Author Topic: a newbie with a basic question  (Read 638 times)

wrbcman@windstream.net

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a newbie with a basic question
« on: December 16, 2020, 12:49:26 PM »
I am a newbie. Just received and seasoned a #1. I lined the floor with aluminum foil, topped the smoker lid with the same. I brined two chicken thighs for one hour in the basic brine in the website recipe book. I started the thighs cold after rinsing, analog dial set to 250F. I smoked for the recommended 2 - 4 hours (I went for 3.5 hours) with 1.75 oz hickory chunk.  The meat was flavorful and plenty smoky. The skin was a joke, but I expected that. I flared the thighs on a gas grill for 1 minute each side on high. Lovely flavor, although it seemed over-smoked to me. The problem to me was that the thighs were quite dry. In your opinion, did I brine too long, did I smoke too hot and too long? I am experienced with many other grills and smokers (65 years old, weber kettle with slow n sear, weber spirit 2 gasser, homemade trash can cold smoker, degree in chemistry, degree in culinary arts, degree in food service management, teacher of baking and pastry and food science).

swthorpe

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2020, 02:25:38 PM »
I don't think you brined too long, but the smoke time may have been too long since you were finishing on the gas grill.    I always end up over-cooking when I try to sear on a gas grill, but the key would be to remove the meat from the smoker short of the finish temp (165-170 for chicken) to allow for the continued cooking on the grill.   The grill makes sense for crisping up the skin since it otherwise will be rubbery, but timing is everything!  So, I would try less time in the smoker, get a temp reading when you take them out, and then go to the grill.
Steve from Delaware
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LarryD

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2020, 04:53:48 PM »
You might actually want to cut back on the wood... 1.75 oz for just two thighs is actually quite a bit of wood.  You might find that 1 oz is plenty.
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mike1910

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2020, 05:37:21 AM »
I agree with Steve. Cut back on your wood and invest in a thermometer to monitor and check your meat temps if you havenít already. Thighs are pretty forgiving so if they were dry Iíd suspect they were over cooked. Internal temp of 165-170 is done in chicken. Make some adjustments are you next cook with be even better
Mike from NE Minnesota
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Glock_21

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2020, 02:32:23 PM »
Welcome to the forum.


I almost always use an aluminum loaf pan full of water next to the smoke box.  It adds to the moisture in the box.

Travis from North Central Oklahoma
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Pork Belly

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2020, 05:51:05 PM »
you have a #1 so it wont take a lot of smoke to fill it up. 1.5 is about what I would toss in my #3. You don't mention a corded thermometer on your chicken. Running the smoker at 250 is the way to go for poultry but you need that thermometer to check internal temp. If you are pulling you chicken to finish on the grill I would take it out at 160. Get it on a hot grill to crisp the skin. High heat indirectly will crisp the skin while avoiding flare up.

Chicken is safe at 165, but to me dark meat is better texture around 172.

Good luck with your #1
Brian - Michigan-NRA Life Member
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wrbcman@windstream.net

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2020, 12:33:33 PM »
Thank you to everybody. I really like the helpful advice. I do have a ThermoWorks Smoke thermometer, and a ChefAlarm, and a Thermopen, and from now on, I will use them. I do think I over-temped and over-smoked the chicken thighs. I don't know why I didn't, as I am usually pretty fussy about temps. My wife and I are both Serve-Safe Certified and have been in food service in one capacity or another for a long time. What was I thinking? I am just learning this new smoker, and I absolutely love it!. I have a Weber Performer with the Slow n sear insert, a Weber 310 Spirit 2 gasser, and a homemade trash can cold smoker. I cannot wait to try out this Model 1 on sausages that my wife and I like to make. One other question, though. I noticed that the fat that dripped off the chicken thighs down onto the foil-covered smoke box wound up creeping under the foil along the edges, and the same thing happened with the foil lining on the smoker bottom. No big deal, but it was puzzling. Ever happen to you?

barelfly

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2020, 12:37:40 PM »
Yep, pretty much every time I use the smoker I hav to wipe down under the foil on the bottom. Just a paper towel is all I use.

Jeremy in NM
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swthorpe

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2020, 02:00:56 PM »
Same here, on the floor of the smoker!   I also just wipe it all down with a paper towel when cleaning up.  For the smoker box, I wrap the foil under the lid a bit, so I have not noticed any drippings on the smoke box.  Nevertheless, I wipe down the smoke box as well when I am cleaning up the left over charcoal wood pieces.
Steve from Delaware
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wrbcman@windstream.net

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2020, 07:24:04 PM »
You people are amazing! Thank you for all of your pointers and advice. Today I did exactly what you recommended. I smoked a pair of turkey thighs at 250F on the analog dial, and stuck the thighs with probes. (I didn't brine the thighs, as the bird had been injected before sale - I usually don't like that, but this worked out great.)  The box temp fluctuated a lot, but I don't care about that. My wife gave the thighs a surface rub with basic seasoning and some cajun spices just for a little kick. I took them off at 157F internal after about 3 hours with .75oz hickory and put them on the Weber slow n sear indirect for a few minutes, then full on the coals for a sear. I have NEVER had turkey that good, and my wife, who is a skeptic at times, was floored. She now thinks this purchase was a wise one.  These were just unimaginably good, juicy, rich, perfectly done. Thank you all for your advice! Hooked beyond redemption here.

barelfly

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2020, 07:55:52 PM »
Love it! Glad you had a great cook!

And I agree - there is something with these Smokin-Itís that can cook some turkey and chicken! Well, everything for that matter, but the turkey legs I do come out amazing in the 3D!

Jeremy in NM
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Weber Kettle with a Slow n Sear

swthorpe

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2020, 06:03:57 AM »
Great---that's what we like to hear!   I think you are off and running.  Cheers
Steve from Delaware
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mike1910

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Re: a newbie with a basic question
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2020, 08:15:29 PM »
Awesome! Glad to hear youíre working out the kinks and turning out some great food. Enjoy!
Mike from NE Minnesota
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