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Quick question regarding smoking chicken (opinions welcomed as well)...

edited 1:46AM in EggHead Forum
I'll be smoking two 4lb chickens today, and I'm curious if most of you usually smoke chicken/turkey in a foil pan, or do you usually smoke them standing up or beer can style? My thinking is, smoking them in a pan will yield a more moist chicken (since the chicken will cook in its own juices), but smoking a chicken on a stand, or beer can style, will produce a smokier tasting chicken (since more of the chicken will be exposed to smoke.) Does this sound about right of am I missing something? How do some of you personally smoke chickens?


  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Roanokesmoke,[p] That is sort of like asking which camera to buy. :)[p]chicken-1.jpg[p]I do them what ever way strikes my fancy at the time.
  • Roanokesmoke,[p]First, remember what you are cooking in: Big Green Egg! It retains moisture like no other cooker. That is not an issue in choosing your cooking method. I personally use verticle beer can stands to smoke or roast chickens. Sometimes I'll put a little water in an empty can in the rack for additional moisture. Don't bother with beer. You get no flavor imparted from liquids in your cooking environment.[p]If you want additional moisture and flavor get yourself a Cajun Injector and knock yourself out. I prefer the Creole Butter flavor on chicken.[p]Watch your internal temperature closely. The only way to dry out a chicken in the egg is to overcook it (even then it's pretty forgiving - I've cooked one to a thigh temperature of 195 and it was still moist).
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,548
    chicken absorbs smoke so easily that i dont think it matters much for that smokey flavor. what changes things is the temp your cooking at, low and slow yeilds a moist product but the texture is much different than a high temp roasted turkey. i like it cooked both ways but usually just cook thighs and wings at thew lower temps. ive cooked hundreds and hundreds of low and slow turkeys in the past and while some say they will be dry, they are not. chicken is the same. depends on what you want for an outcome, a roasted bird, a low and slow cooked bird, they can both have good smoked flavor. if you cook chicken for cold leftovers, going light on the smoke is better because for some reason chicken can taste very smokey the next day. if im slow cooking a whole chicken it would be over a pan of water, not in it and the skin cooked with a water pan needs to be discarded. beer but chickens i cook direct with gingerale at 375.

  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,627
    <p />Roanokesmoke, You might want to think about how you are going to handle the grease. I had a pan under these two birds and still had issues with grease catching on fire late in the cook. The picture is about 40 minutes into the cook and before the birds started to drip hard. The temp was around 400 dome, or I guess in this case grid too. T ACGP, Inc.
  • JimbobJimbob Posts: 54
    Do you live in Roanoke Va? If so which area? I live in the Bonsack area.

  • fishlessman,
    Most of the chicken I cook now I cook indirect with a pan of whatever. I was getting a bitter smokiness from direct cooks that I attributed to burning drippings. when you cook chicken (beer butt or whatever) direct, is it typically on a raised grate? Have you ever had a problem with the not-tasty smoke?[p]I haven't tried a spatchcock in awhile, I'm thinking maybe I'll try one direct this weekend.

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,548
    Flashback Bob,
    give it another go, i bet you know more about what bad smoke looks like and that you need to wait before putting the chicken on for the bad smoke to clear. until just rescently i thought i didnt like smoked pasta, it was one of my first cooks and it was terrible. lately i gave it another go and it was great, must have been some things i did wrong at the time.

  • EggRacerEggRacer Posts: 400
    Roanokesmoke,[p]I don't ever cook chicken in a pan on the egg. I always have something under it on a different level (a pan on the platesetter) to catch the grease, but that's it. The chicken comes out moist and has plenty of flavor.
    North Richland Hills, TX
  • Jimbob,[p]I actually don't right now---but my wife and I are planning on moving there in the next year or so. We absolutely love the area, and being outdoor enthusiasts, we think we're really going to enjoy living there. How do you like it there? BTW, thanks everyone for your replies---I really appreciate it.
  • ShoeShoe Posts: 67
    Smoking in a pan won't yield moister chicken, it will yield a soaking wet chicken whose bottom never browned, and meat soaked in chicken fat. Yuck.[p]I lay them on an elevated grill and catch the fat in a pan below the grill. Cooking doesn't have to be indirect per se, just do something to keep the dripping grease off the coals. Advantage of using a plate setter or pizza stone between the coals and the drip pan & chicken has more to do with the fat in the pan not smoking more than how it affects the cooking of the chicken, IMHO.[p]I want to echo want someone said earlier about the smoke - the smoke flavor is more pronounced when the chicken has cooled.
  • JimbobJimbob Posts: 54
    Shoot me a e-mail. I'm listed on the visitors profiles. I don't want to tie up the space on the forum.

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