Rather than derail Johnny's thread, I'll tell you folks about a birthday party I cooked for last weekend. I sure didn't expect the way it turned out either. One of the guys I work with invited me to his place for his daughter's 1st Bday. The munchkin is insanely cute, and my better half and I were just pleased that we were asked to be there. Anyhow, a few weeks ago my buddy kinda hinted around that he would like me to cook up something for the festivities. I asked if chicken was alright, since he planned on doing the requisite burgers & dogs. He said that would be great, as long as I didn't make a burn your boots off recipe.
I went to the grocery store on Friday, and found whole birds for .89 a pound. Fantastic for what I'm doing I thought, and I got 4 that were 6-7 pounds each. I usually cook chickens on my WSM after I've cut them in half. Takes less time, and I use less consumables to boot. Another benefit is that you can move stuff around when you need to so each half cooks evenly. Gave 'em a nice seasoning rub and into the smoker they went. I used a twist on one of Paul Kirk's rub recipe's. I have a couple of his cookbooks, and this guy seriously knows his stuff. The chicken spent a leisurely 3.5 hrs on the smoker, using just a smallish piece of applewood. Like using FX for guitar, sometimes less is more.
While I had that working, I made a fruity & sweet 'Q sauce to lather on later. This stuff turned out great. After the bird came off the smoker at 165F, I let it rest a bit and then put it in the fridge for the next day. Fast forward about 12 hrs later....At the party, I got to work finishing up the birds. All they needed was a saucing and a reheat. A bit later, one of the people there said that they looked undercooked. I had to point out the pink ring was a sign of smoke cooking. I also pointed out that the birds were not overcooked either.
By the time guests started to head out, I'd recieved kudos from a number of them. Later on, my buddy's better half takes me aside and gives me a list of people that want me to do some 'Q at their party... and they would pay me to do it too. She told me that everyone seriously enjoyed the stuff I cooked, and it was much appreciated. She also shoved some coin into my pocket and said that I shouldn't count it. Okay... fine by me. I was thinking that it was nice of them as I hadn't expected anything. Damn nice I would find out.... turned out to be 50 bucks!
Fantastic looking chicken. We were just asked to cook for a graduation party next weekend and I am planning to do chicken and either ribs or pulled pork. I like the idea of the half chickens like that. I think they will cook up better. I think I could eat a half of that chicken right now. Great job.
And I'll try the cutting the chicken in half thing this summer on my WSM. That looks like a great idea!
Yet another friend of Jack...
You inspired me.....so I:
Got a whole chicken
Quartered the bird
Brined it in a homebrewed Belgian Dubbel
Smoked it w/ some apple wood
While the chicken was smoking, I decided to smoke a few cloves of garlic and used those to make some smoked garlic mashed potatoes to go on the side.
Smoked chicken, smoked garlic mashed potatoes w/ Belgian Dubbel. It was easily a top 10 of all time meal.
OMG.... that looks very nice indeed. What does the dubbel beer do for the bird's taste? The smoked garlic I've done before, and that is most welcome mixed with tomatoes & zucchini squash grilled over a very hot fire.
I don't brine it for a very long time so it doesn't taste exactly like the beer, but more like elements of the flavor of the beer. I've really like using moderately dark beers like Brown ales, Mild & the Dubbel for poultry.
I tried smoking a chicken once, but I couldn't keep it lit and I kept inhaling feathers.
Hello i am new and i have found this thread this very interesting and it is all about food stuff and i red this thread it is discussed on smoked chicken and i like this chicken and it is easy to make and this one seems to be pretty and also tasty and really it inspired me a lot and i liked it.
"Three bars of 'A Day In The Life' still sustain me, rejuvenate me, inflame my senses and sensibilities. They are the best songwriters since Gershwin."
"They say that I have no hits and that I'm difficult to work with... and they say that like it's a bad thing." - Tom Waits
Pics are here.
OK. I tried this today. Obviously a different rub and my own sauce recipe. Mine ended up smoking for about 5 hours and I finished and sauced them on a hot hot grill. Seriously - this was among the best chicken I have had in my entire life. This rocked Parrothead!
Yet another friend of Jack...
As for cooking the bird, I'm glad that you enjoyed it! I find that using just a little smoke wood goes a long way. I used to oversmoke everything. Problem was, I'd taste the smoke + creosote and not the meat. I learned that the creosote comes from the meat spending too much time in too much smoke. The answer? Better airflow and less smoke wood. The nice thing about the WSM is that it's a very forgiving cooking tool. It can also be a bitch when the temperature inside doesn't get up where you want it.
I ended up cooking the chickens cut in half at that grad party and it worked out great. We cooked them on the grill instead of on the smoker but added some good wood to the fire. Cooked up quick and still had some smoke flavor. We did 12 chickens on a grill we borrowed. Looking to get a big one built now.
Nice! Every summer there is a small 4-H fair about 20 minutes from my house. Part of the fair is the cookshack, very rustic looking, and the only place on the fairground to buy food. They have a couple locally owned ice cream trucks bring in that and soft drinks, but that's about it. Anyway, they do a version of 'roadside chicken' on a pair of cinder block pits. They use sections of chain link fencing for grating. Two layers of fencing are used, top & bottom. The pipes they use for 'em are made from 1" conduit pipe and each one can hold a full 30 # case of split chickens. Each pit can do 3 in a shot, but they usually only do two at a time to so that one section can be loaded or unloaded... fresh cooked birds come off more or less continuously for 2 days straight. Short story is that they make big money for the fair with this setup. 3 years ago, they bought 85 cases of chickens and sold over half of it the first day. They ran out on the second. They were getting 6 bucks for a quarter chicken, 9 bucks a half, all with sides of coleslaw, corn on the cob, and a choice of either mac or potato salad. Everything is made from scratch, and delicious doesn't even begin to describe it. They do sell hotdogs & burgers at the cookshack too, but the bird is what people come for.
I was just giving and electric smoker as a gift. I loved smoked food but have no ideas how to use it.
The pitmasters don't have it easy either. Seasoning gets done right after the birds get put into the grates, and they are lightly basted with seasoned water a half dozen times while on the pit.When the birds are cooking on the pits, they make sure that the fires are banked right. The guys pretty much have a schedule for flipping the grates and doing the unload. The unload gets done over a 4' square stainless steel pan that was donated a number of years back. That gets cleaned out with hot soapy water after each cycle. Everything needs to be cooked evenly... and well done. They have one grate that they use exclusively for refiring undercooked meat. The pitmasters take each chicken half and cut it open to see if it's done enough. If not it goes back on the fire. Repeat till you sell out. As you might suspect, the whole affair is watched over by folks who work for the board of health. The pitmasters tell me that it's not unusual for them to drop by for a snack every so often.
The corn is locally grown, and brought in straight from the fields. They have 4 big gas fired cookers working to keep up with the demand. The younger 4-H kids working the fair get the job of husking the corn and labelling what farm it came from. It's all cooked in the same way, water and bit of salt... 10 minutes on the boil.... done. It really doesn't get much fresher unless you pick it from the field yourself. They hang a shingle out from the cookshack saying what farm it came from as an advertisement. The idea is that people can try out corn from different farms...perhaps go after the fair and buy some for their own kitchen.
Here's a pic of them working in back of the cookshack. You can kinda see how big the pits are. Scroll around to see more, there's lots to see.
I love it. Looks like an absolute great event. As much work as I know it is, I'd love to do something like that. I love that they have the kids involved.
Meadow Creek makes a chicken cooker that has the sandwich grates. No better way to cook large amounts for sure.
What's really great about it is that the fair directors haven't allowed commercial interests to overrun the place like many 4-H fairs. No carnival rides, people selling crap... it's 95% local kids showing what they can do with livestock and farm product. The other 5% must be approved by the state 4-H board, but the Middlesex board gets the final say. A few years ago, they had baby animals all over the place, with a sow actually giving birth over a 10 hr stretch at the fair. She had 9 piglets.... damn that barn was crowded as that was going on. Seeing puppies & kittens being born is one thing, seeing a calf coming into the world isn't something you see everyday. There are always veterinarians on hand to make sure that stuff like that doesn't go bad medically speaking as well.