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Old 07-04-2012, 08:57 AM   #1
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Smoking chicken breasts...

Good morning, everyone.

I'm gonna try smoking some chicken breasts today for dinner. You've seen how small my grill is, and usually smoking for me is a result of inadequate heat and/or space. Today I'd like to do it on purpose, although my only smoke will come from the charcoal. The steaks that got mostly smoked the other day were so good, I want to do it again with chicken.

I have some seasonings in mind for the chicken itself, since I assume I'll need to rub, but for much of the rest of this, I'm asking for your help in how to make this a success with the size grill I have and the inability to add fuel during the process. I'm starting with 3 chicken breasts (breast only, no rib meat) that were individually packaged and frozen. No skin, almost no fat.

Am I doing a few minutes of direct to seal up the outside, and then going indirect? Straight indirect the whole time? I'm planning on burgers at lunchtime, but I have from lunch on to work the grill if necessary. I really can't imagine these three smaller pieces of meat taking 5 or 6 hours. I can obviously be doing a brine or something even before lunch if it's a good idea.

I figure the Minion method on the coals to last long enough, I just need to have enough going the whole time to have a cooking level of heat in there. So far my only thermometer is a kitchen meat probe that's about pen-sized with a dial at the top.

So here's the plea: with a small grill, what would you suggest? I'll post pics along the way, and of course my eternal gratitude would be part of the deal...

Thanks all.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:27 AM   #2
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Smoking chicken breasts...

In all honesty, I suggest that you simply grill the breast direct over the heat source. Place a small piece of wood over to the side for some smoke flavor.

You are about to make jerky otherwise.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:56 PM   #3
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Re: Smoking chicken breasts...

Boneless skinless chicken breasts are best grilled. Skin on with rib bones are a better choice for smoking. Do them bone side down with a rub on the skin. About half way through I like to put on a sauce. About an hour total cooking time.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:17 PM   #4
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Re: Smoking chicken breasts...

So I had to try, though, right? I did.

I mixed up a brine of sea salt, water, garlic powder and onion powder, and let them soak for about 1 hr 15. Then I patted them dry and rubbed with a mix of garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder, and put them back in the fridge for 40 or so. While they were in the fridge, I got my coals from lunch (burgers) going again with just 5 coals in my chimney.

I stacked the coals, made sure my 5 were lighting their neighbors, and came back in for the chicken.

After a second layer of rub, I went back out and put the chicken on.
[attachment=3:39tnha2j]IMG_0065[1].JPG[/attachment:39tnha2j]

Lid on, all vents wide open, and a 1/2 hour timer later, I went back for the flip...
[attachment=2:39tnha2j]IMG_0066[1].JPG[/attachment:39tnha2j]

They were looking a little more done than I expected, so I let them run another 20 (instead of 30).
[attachment=1:39tnha2j]IMG_0067[1].JPG[/attachment:39tnha2j]

And served over broccoli.
[attachment=0:39tnha2j]IMG_0069[1].JPG[/attachment:39tnha2j]

It was very tasty, although I could probably have pulled them after 15-16 instead of 20, and probably only counted for slow-grilling rather than smoking, but a fun experiment.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:29 PM   #5
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Re: Smoking chicken breasts...

Nice cook, glad you enjoyed the chicken and seems like you again learned a little more. That's how it works, learn a little each time you cook, and if you aren't learning then it's time to try new things. Doing the broccoli, if it were fresh, over the hot side of the grill would make it awesome. About 3-4 minutes each side should work.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:37 AM   #6
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Re: Smoking chicken breasts...

Yeah it looks pretty good to me. People can tell you all kinds of things to do. In the end, the only person that you have to impress is yourself!!!!! Just keep on cooking what you like bro, thats what it's about!
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:22 AM   #7
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Re: Smoking chicken breasts...

Max is spot on!
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