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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 04-09-2013, 02:50 PM   #1
boltsfan
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Default WSM - 1st Chicken Smoke - w\PRON

Only 2 pics sorry...

First attempt at smoking chickens was a success. I did end up deciding to butterfly and half 2 chickens and will always do so going forward (so easy). Brined for about 90 minutes. Smoked chickens until breast was about 165-170*. One of the chickes was a bit larger than the other (Costco double pack) so one chicken was done before the other. FTC for a couple hours before carving and eating. Smoky, tender and juicy... simply awesome!

I was unable to get the smoker as hot as I had hoped... to crisp the skin. I was only able to get the smoker up to 260-275* max. I started with a full chimney full of lump charcoal and dumped on top of a 1/3 ring full of lump (maybe I should have added more to the ring to start?). I had all of the vents open and the temp was mid 60s with no wind.

It was also 1st attempt at not using water in the WSM. Foiled a 14" clay saucer and place in foil wrapped water bowl. Clean up was beyond easy.

I used Bone Suckin Rub and brought birds up to room temp before adding to smoker. I only added two chunks of apple and the smoke was perfect. Basted with some Sweet Baby Rays just before I took them off.

I put on a hot gas grill for a few minutes after smoking was complete and the skin crisped up nicely. Not ideal as the chicken was so tender it almost started to fall apart on me.

Questions:
-Any suggestions to get the smoker up to 300* plus? More fuel?

-The 2 birds took up the entire top rack. If I want to do 4 birds would I need to rotate birds from bottom\top racks half way through to ensure even cooking?

Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:30 AM   #2
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:54 AM   #3
K-JUN
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Take a look at this.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=99787
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:19 AM   #4
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For higher heat, yes use more fuel and ditch the clay saucer. You may even want to skip the water pan altogether. Make sure your thermometer is accurate too.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:40 AM   #5
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Saiko's linked post seems to cover high heat pretty well. Just be aware that the 'door open mod' will not work on the newer style WSM (oblong door handle vs. round knob.) I would consider adding more lit lump to achieve high heat later in the smoke, but I don't know if it would do more than the suggestions in that link. Do be aware that the lid thermometer often reads 20-50°F lower than a probe at either grate.

I've never rotated food between the top and bottom grate. My desire is to keep the cooker covered until the food is ready to come off. Put stuff on the top that you expect to finish first (and recall that the top grate tends to run a little hotter than the bottom.) Take the food off the top grate when done and close the cooker until the food on the bottom grate is done.

Congrats on your first smoked chicken. Sounds like they came out pretty well and I'm sure there was no loss due to crisping on your gasser. I may try that too.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JS-TX View Post
For higher heat, yes use more fuel and ditch the clay saucer. You may even want to skip the water pan altogether. Make sure your thermometer is accurate too.
What he said. Pull the pan altogether and you'll get a higher temp for sure.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JS-TX View Post
For higher heat, yes use more fuel and ditch the clay saucer. You may even want to skip the water pan altogether. Make sure your thermometer is accurate too.
Big +1
Although, the amount of charring you got looks like your temps were high 300's
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
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Thanks guys... I'll leave the water pan out next time and will add more fuel.

Do I add more fuel under or on top of the lit charcoal?

I have a Maverick 732 but am waiting to drill grommet holes in the WSM. Running it thru the top vents was a pain in the arse.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltsfan View Post
Thanks guys... I'll leave the water pan out next time and will add more fuel.

Do I add more fuel under or on top of the lit charcoal?

I have a Maverick 732 but am waiting to drill grommet holes in the WSM. Running it thru the top vents was a pain in the arse.
Leave the pan, just foil it and run dry. I use a full ring of KBB and dump about 3/4 of a lit chimney on top. I have no prob. getting mine to 350 that way.
You can run your probe leads under the lid just don't slam it down on them.
Hope that helps

By the way I'd eat that!
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:16 PM   #10
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I didn't see this thread until now.

I love my WSM, but I've only used it once for chicken, and just didn't think it was the right tool for the job -- at least for how I like my chicken.

I cook chicken on one of my OTGs. If it is chicken parts, I use the OTG that fits the amount of meat. For a whole chicken, I have not found a finer way to cook that bird than on my 22.5 with my Cajun Bandit rotisserie kit. OMG, it is golden brown and so moist and tender.

I am really surprised to se any char on your skin. My WSM chicken looked great, but the skin was like soft rubber, and not tasty.

I love my WSM for long cooks, but for chicken, I want a hotter and faster cook.

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Old 04-13-2013, 05:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltsfan View Post
Thanks guys... I'll leave the water pan out next time and will add more fuel.

Do I add more fuel under or on top of the lit charcoal?.
You could always light a chimney and dump it in for extra heat. You can add more lump on top and it will catch, but could take 15-20mins. Which isn't necessarily a problem.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:32 PM   #12
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Honestly, from the pic it really does look like you were cooking at much higher temps than stated. Takes a lot of heat to get that type of charring. I go 375 on my OTS kettle indirect and never get that much.

Another thing about using a clay saucer, it's sort of like a pizza stone, it takes a while for them to heat up. So initially, they'll suck some BTUs like water, but once they get hot, it's a lot easier to keep the temps up. I just had a idea.. pre heat the saucer in the oven?
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:32 PM   #13
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Looks like it all worked out in the end, looks wonderful!

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Old 04-13-2013, 05:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JS-TX View Post
You may even want to skip the water pan altogether
Yep. That's good advice.


Chicken has a GREAT color.... Man do I hate the taste of woodsmoke on poultry.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:14 PM   #15
boltsfan
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I placed the smoke chickens on my Lynx gas grill to get the charred skin. I did not use my Mav to monitor smoker temp last time and used the built in therm.

I used a foil water pan and foiled clay saucer with NO water.

I'll try running the probe wires under the lid. Jut did not want to crimp the wires.

I am smoking twos more chickens today on the WSM and a couple of Santa Maria tri- tips on the gasser. I plan to use a full ring of unlit lump in the ring and then add a starter full on top.

I'll report back... Thanks guys.
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