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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 01-19-2014, 10:04 AM   #1
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 10-10-13
Location: Austin, Texas
Smile Smoked Yardbird (Chicken)

As with last weeks post about ribs, I realize that there are many ways to smoke your bird and that not all methods are loved, hated or despised. However, this post is just meant to provide some helpful guidance to those who are learning to smoke yardbird and make one think about each step along the journey. If you guys continue to like these maybe I'll do a few more.....

Below are a few birds cooked in different ways but post prepared the same... Roti, Thighs, and Spatchcock.

1. Brine your bird or not. I like mine brined over night with a 3/4 cup salt, 1 cup sugar to 1 gal of water plus my favorite herbs and spices. Some like to add fruit juices which also adds a nice dimension. The reason I like to brine is I like to cook the bird to a much higher temp (180-185 in the thigh) than you could if you did not brine. Keep in mind though that brining does tend to make the skin a bit more rubbery, but most of that can be overcome by drying and cooking at a higher temp (325 or so). So lets get started.....

Brine you bird. If you are doing thighs, remove the skin and excess fat from the thighs, be careful not to tear up the skin from the thighs as you will need them later. Just place them in a bowl with rub on the inside of the skin and stack them up, cover with plastic wrap and place in your fridge or ice box. Also, if you are preparing thighs and presentation is important remove the ends of each bone with a knife or shearing (cooking) scissors.

2. Drain and rinse your bird. Then place on a cutting board to drain and dry a little more (15min or so) but not enough to let the bird warm up to room temp. Warm Bird = bad juju.

3. Coat your bird inside and out and on all sides with your favorite rub, herbs, spices etc. being careful not to use many or a lot of sugars as sugars tends to burn.

4. If you are doing thighs, retrieve your nice and cold skins from the fridge or ice box, then wrap the chicken thighs and form into even shapes. Do this by starting with the top of the thigh, placing the top skin over to one side and wrap into tucking any extra skin under the top layer. The skin will constrict during cooking, therefore do not try and pin it in place, it will be fine. I also do not trim thighs at this point as they will change shape during the cooking process as well.

5. Place the thighs in a square pan and make them look even, any extras that don't fit will firm up fine in a square foil pan as is pictured. The purpose of this is to retain moisture while forming the thighs into a consistent shape.

6. Stick your bird on the roti and tie her up, not too tight though as that may break the skin. Also, give it a nice dusting of coarse S&P and a little more rub as you place it in the pit.

7. Chickens all squared up, dusted with a little more rubs, some coarse S&P and placed in the smoker.

8. All bird placed in the smoker, the spatchcock is placed directly on the grill and also dusted with a bit more rubs and some coarse S&P. Note: Spatchcocking your bird, it will help with even cooking. I like to cook the breast to 170 and the thighs to about 180 then let them rest a nice 30 min or so.

9. Once the birds have been in the pit for about an hour add large pats of butter to the top of the thighs, or if not doing thighs place a stick of butter in a pan and stick it in the smoker until it melts (all liquid no chucky monkeys).

10. I then remove my thighs and place everything on the rack (with the exception of the roti of coarse) and let cook until the birds are starting to look a bit dry on the outside. During this time, take the butter that is melted, your favorite sauce, beer and any other stuffs you like to add to your sauce and mix them together. Keep the mixture warm in your smoker...... You want to end up with a runny sauce, not a clumpy one as that just looks ugly and who want an ugly bird not to mention clumpy is just not as tasty, kinda makes one whish the bird had taken a bath....

11. Take that runny sauce and baste the birds. Make em' look pretty. I dunk the thighs, and coat the spatchcock and roti using a spoon so as not to touch the skin and disturb this finished look.

12. Once done let move them to a cutting board and let them rest. Notice they are not touching and that the skin and shapes have changed even further. Evaluate which ones you like based on your tastes and consistency in appearance.

13. Same goes for the spatchcock...

14. And roti...

15. Once you have everything completed, rested and cooled to a nice temp. Enjoy.... Your birds should be tasty, moist and look the way you like them.

Would ya'll like brisket next?
What ya smokin there?

Last edited by FatCoyote; 01-19-2014 at 01:36 PM..
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Thanks from: --->
Old 01-19-2014, 10:13 AM   #2
somebody shut me the fark up.

IamMadMan's Avatar
Join Date: 07-30-11
Location: Pemberton, New Jersey

Great Job, thanks for the comparison...
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:18 AM   #3
On the road to being a farker
Join Date: 01-14-14
Location: Roseville MN

Lets get some pictures of the sliced meat!!!!!
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:24 AM   #4
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 10-10-13
Location: Austin, Texas

Originally Posted by smokingmeats View Post
Lets get some pictures of the sliced meat!!!!!
I would love to, but it was eaten before I remember to take photos (yes beer and whiskey were involved as the cook was ending.) All birds came out juicy, tender and tasty....
What ya smokin there?
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:39 AM   #5
Got Wood.
Join Date: 09-02-13
Location: Bennett Colorado

I don't want an ugly bird either... Thanks for posting. Your birds look great. I'm sure they didn't last long at the table.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:30 PM   #6
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Join Date: 08-27-13
Location: Princeton, TX

Beautiful color on that bird.
Custom Offset/GMG Davy Crockett/Vision Kamado/Blackstone/WSM 14.5" X2/Jumbo Joe/KCBS
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:36 PM   #7
Babbling Farker
Join Date: 11-20-13
Location: Uniontown,Pa

Thanks for the post. Looks great.
Ron-Born and proudly raised in New Orleans, Louisiana
Pastry Chef
Weber 22.5 Kettle,Blackstone 36 Griddle,UDS
Shirley Fabrication 24x50 RF with warmer(Boss Hogg)

Tab Benoit- Must listen to this artist. A cross between southern blues,Stevie Ray, and Louisiana cajun. Great listening while having a brew and tending the stick burner.
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