Author Topic: First Smoke will be drumsticks. Please answer a couple of questions for me!  (Read 317 times)

Offline Old Texan

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My wife wants to try smoked drumsticks so that's my first smoke tomorrow. A couple of questions.  1. Should I put the rub on the drumsticks tonight and leave in refrigerator or wait until tomorrow when I'm almost ready to put on.  2. When they're finished should I wrap in foil and put in cooler?  I noticed people were advising that on brisket and ribs.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Offline GusRobin

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I would put it on a few hours before and not overnight.
I would not FTC (foil and cooler). In my experience it makes the skin rubbery.
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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If I have the time, I feel overnight is better, if not 1 - 2 hours prior to smoking will be fine. Do not foil and place in cooler. That technique is use for tough cuts of meat such as brisket, butts and ribs. That technique turns your cooler into a passive oven, which will hold the temperature of the meat longer in the area which collagen can continue to break down, and make the meat more tender.

As mentioned. if you foil and place in a cooler it will make the skin of the chicken tougher, but smoking chicken in the Bradley will make the skin rubbery. Many of us will finish chicken with skin over a hot grill or under the broiler to crisp the skin. Keep the vent 3/4 to fully open when smoke/roasting chicken with skin.


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Offline Orion

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No need to foil chicken.
2 hours smoke at 250 degrees.
Finish under broiler until crisp. Turn as needed.
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.

Offline Old Texan

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How long should they cook before putting on the grill? Will the two hours that I smoke be enough?

Offline Orion

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Yes, two hours of smoke at 250 degrees will get a good start to the cook and you can just finish it on the grill. Everyone cooks a little different so you need to just stuff them in the smoker, smoke them and then finish to your preference under a broiler or on a grill. No need to over think this, you’re just giving them a couple of hours smoke and then cooking to your liking. Most any other product is usually finished in the smoker however poultry skin needs high fast temp or flame to be crispy and the smoker does not provide high fast heat or flame.
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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I try to go by internal temperature of the meat. For drumsticks I would take them to 170°F, then crisp them on the grill or broiler. The USDA states chicken is safe to eat at 165, but the dark meat is better when you take it to 175°F. It's more tender, and remain moist.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline Old Texan

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The drumsticks turned out great but did leave me with a couple of questions. When I checked on them after about two hours the water pan was empty. How often should I check that?  I know when I open door the temperature drops way down and takes a long time to build back. I don't think it ever got all the way to 250. Also if you're only using a couple of racks (mine is 6 rack) should I use the middle two or does it make a difference?

Offline Orion

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Water bowl/drip catcher shouldn’t be empty after 2 hours at 250. Perhaps you didn’t put enough water in it. I usually fill mine about 1 and 1/2  inches short of full. During the smoke period I’ll check it about every 2-3 hours to ensure water level is ok and burnt pucks aren’t piled up and smouldering (acrid).
I have the second element installed so opening the door is not a big deal as temps recover fast enough. If you plan to continue a second element is something to consider to improve your smoker.

The upper racks run cooler than the bottom. Probably more so in the six rack. If not using all racks I skip the lowest one and use the next two and skip the top one. When using all racks it’s a good idea to rotate them front to back and top to bottom. This all depends on what you’re smoking too. You’ll quickly learn what works best for you. There are no cast in stone rules here. Just learn as you go.
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.