicy this thing was.  It was incredible!  I had a couple friends over to try it and they thought it was amazing. 

I will definitely be brining my chickens in the future.  We still had the same issue though with the tempature not going any higher then 210.  We set the oven for 300 and 210 was as high as it would go.  I did not put any pan inside the smoker I just sat the chicken on the grate.  So I am still confused as to why the tempature wont get any higher.

My question now is what if I brined my chicken and then after I was done brining it I put it in a marinade for a few hours?  Is that overkill?  Because all I did was brine the chicken and throw some chicken rub on it but I felt like I wanted a little more flavor with it.  I know I could add some more spirces to the brine but I really like chicken marinated in italian or Stubbs poulty marinade and was wondering if I could throw it in a marinade for a few hours after the brine?  Does anyone do anything like that?
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: Habanero Smoker on February 01, 2010, 01:35:43 PM
The gauge can be inaccurate, depending on how much meat and where the meat is placed in relation to the sensor. Many of us use a separate probe to monitor the temperature, such as the Maverick ET-73. I place my probe under the lowest rack that I have loaded.

I might have missed it, but what vent opening are you using? Chicken with skin has a lot of moisture, so the vent should be 3/4 opened, at least at the beginning until a lot of the moisture is expelled. If you keep the setting too small, that will keep the temperature down.

You can try using a marinade after brining. Some will inject flavor instead of using a marinade.
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: 4eversmokin on February 01, 2010, 01:56:30 PM
I am keeping the vent wide open while doing chickens. 
Title: Re: Brine a 7-8lb Chicken
Post by: RickWL63 on February 13, 2010, 06:45:40 PM
Welcome to the forum 4eversmokin