Smokin' 6 Birds

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sawhorseray
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Smokin' 6 Birds

Post by sawhorseray » Fri Apr 18, 2014 21:06

When the ads came out Wednesday one of the discount markets here was advertising whole chickens for 69≠lb and 2-liter bottles of 7-up for 79≠ each.. I was at that store bright and early yesterday and picked thru the lot for six birds that each weighed right about 5.7 pounds, they were still partially frozen. I got them home and rinsed them off in the sink, the pot of guts is for the Boo.
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I whipped up a batch of CW's famous Choke 'n Smoke Turkey brine
3......gallons cold water
3......2-liter bottle 7-up
3&1/3 cups powdered dextrose
2&1/4 cups canning salt
1&1/2 cups Instacure #1
I injected each chicken with about 7oz. of the brine solution, then placed them in buckets that are used only for this purpose, covered them with the rest of the brine, and set them in the cooler with a bunch of frozen water jugs. I've tested this set-up many times and the temperature always comes in right at 39°F, perfect.
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This morning I got the birds rinsed off and set to drain for a bit in the sink, then got them stocking'd up and tied onto my smoking sticks. At 12:30pm I put them all in the Pro 100 set at 110° to dry for the next 90 minutes, vents wide open.
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At 2pm I'll raise the smoker temp to 125°, introduce a load of moist applewood chips, and close the vents to a quarter open. At 6pm the plan is to change the chip pan and raise the smoker temp to 140° for another four hours, at which time the chip pan will be removed and the vents closed shut. I figure to raise the smoker temp to 180° and go to bed, sometime after I wake up tomorrow morning the load should hit 162° and be ready to be pulled off and set on racks in the kitchen counter to cool off for a few hours. Like most successful plans, this one again hinges on me waking up tomorrow. RAY
“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.”
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Post by Blackriver » Sat Apr 19, 2014 03:41

Looks like they are going to be great Ray! I am looking forward to seeing how they turn out.
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Post by MetalMan » Sat Apr 19, 2014 04:15

Love a brined and smoked bird.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Sat Apr 19, 2014 07:55

Metal Man, just wait until you`ve tried one brined in Seven-Up! It turns the meat into manna!
If you want to see how Ray`s chickens turn out post-smoking, take a look at the page at this link...(scroll down to the bottom of the page).
Link: http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/search.php?s ... &start=855
Ray has turned this stuff into an art form!

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by sawhorseray » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:49

Now it's 4:40 in the morning and the dog just woke me up so she could go out to pee. I checked the smoker and the birds are at 159°, can't pull them off and I dare not go back to bed. GRRRR!!! The birds come off juicy and full of flavor, I've absolute confidence in the CW recipe I've used so many times now. Be a nice treat to wow my Easter crowd along with the wild hog ham I smoked from ten months back. I'll post a picture of the chickens in a bit after they come off, might as well make brekky now. RAY
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Post by sawhorseray » Sat Apr 19, 2014 14:52

I had to deal with a eight degree discrepancy between my two meat thermometers but they finally were ready to come off. The thermometers seem to test out OK which leads me to believe more about hot and cold spots in smokers
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The birds can sit on the counter for a few hours before going into the fridge. Canadian bacon, eggs, maple-apple sausage, country fried taters, and toasted bun made for a great brekky
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Now that the sun is coming up and the birds are chirping, I'm stuffed and going back to bed. RAY
“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.”
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Post by Bob K » Sat Apr 19, 2014 17:26

Ray-

Those look wonderful !!!

I was going to ask yesterday about the temp difference between the top and bottom of the smoker.

Maybe best to keep everything at the same level. without a circulating fan there has to be some stratification of heat. Or rotate while cooking.
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Post by sawhorseray » Sat Apr 19, 2014 18:02

Thanks Bob! I'm pretty sure in the future I'll just do four chickens at a time so they'll all be on sticks hanging from the same level. I tried eight birds at once a year or so back and even tho they fit easily it seemed to exceed the capacity of my smoker with all the time it took. Rotating would just seem kind of clumsy and messy for me, leaving the door open that long would really increase the time factor. This was the first time I ever had a bird come out with a burned spot, a couple on the bottom shelf were touching each other, maybe that was the cause. It's all good. RAY
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Post by el Ducko » Sat Apr 19, 2014 22:10

Yeah, there seems to be a big difference in temperature according to where they are in my smokers. The MasterBuilt has about a 25 degree gradient, which throws the controller way off and causes it to cycle widely (+/- 10 degrees at the low end of the temperature range, where I need tight control). The Brinkmann horizontal smoker gets smoke to everything above halfway up, and very little to anything below. (Half-n-half sausages, anyone? No? I didn't think so.)

I'm building a fan into the MasterBuilt to try to even things out. ...pictures as soon as we can settle in one location long enough to get some free time and finish it. I've got a small fan motor which hooks to a paint mixer shaft through a brass bushing, built into the chip loader. Sounds exotic, but it's pretty simple. Even a duck can do it! ...hopefully.

Meanwhile- - yeah, rotate.
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Post by redzed » Sun Apr 20, 2014 07:25

sawhorseray wrote:Rotating would just seem kind of clumsy and messy for me,
Ray, ole' boy, that comes with the territory. Unless you have one of those $50,000 commercial units that that smoke, steam and finish your product perfectly every time, rotating your sausage, hams, fish or what have you, is standard practice, whether you have a fancy electric smoker or the old style barrel type. Since I have the same unit as you do, I can tell you that once the the smoker is heated up, it recovers the temp lost from opening the doors within 10 to 12 minutes. And with apologies to Duckie, I am skeptical of the benefits of a fan in the smoker. Smoke is supposed to waft slowly through the chamber, licking the meat and gently exiting. I doubt :grin: that creating chaos with the smoke moving around rapidly in the chamber in all directions will improve the situation. Would be nice to load up the smoker and then forget about it for several hours, but it's just not possible. I rotate everything I smoke, even when I cold smoke fish.
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Post by sawhorseray » Sun Apr 20, 2014 16:56

Happy Easter Chris! With degenerative disks, arthritic spurs, and both hips candidates to be replaced I don't do any more bending over than absolutely essential. Heck, I put on knee pads and have a sawhorse next to me to help me get back up when I change the chip pan. Chickens are the only thing I ever smoke that would need rotating and once started I usually open the smoker door twice during a 18-20 hour smoke session, once to change the chips, again to take the pan out and close the vents. After a few hours of sitting on wire racks they all appeared perfect when I cut them in half for shrink-wrapping. A little mayo with some chopped onion, celery, and almonds turns the stuff into the best chicken salad ever. RAY
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Post by Blackriver » Sun Apr 20, 2014 21:32

Ray those chickens look fantastic!! Nice work
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Post by ssorllih » Mon Apr 21, 2014 15:41

Back in the days with it was acceptable to smoke tobacco in the house I enjoyed watching the smoke circulate and drift and layer in the still air of a room. Everyone and everything in that room would smell of smoke.
Ross- tightwad home cook
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Post by MetalMan » Wed Apr 23, 2014 02:29

Chuckwagon wrote:Metal Man, just wait until you`ve tried one brined in Seven-Up! It turns the meat into manna!
If you want to see how Ray`s chickens turn out post-smoking, take a look at the page at this link...(scroll down to the bottom of the page).
Link: http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/search.php?s ... &start=855
Ray has turned this stuff into an art form!

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
CW the link does not work for me.
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Post by MetalMan » Wed Apr 23, 2014 02:31

sawhorseray those birds look great. Might have to give the 7up brine a try next time I brine a bird.
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