Sunday, April 21, 2019

Smoked Chicken

You don't have to be around me long to discover I LOVE smoking meat.  Today I will talk about smoking a whole chicken.

I use a Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker with charcoal for fuel.  I think this is the very best smoker on the market in terms of ease of use, reliability, and it is easy to clean.

The night before, or very early on the morning you are smoking it, soak the chicken in a brine.  Make enough of the brine to completely cover the chicken.  There are numerous recipes out there for brine, but this is the one I use:

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cups water

I usually have to triple this recipe to make enough.

Take the chicken out of the refrigerator after soaking in the brine and let it sit at room temperature.  Rinse well and blot with paper towels.  Rub generously with a good quality rub.  There are many recipes available for rubs and also store bought varieties.  Actually, I have never used a rub I didn't like!  The very basic one is:


While this is sitting, prepare the smoker.  Fill the bottom of the smoker with cold charcoal.  In a chimney, heat charcoal till most of it is grey.  Pour this hot charcoal in the center of the unheated charcoal in the smoker, along with three chunks of apple wood.

I buy my wood chunks online from  Their wood is stored indoors, thus protecting it from bugs and other undesirable "stuff!"

Fill the water pan, which goes above the charcoal.

When the smoker is heated, place the chicken on the rack, close the lid, adjust the vents at the bottom to maintain a temperature of 225 or 250.

Sit back with a glass of wine, enjoying the warm sunshine and the wonderful aroma coming from your smoker.

My chickens are smaller than most you find in the stores, since they have not been injected with hormones to make them bigger.  I get all my meat from a local farmer. It takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours for mine to be done.  The internal temperature should be 165.

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