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Old 05-18-2011, 04:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: 05-17-11
Location: Oceanside, CA
Default First time smoking with new MES30

Hello all, I am a newbie to the site and just thought I would share my first attempt at smoking after I received my new MES 30. I tried to do some Polynesian marinated Boneless / Skinless Chicken breasts and some chicken/basil & chicken/apple sausage. I smoked for 4hr and 15min with the first 20 min or so used for warm up. I used one handful of hickory chips initially and restoked with another handful about an hour and a half into smoking. I smoked them at about 215 degrees and pulled the food once the chicken breasts reached 165 degrees. They turned out ok, but I think I should have pulled everything out a little sooner as the chicken was a little dry for me. I read after the fact that people like pulling them out when the chicken reaches about 160 instead, maybe this would have been better. The sausage turned out pretty good however. I think it is a little difficult smoking something that doesn't have any fat on it such as the chicken breasts. Have to keep trying. I might try whole chicken breasts with the skin on next time. Might help retain the moisture. Any thoughts on my process. Help welcomed.

Thanks. Pics below.

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Old 05-18-2011, 04:58 PM   #2
Ryan Chester
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Welcome to the Brethren and congrats on the new toy. Sausage looks good but I would ditch the whole smoking boneless skinless chicken breast thing.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:34 PM   #3
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Looks great!
Better of with the skin on chicken breast, it has a little more fat which stops the chicken drying out too much.
Also bump your temp up to 250 if possible, I believe that it is the minimum safe temp for smoking chicken. I have always referred to this site for temps.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:42 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum, great looking smoke!
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:44 PM   #5
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Nice electric oven.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NorthwestBBQ View Post
Nice electric oven.
Someone's got an electric sore spot.......
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:06 PM   #7
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Looks good so far. I haven't smoke boneless skinless breasts before, but breast do tend to dry out if a little overcooked. 160 is safe from what I've read. If you prefer white meat then maybe try split chicken breasts which have the skin and bone and probably would keep it moist. I started with a masterbuilt electric too and they work great. You may not get the deep dark smoke rings, but it is nice to be able to set it and not worry about the temp.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:56 PM   #8
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Congrats! Good looking grub!
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:22 AM   #9
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I'd keep it simple to start and just use a salt+sugar brine on the breasts.
I've done lots boneless skinless ckn breast in my vertical gas smoker and they came out super moist every time doing that.

I agree with the temp suggestion - you don't want the breast to be cooking nearly that long. Shoot for 275 or so instead. You want to be done in about 1 hour of cooking.
If you pull the meat at 155 it will probably continue heating through to 160 internal if you wrap the meat in plastic wrap then foil immediately after pulling it. That will help with the moisture retention too.

Those meat temp probes work better for larger pieces of meat IMHO, I use a thermapen to quick check internal temp instead.

Having said all that, boneless skinless breasts are more advanced in difficulty, maybe chicken quarters or thighs would be better to get a feel for your smoker, or half-breasts with bone and skin as suggested above.

Thick-cut pork chops are a good thing to start with too.
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