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Unread 07-02-2012, 06:04 PM   #1
This is not your pork!
is one Smokin' Farker
 
Join Date: 04-24-12
Location: Linz, Austria
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Unhappy 6th Cook on new WSM 22.5": Superfast Chicken Legs on Birch GONE WRONG (w/ pr0n)

Featured products:
  • 7 pieces of Chicken Legs (Quarters)
  • Self made Rub
  • Self made Sauce
Setup:
  • WSM 22.5"
  • Weber Long Lasting Charcoal Briquettes
  • About a half charcoal ring filling for Minion Method without depression and 20 lit briquettes spread evenly on top
  • White Birch Wood Chunks
  • 90+30 minutes cooking scheme at 325°F with saucing after 90 minutes + 30 minutes skin crisping with all vents closed as suggested by Bludawg in this thread
  • Actual cooking temp zone 356-360°F due to very windy weather conditions
  • Maverick ET-732
  • Foiled 18" Clay Saucer in foiled Water Pan without Water

Chicken Legs (Quarters) unpacked



Overview



About half a charcoal ring prepped for Minion Method with white birch wood



20 lit briquettes evenly spread on top



My compact outdoor kitchen - btw the nice table, which we had stored in the basement, now has found a new designation, and makes a perfect fit to my WSM



Rubbed chicken legs in casserole



Open casserole put on the upper cooking grate with both Maverick probes attached



Quite a difference between the Maverick probe on the upper grate and the dome thermometer



Chicken legs after 90 minutes @ 356-360°F (values from Maverick probe on grate) with an IT of 179°F, supposedly ready for some saucing



Finished chicken legs after 2 hours



Chicken leg on plate



Drumstick closeup



Thigh closeup



Charcoal ring showing fuel consumption



At least the chocolate pie I made for dessert was really good



Result:

The chicken legs were really tender to a degree I never have tasted before (others may say they were overcooked). I'd say too moist and juicy, and the skin was not crisp at all and just inedible. There was not really any smoke flavor although I had used five about fist-sized white birch junks. And to top the disappointment the used selfmade sauce originally made for Danish Back Ribs did not really fit.

We ate 5 of the 7 chicken legs at noon without the skin, and the remaining two were used for pulled chicken wraps in the evening. Although it has not gone completely wrong, my wife was very disappointed and can not see any more smoked poultry in the future.

Remarks:
  • I guess I should not have put the chicken legs on with the casserole, but directly onto the cooking grate, which could be the reason for the skin not getting crisp. Other reasons could be the fact, that they have been rubbed two days ago waiting for being cooked in a closed casserole in the fridge, as well as the fat below the skin not been trimmed. Any hint?
  • The recommended IT for chicken to be done is 165°F. Does getting to 179°F automatically mean it's overcooked, or is it about a combination of IT and cooking time?
  • Although the recommended temp for this cook has been 325°F, it went up and stayed between 356 and 360°F for most of the first 90 minutes due to very windy weather conditions, which made temp control really hard. How can it be, that although this cook was hotter than recommended but for the same period of time, the skin did not get any crispy? The temp in the open casserole should have been high enough, otherwise the IT would not have been reached before the first 90 minutes were over.
  • I still don't know why the recommended way was to close all vents for the last 30 minutes, because all what that does is to put out the fire with a declining cooking temperature. Any hint?
  • Although brining was suggested, it was already to late for that. Any explanation, what brining would have added to the result? These chicken legs were already way too moist and juicy.
Any comments / thoughts are highly appreciated. Thanks for taking a look.
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WSM 22.5" + Maverick ET732 + SuperFast WHITE Thermapen + Pure Natural Lemon Tree Lump Charcoal
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