View Full Version : does anyone else have issues with chicken drying out

06-02-2011, 11:37 PM
I have now done my second smoke with whole chickens that were cut in 1/2. My first time they had brined for a day & 1/2 it was ok. but it had a "dry" texture. That was a month or so ago. yesterday one of my husbands customers game then a case of kosher chickens that were havled so i brought a bounch home to smoke for them to have. It was the same way. I didn't get a chance to brine this group.

So what i dont get is i do whole chickens every weekend and they are always very moist. any thoughts or suggestions?

06-02-2011, 11:44 PM
What temp are you cooking at?

06-02-2011, 11:52 PM
oops sorry I always do my chickens whole. Someone suggested that i cut thing in 1/2's so i tried one and didn't like how it turned out. and then of course i had no say in the ones that were given to me. I usually smoke at 230-250 and it is until the internal temp is good for the chicken. I actually do a couple degrees before and take them out and cover with foil until for abotu 30 min. to let it come to correct temp and finish cooking and to rest

06-02-2011, 11:58 PM
Maybe.........cuz........smaller pieces cook faster?

06-03-2011, 12:12 AM
lol yeah you think. and i know i don't cook it as long as i would if it was whole. it is just weird i think.

Meat Burner
06-03-2011, 12:21 AM
purple, have you looked into spatchcocked chicken? We do these at much higher temps and they come out absolutely awsome. Trying to do lower temp smoked has never been near as good for us. Let me know your thoughts.

06-03-2011, 12:25 AM
Only when I OVERCOOKED it.165 MAX for breast,175-180 for dark meat.

06-03-2011, 12:28 AM
+1 on higher temps - 300 - 350 or so, and spatchcocking. Beer butt chix work well too.

06-03-2011, 01:11 AM
I don't smoke chicken. I cook it at 325-ish. Also, are you brining the bird? Brining helps add moisture and flavor. Finally, you didn't mention what temp you are taking the chicken to. I cook mine to 155 in the breast and 165 in the thigh. Put a bag of ice on the breast for 15 minutes before cooking helps the breast finish at the same time as the thigh.

06-03-2011, 01:40 AM
Meat the problem is that the wholes are great. the halves don't turn out so good. Ron i did it once with a brine and once with out but the one with out was injected. and right now i want to say i did it to m aybe 170ish, I don't have my log close at hand to look it up for sure. I have my cheat sheet there to help with the perfect internal temps. and it is late so i am not thinking exactlly right on it.

big brother smoke
06-03-2011, 02:30 AM
Bump up the heat to 300+

06-03-2011, 02:40 AM
I'm another big supporter of over 300, we rock at 325. Personally, I have never thought that chicken was a good candidate for low and slow.

06-03-2011, 02:50 AM
I cook thighs at 250 for about 1 3/4 hours to an internal temp of 170 and they are great every time. EZ!

Breasts tend to dry out when overcooked. I would do them at 250 for less than 1 1/2 hours to an internal temp of 160.

06-03-2011, 06:46 AM
What Ron does!

06-03-2011, 06:58 AM
If you are doing whole birds, brining and spatchcocking is the way to go. I usually smoke them at 275 until the breast is in the 165-170 range. The skin will be rubbery but I usually don't eat it anyway. I've also had good results with cooking in the 300-350 range. They come out juicy and tender.
If I cook boneless breast, I butterfly the breast and marinate in cherry dr pepper. Grill at 325 until done. Sometimes I drape the breast with bacon to aid in moisture retention.

Black Dog BBQ
06-03-2011, 08:19 AM
I agree with the above. I struggled with chicken for years with the lower temps. Over the last couple of months I've been really cooking alot of it at 275-300 range and it works so much better. I agree with the brining also. Good luck

06-03-2011, 08:31 AM
I get the WSM as hot as I can, usually around 300. The chicken halves are done in and hour or a little more. Never had a problem with them being dry. Oh, and no brine. Just rubbed with yardbird.


El Ropo
06-03-2011, 08:42 AM
Higher temp for sure, I try to cook chicken at 325-350, no brine, just a simple rub like low sodium Montreal chicken seasoning over spicy Italian dressing slather.

06-03-2011, 12:01 PM
Thanks every one. I think i may just stay with my whole chickens since they turn out perfect. I may just give up on the halves since i don't like how they turn out. Maybe try it again once i learn more.

06-03-2011, 01:44 PM
Agree with everyone else. There really isn't much reason to cook chicken low and slow cause it's such a lean meat and doesn't have much connective tissue that needs to be broken down. The main concerns with chicken are cooking it fully while retaining moisture whereas pork and brisket mostly keep themselves moist with fat and the main concern is breaking down proteins and melting fat. Since most of the smoke flavor comes from the beginning of the cook I don't think you lose much from faster cooking at higher temp anyway.

06-03-2011, 01:51 PM
Brine or marinate in Kosmos or something similar then cook hot and fast not low and slow. You can still use wood because chicken sucks it in pretty good. Good luck