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otterman91105

Whole Smoked Chicken

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Hey everyone i'm just wondering a few things when making a whole chicken. Should i brine or not brine the chicken and for how long? What temp works the best for smoking and what wood gives it the best flavor? Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Depends on the flavor you are going for. What type of smoker you using? I have had good luck with a simple brine containing 1/2 cup canning salt, 1cup sugar to a gallon of water.  As far as cooking goes, I like to remove the backbone and splay the birds out. It seems to keep the drummies and wings from getting to crispy. I like a lot of smoke, so I will run my pellet grill on the smoke setting for 60-90 and then crank it up to 325 until the breasts are 160 internal temp

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If you want to keep the chicken whole, I would do it beer can chicken style. Your favorite rub inside and out of the chicken, offset coals on a weber grill, 225 - 275 temp. Brine it for a minimum of 4 hours if you want to but I usually don't bother when I do beer butt chicken.

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13 hours ago, otterman91105 said:

Should i brine or not brine the chicken and for how long? What temp works the best for smoking and what wood gives it the best flavor? Any help is greatly appreciated.

You may want to check the label on the packaging it came in. I have found most of the whole chickens I can buy are already sealed and packaged in some sort of brine solution. So I just thaw, rinse, season with rub and toss in the smoker or grill.

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2 hours ago, rundrave said:

You may want to check the label on the packaging it came in. I have found most of the whole chickens I can buy are already sealed and packaged in some sort of brine solution. So I just thaw, rinse, season with rub and toss in the smoker or grill.

What he said^

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The wood you use is a preference thing. I can get a hold of quantities of apple wood usually so that is what I use most. I was out of smoking wood one time and was doing some chicken hind quarters so I cut up some oak rough sawn boards I have for wood working and that was some really good chicken. 

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3 hours ago, otterman91105 said:

I ended up using hickory and apple mix for wood took about four hours. I tuned out really good and was very moist. Thanks for the input guys!

The first attempt I made at smoking poultry was a grouse. A very tasty piece of shoe leather. Poultry can dry out very easily so glad to hear that your’s turned out moist

I smoked a turkey half and it turned out very good.  I just do what Leech does  whenever I smoke poultry. The only thing I brine is Lake trout

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12 minutes ago, eyeguy 54 said:

apple hickory is dandy for the chicken. I like cherry also.

For red meats or pork I like Hickory, but for poultry I like Apple or Cherry.

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I could not tell that it was brined so i dont know if i would do it again. I have smoked them before without brine and as long as i have a water pan they have been moist. Just wanted to try something new and see if you could tell a differance between a bird that was brined or not.

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On 11/9/2017 at 11:44 PM, otterman91105 said:

I could not tell that it was brined so i dont know if i would do it again. I have smoked them before without brine and as long as i have a water pan they have been moist. Just wanted to try something new and see if you could tell a differance between a bird that was brined or not.

How long did you brine the chicken? Did you do it whole or spatchcocked?

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On 11/11/2017 at 12:02 PM, otterman91105 said:

I brined it as a whole bird for about 6 hours.

my brother does alot of smoked chicky, parts like legs quarters he brines like 6 hours but whole birds he says he brines 24 hours.

 

me when i finally get arouind to it, i'm gonna dry rub them and let them sit for 24 hours!!

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The bird stayed really moist but hard to tell if that was because of the brine. Turned out great and used the leftovers for smoked chicken salad!

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my chicken is always tasty but with my electric smoker I have troubles getting the skin to turn crunchy...any tips?

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3 minutes ago, ozzie said:

my chicken is always tasty but with my electric smoker I have troubles getting the skin to turn crunchy...any tips?

Pat it dry and let it sit in the fridge uncovered over night. Work butter between the meat and skin on both breasts and thighs. Drizzle olive oil on top of skin before putting it in the smoker. Are you going for a true "smoked" chicken, or a roasted chicken with smoked flavor? If you are truly going for a smoked chicken where your cooking temps aren't going above 225, the previous recommendation will help make it crispier, but it will always be a little rubbery. If you want a roasted chicken with smoked flavor, I suggest smoking at 150-160 for 30-45 min, then cranky it up to 300-325 until done. The added heat will allow the butter and oil to work together to crisp up the skin without sacrificing moistness and tenderness.

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3 hours ago, ozzie said:

my chicken is always tasty but with my electric smoker I have troubles getting the skin to turn crunchy...any tips?

That's the problem with electric smokers, not enough heat for some things. Chicken needs to be cooked at a higher temp or at least turned up at the end of the cook to make the skin crispy. 

I stopped smoking chicken parts and now I just grill it at a medium temp over charcoal with wood chunk. Skin turns out better and I still get that smoky flavor.

For a whole bird I will smoke it low using the beer butt method. If I can get the temp up at the end of the cook and crisp up the skin that's great, if not I just sacrifice the skin.

Edited by Big Dave2

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7 hours ago, ozzie said:

my chicken is always tasty but with my electric smoker I have troubles getting the skin to turn crunchy...any tips?

Pull it and throw in the oven on broil for 5-10 minutes. I do the same with prime rib as well. 

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You could brown up the parts on the stove and then put them into the smoker to add the flavor, It should crisp up. I like the Weber kettle for crispy chicken.

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