Since Christmas, I have smoked sausages and a rib roast in my new electric smoker. Each time the product was excellent.
Yesterday, I decided to try smoking a chicken.
My wife bought a 6 pound chicken and prepped it for the smoker. She rubbed it with a thin layer of Crisco. She then spread a mixture of cumin, salt, pepper, coriander and sage over the bird. I placed the chicken over a can of beer and stood it on one of those specialty devices for cooking "beer-can" chicken.
I heated up the smoker to 275 F. Before starting the cook, I inserted an electric thermometer into the middle of the chicken breast, set for 165 degrees. I also slid in a tray of dry apple wood chips and fresh rosemary twigs. Into the box went the chicken cum beer (Rolling Rock.)
I let the chicken cook at 275 for about 10 minutes, but because the temp. was rising so fast, I reduced the temperature to 245. I only opened the smoker once to see how the skin was doing. After 2 hours, the thermometer read 165 degrees so I removed the chicken from the smoker and took it inside to let it rest for about 10 minutes.
While the breast was cooked perfectly, the juices around the drumstick, thigh and wings was still red. So my wife put the chicken into a 400 degree over for about 30 minutes to make sure it was totally cooked.
We had the chicken last night for supper and the breast meat was very moist. The skin was pretty good before my wife put it into the over for another 30 minutes. After that it was excellent.
On reflection, I believe I will do several things differently the next time I smoke a chicken.
1. Use a smaller chicken
2. Use a plain vegetable oil instead of Crisco to coat chicken.
3. Cook chicken at 275 degrees for the total amount of time it is being smoked.
4. Brine the chicken in beer but do not put a can of beer in the chicken while smoking the bird.
5. Use a bit more salt and add a little paprika in the rub.