Brined Smoked Chickens - BBQ Central

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Old 06-16-2005, 12:14 AM   #1
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Brined Smoked Chickens

Did some brined fresh chickens on the WSM tonight over cherry chips in a foil pouch. They were fabulous! So very tender and juicy (check the last pic out). Pics Here. Click the link to 2005-06-15 Brined Smoked Chickens.

I used the same brine on these 2lb - 3lb birds that I used on my Xmas turkeys, 7 hours. Drained them, dried them, seperated the skin from the breast by sliding my hand under the skin (thanks Kevin), then gave them a little EVOO rub down.

Fired up a mix of old and new lump and briquettes and dumped them in, put the middle section on to shelter from the wind.

Once it was rolling along I put both on the top grate breast up, untied and with no water pan.

The WSM managed to hold 325F for 80 minutes when the ET-73 told me the bird hit 165F in the breast. I checked them (and took a pic). There was still a little pink juice in the bird so I fliped them over for another 20 minutes then removed them.

My wife the skin fan said the skin was some of the best yet, though still not 'real' crisp, except for wing tips. I loved the cherry wood. Man have I been missing out until now.

Unlike some of the other bids I have done we did not find one single squishy spot of meat, it was all cooked through though the pics might not look like it.

So do most smoked birds just end up with these red or pink spots?
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:18 AM   #2
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Sorry Shawn, I can't see the pis. I get 1 and its black & white.
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nick Prochilo
Sorry Shawn, I can't see the pis. I get 1 and its black & white.
Do the other links on the index page work for ya Nick?

In total, the pics and the java applet are just over 300k. Over 28.8 dial up it could take 2 - 3 minutes to load.

If speed isn't the issue, if you are using Internet Explorer try hitting your F5 key (keyboard equivalent of clicking the Refresh button).

Not sure ... anybody else having trouble? If not, maybe your browser security settings are blocking the applet Nick.
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan Z
Well, I was reading somewhere that the reason you see red near the bones of chickens these days, even when they are fully cooked, is that chickens are slaughtered when they are soooo young (cuz we make 'em grow big much faster), the bones haven't completely finished hardening, so the bood leaches out during cooking.
Thanks a bunch Susan ... that helps, I guess I'm just a little jumpy about WSM chicken. I've thrown squishy parts back on the cooker or in the microwave.

THe spots seem more pronounced with WSM cooked birds than out of the oven but to be honest I never used to measure the internal temp when cooking in the oven so they probably got cooked a lot more.

Next time screw the thermometer, I'll try cooking 'till I think it looks done.
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Vom_Willemstad_K-9
I see the pics but I see one which looks like you are pointing a hair dryer at the birds in the sink..

-Adrian
Yeah Adrian it's a hair dryer. I blotted the birds with paper towel, then tried to dry the skin with the dryer, then put a little oil on the skin in the hopes of getting super crispy skin.
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Old 06-16-2005, 02:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jaybo
... but I'm pretty anal about making sure I hit the absolute deepest part of breast.

I pick a point that's maybe an inch or so from the breast bone, then angle the probe straight up toward the 'shoulder' area (deepest breast seems to be near where the head got cut off). I push probe till I hit something then pull back about 1/2 inch.

One thing that helps is that if you're not certain, re-probe (using that same hole, just angle in differently) and see if the maverick gives you a lower temp--then you know you've got a better probe placement....
Thanks Jaybo, I will give that a go ... better probe placement has to help.
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Old 06-16-2005, 06:54 AM   #7
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well did the hair dryer thing work?
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:02 AM   #8
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Look great Shawn! The hair dryer is a good idea. According to AB:
Quote:
The whole reason for drying food before you smoke it is pellicle formation, okay? Now that's what you call it when a cure pulls water soluble proteins up to the surface of the meat. When dry these proteins form a kind of molecularly sticky landing pad for smoke particles. Sure some of the smoke is vapor but the other part is particulate matter, okay? It's a colloid thing.

COLLOID: A GAS OR LIQUID WHICH HAS VERY
SMALL PARTICLES DISPERSED THROUGHOUT.

Anyway, you can do this at home just by putting the meat out on racks and next to a household fan. You just have to make sure that the meat's elevated so that it doesn't sit in its own fluids. How long it'll take to dry kind of depends on the meat, the relative humidity, the speed of the fan, the temperature. But on average I'd say about half and hour per side will do if you've got a strong fan. Oh and make sure that you get the meat high enough so that the dingoes can't get it.
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Captain Morgan
well did the hair dryer thing work?
I read somewhere that air drying your brined poultry overnight in the fridge can help the skin. I would have liked to, but no time this time.

How much good did it really do? Tough to say without a side by side comparison, but I'd do it again if I don't have time to let brined birds air dry. Maybe one of those paint stripper heat guns would be the thing.

I liked the 'no water pan and flip'. The bottom got a real nice color, and the top got a nice bath after the flip.
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Old 06-16-2005, 03:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Susan Z
Won't letting it rest covered make the skin all soggy again?

I've done ducks overnight in the fridge uncovered (first you prick the skin all over), but they were beercan ducks anyhow and you ALWAYS get crispy skin no matter what when you do it that way. (especially my duck that caught on fire)
Susan, not sure if your question was directed to me or not but yeah it surely will sog the skin. I didn't rest these birds. When I have rested them I try to let my wife sample the skin she wants before resting.
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Old 06-16-2005, 04:41 PM   #11
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thanks for the tip Raine ... I did flip them and put them back in for another 20 minutes when I saw some pink juice in the cavity of the bird.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan S
Shawn, Them birds look great. I love cherry wood for doing poultry. It gives the skin a nice red color and works perfect with the poultry. What was your brine? I see some orange slices and AJ? Nice job Bud. =D>
thanks Bryan

the brine was Apple-Brined Whole Turkey recipe by you-know-who from that-site-of which-we longer-speak ok, credit where it's due, Chris A at TVWBB
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