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Old 08-10-2010, 08:51 PM   #1
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Default 1st smoked chicken legs on UDS - with Pron...

As always, please let me know what I may have done wrong, or what you would have done differently...you are not going to hurt my feelings. I just want to learn...

I needed something to smoke tonight that could be done in a few hours, so I tried some chicken legs. I got the chicken legs yesterday and did three different flavors/marinades (all three done last night and in fridge for about 18 hours):

Brine - Cold Water, Kosher Salt, Brown Sugar
Rub - Wizzy's Smokin' Rub
BBQ - Kroger Brand BBQ Sauce

Here are the times/temps:
(Time - Meat, side temp/top temp)
5:00 PM - Meat On, 180/225
5:30 PM - 133, 160/215
5:45 PM - 143, 175/225
6:00 PM - 150, 175/225
6:15 PM - 155, 175/225
6:30 PM - 160, 190/235
*6:45 PM - 163, 200/250
*7:00 PM - 174, 205/265
7:10 PM - 180, 200/250

* = Opened a intake valve for about 15 minutes to boost the UDS temp when the in-laws arrived hungry.

The Verdict:
The Brine - Way too salty...not very good at all. Not even sure what it was supposed to taste like, but I'll likely try much less salt next time, and maybe even a shorter soak.

The Rub - This was not bad, but it was not great either. It was Wizzy's smoking rub, which I got when I got his Vinegar BBQ sauce (which is fantastic, by the way). The rub flavor was good, but maybe I left it on too long before smoking as it was very pronounced...I will certainly try it again, but not on smoked chicken legs.

The BBQ Sauce - This was by far the best flavor. I didn't have a ton of smoke, but I cooked them slow to make sure they would not be done too early. I think the other flavors took on way too much smoke (perhaps from the low-n-slow cook), and I think the bbq sauce shielded the meat from taking on as much smoke.

Next time I won't flavor the chicken as long, and will probably cook them a little hotter/faster...any other ideas or suggestions? How do you guys do your chicken legs?

And of course, The PRON:
Top = Brine
Bottom Left = Wizzy's Smokin' Rub
Bottom Right = BBQ

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Old 08-10-2010, 11:02 PM   #2
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nice chicken trotters. Keep up the good work.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:08 PM   #3
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if it is chugging along and then the temps start to drop, give the drum a kick, thump on the side or rock it a bit. this will make the ash drop and temps should return to normal.
great job by the way!
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:21 PM   #4
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Chicken looks great!!
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:44 AM   #5
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It looks like the bird is a little oversmoked. In my experience chicken soaks up smoke like a sponge. Try only using one or two chunks of wood and put them in the chimney with your coals to get them going before putting the meat on. Also, chicken cooked over a hotter fire seasoned with only salt and pepper can be a great thing indeed. Good luck, keep posting!
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:03 AM   #6
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what was your salt to water ratio?
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:50 AM   #7
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Looks purdy good to me

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Old 08-11-2010, 05:12 AM   #8
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My guess is that the 18 hour brine time is too much. When I brine I use 3/4 cup kosher salt and 1 cup brown sugar to 1 gallon water. For chicken parts the max time I soak is 3 hours most times 2. Rinse very well or the skin will be way to salty.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:36 AM   #9
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I have read that 4 hours is max soak time for brining chicken and anything longer than that will lead to rubber chicken. I haven't tried an 18 hour soak. Try a shorter soak time.
Here is a simple brine, 1/2 cup of salt to 1 gal of water. You can add some of the same spices you plan to use on the chicken and/or juices. My family likes a citrus brine. Substitute oj for the water.
Raising the temp sounds like a good idea.
Are you using a leg holder on the smoker? They keep the legs suspended above the grates.
Hope that helps,
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:57 AM   #10
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Thanks for the tips everyone. I used about a half-gallon of water, 1 cup Kosher Salt, 1 cup Brown Sugar for the brine...which was just some recipe I came across here (probably more suited for a whole chicken).

I like trying new and different things, so I'll certainly try a citrus brine the next time.

Ya'll are great! Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:58 AM   #11
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Originally Posted by Smiter Q View Post
what was your salt to water ratio?
I agree, what was your brine recipe?

Originally Posted by joeysmac View Post
I got the chicken legs yesterday and did three different flavors/marinades (all three done last night and in fridge for about 18 hours)

If you brined the chicken legs for 18 hours, you WAY WAY overdid it. A whole turkey gets brined for 18-24 hours. Whole chickens, brine for about 6-10 hours, and chicken parts really only need brined for a couple/few hours. That's why your legs were so salty. Also, MAKE SURE YOU RINSE THEM WELL after removing from brine.

Chicken does look pretty smoky. Did you like the level of smoke flavor? If you did, then keep doing what you did. Chicken does really soak up the wood flavor. Did you're skin crisp at all?

Basically comes down to: DID YOU LIKE HOW IT TURNED OUT?

I usually do poultry at a higher temp for a shorter time. (325-350 for 1.25-1.5 hours for a whole spatched chicken), but again...that's how I like them. The only bad thing about BBQ is that you just have to keep practicing.......just horrible!

Sure look good!
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:20 PM   #12
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Here is some good info for brining, http://www.cookshack.com/brining-101
also like above higher temps 325-350 shorter cook time.
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