Author Topic: Q re first chicken(s)  (Read 5601 times)

Offline heinz

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Q re first chicken(s)
« on: June 21, 2006, 09:48:39 pm »
Now that the new 4-rack digital has been seasoned and has a home I'm planning on chicken tomorrow. Never done chicken before in my pre-Bradley days. Am planning the suggested 'first' from the Bradley Smoker Forum. Debating on whether to do one or two chickens for this first go. If I do 2, one will go for sandwich meat or into the freezer.

What I'm wondering is whether the cooking will be affected adversely if only doing one. i.e. not enough 'material' in the smoker for effective smoking/cooking. Of course there would be the obvious waste of smoke but for this first try that is of lesser concern. What I'd like to achieve for this first outing is something that is sufficiently well received by the family so as to encourage requests for future smokings :-)

Thanks in advance for your comments. Alternatives for that "first smoke" are also welcomed.

Heinz

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Q re first chicken(s)
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2006, 03:17:04 am »
There will not be any adverse affect, and it may produce a better product. The air circulation in the cabinet would be improved, and temperature will be more consistent. I just smoked two chickens yesterday at 225F, and it took about 3.5 hours for them to finish. I use to use 3 hours of smoke (maple), but yesterday I decide to reduce it to two hours, and I enjoyed that flavor better then 3 hours of smoke.

If you are only doing one chicken, your cooking time will be a little shorter. The most important things to remember about poultry, with skin on, is to try to keep the skin as dry as possible before placing it in the smoker (difficult to do if you are using a rub), and to keep the top vent open enough to allow moisture to escape. The texture of the skin will be on the soft side, so an option to improve this is the finish off the chicken in the oven.



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Offline BigSmoker

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Re: Q re first chicken(s)
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2006, 01:17:45 pm »
Whole chicken is a great starter and I agree 2-2.5 hours of smoke is plenty for my familys taste.  Maple or apple is good IMO.  Seems like my last chicken took about 4.5 hours to get done at 235°f so it took a little longer than Habs chicken did but it may have been a larger chicken ;D.  Have fun.
Some people say BBQ is in the blood, if thats true my blood must be BBQ sauce.

Offline heinz

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Re: Q re first chicken(s)
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2006, 01:59:07 pm »
Chicken is in, on to plan brisket.

Thanks all.

Heinz

Offline BigSmoker

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Re: Q re first chicken(s)
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2006, 06:10:46 pm »
Chicken is in, on to plan brisket.

Thanks all.

Heinz


Mmmmmmm Brisket :P :P :P.
Some people say BBQ is in the blood, if thats true my blood must be BBQ sauce.

Offline heinz

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Re: Q re first chicken(s)
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2006, 06:54:35 pm »
The results are in....

Skin was rubber.
Meat was "delicious" but a bit underdone so we had to carve carefully.

The balance, of what little there was, is saved for a sandwich after nuking it for a minute.

I did 3 hours of smoke at 220 and after some time of meat temp not going up I increased temp to 260 and later to 300 (no smoke).

What did we learn? Start earlier. An extra half hour of cooking would have 'cooked' it. I didin't have much time in FTC as everyone was getting hungry. And next time I'll probably go 235 from the start. And perhaps even an earlier start to allow for more FTC.

All said and done and judging by what's left, or rather what isn't, I'm going to claim success.

Heinz



Offline jaeger

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Re: Q re first chicken(s)
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2006, 08:55:26 pm »
heinz,
You have officially broken in your Bradley. Good Job!!!
You will soon find out that a lot of the food that you smoke in the Bradley will turn out better if you don't  FTC. Pork Loin and Chicken/Poultry really don't require FTC. Sometimes it is best to let the hot food rest for 5-10 minutes just as you would after pulling it out of the oven.
FTC is used in part as a cooking technique to help tenderize meat. Pork Shoulder/Butts and Beef Brisket are a couple of items that will benefit from FTC.
Are you using an internal temp probe? What Internal temp did you reach on your chicken.
Here is a link for temps.
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_&_events/NR_040506_01/index.asp
Let us know how your digital bradley works on the brisket.

Offline heinz

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Re: Q re first chicken(s)
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2006, 09:09:44 pm »
Thanks for that link. I was a little concerned about the internal temp. I used the Bradley probe in the breast and it got to 165 before I pulled it out so at least it was healthy-done :-)

Also thanks re the FTC comments. I won't fret so much about it next chicken.

Heinz

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Q re first chicken(s)
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2006, 03:58:55 am »
I'm glad your first BS smoke was a success.

Jaeger is correct about not FTCing poultry. That will create a steam trap and you will wind up with leathery skin.

I have never been able to get a crisp skin when I fully smoke poultry in the BS. During smoking/cooking, how far did you leave the vent open? It's best to leave it 1/3 open during the first stages, to let as much moisture to escape as possible.

When cooking whole poultry, you need to take the temperature at the thickest part of the thigh. Even though your breast meat was at 165F, the leg and thigh may not be completely cooked. It would have been at a safe temperature (over 140F), but dark meat need to get to 160-165F or it is going to be a bit chewy.


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                   inhale.
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Offline heinz

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Re: Q re first chicken(s)
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2006, 07:06:16 am »
I had the vent open at least 1/3, probably closer to 1/2-full. Should I be closing it during the "cooking" part?

It was around the thighs that we were a little shy on cooking, near the bone but I expect it'll tatste good on a sandwich. Nuked it for a minute just to be sure cooking finished. I did the probe in the breast this time.

Sure too bad about the skin. It sure looks/smells good :-)

Heinz

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Q re first chicken(s)
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2006, 08:48:01 am »
You had the vent properly opened. Sometimes I will decrease the opening, if I feel that enough moisture has escaped. It hard to explain, but I can tell by holding my hand over the vent to judge how dry the air is.


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  ::)

Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: Q re first chicken(s)
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2006, 10:47:43 am »
The vent is still a trick I am learning about.  Lot of info on this forum however,,, As I have been reading the vent should be open enough during smoking that you dont see it "backing out" around the generator puck feed opening. The only time the vent gets closed completely is during a preheat for the oven and puck burn plate and maybe temperature run up at the finish after the smoke is done.  We are chicken eaters in a big way - though I enjoy all the meats my doctor prefers I eat chicken - we especially enjoy the split breast with the bone still in... just take the skin pull it off so you can wrap it under the bottom ... dont have to deal with getting it cooked and breasts are still super moist. Temp is easy to check as well. Does not give you the dark meat or whole chicken presentation but sure is easy while still experimenting.

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