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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
first time I smoked anything. Saw and old Brinkman vertical in father-in-law's shed and he gave it to me. Bought a 4 and 1/2 lb chicken, made a fire in the bottom, filled the water bowl and let it go. oh, yeah I did put some dry mesquite chips in with the fire.. they burned out within an hour. Because there is no access doors I had to take the chicken and water bowl out to add a foil pack of mesquite chips with holes in it. 5 hours later I now have a very juicy, tender, bitter tasting chicken. Edible though. I'll have to find some better wood I think.
 

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I use apple wood for most meats. In a pinch I do use hickory. I am not a fan of mesquite.
 

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i second the advice to use apple wood on all the "white" meats. in my recent reading on barbecue/smoking, it seems that texas is the only place that likes mesquite wood and a "bitter" taste was a reason given not to use it.
 

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mesquite is a grilling wood ( steaks/hamburger/etc... ) fast and good.

The reason for your bitterness is TOO much smoke. 5 hours with mesquite is way to much. Here's some hint on what you can do to prevent this.

1> Used a milder wood ( cherry, pecan,apple,walnut, peach ) along with some good charcoal or lump charcoal.

2> wrap the meat up tight in a foil pack, this conserve the heat, juices and reduces the amount of smoke

3> raise the temp of your brinkman, in my experince their temps aren't constant and you have piss-poor air-vent controls leading to lower inside temps.

Try again if you can find a halve or quarter chicken parts ( they are easier to deal ) with. if you want a good store chicken ( whole ) look for the empire kosher brand or a stew hen. These 3-4lb birds roast up nicely and taste wonderfull.Monitor the heat closely and reduce the amount of smoke by allowing more air to hit the fire.

Once you master these smaller poultry items, try a turkey breast and a rooster or capone. You will be suprise :)
 

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I don't even know....what I'm doing here....
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I use Oak, mulberry, maple, hickory, or whatever else is available, and things nearly always turn out fine. (Oak actually is the most commonly used wood for smoking meats, according to one of my cookbooks.) IMHO, folks worry too much about the wood, and not enough about spices or technique. I quit using charcoal last year, and use wood only.

My first smoker was a Brinkman as well, and I always struggled with maintaining temps. I finally had a friend weld me up a big, heavy double chambered smoker, and life is fine. Smoking a beef Brisket this weekend.
 

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I use a Charbroil water smoker. Not to bad. Just got done doing up chicken breasts in it. I really like using hickory. Don't like mesquite. Another good flavor is the chips sold by Jack Daniels from the whiskey barrels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gonna try again tomorrow. Couldn't find any other wood besides hickory (I didn't look too hard) in Walmart and Ace. I think I'll soak some of the hickory chunks and put them in a foil pack.

This brinkman smoker has no way to control airflow, so I wonder if I just pile more charcoal in there it will get hotter longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The chicken problem thread is hilarious.

The one chunk of soaked hickory in foil did the trick. I think the cooking temp got too hot though, the temp on the meat thermometer in the breast was about 185 190, and the meat was a little dry. The rest of the bird was great. The hickory gave it a good taste but I'd like to try some of the other suggested woods if I can find them.


I have another in the smoker right now. I don't know how but the cooking temp is staying between 225 - 250. But I'm getting bored with the plain chicken now. I think I need to add something to it, rubs, sauces etc.
 

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For food safety, a whole chicken is suppose to be cooked to 185*. With the water pan, my chickens have always come out juicy.

Pick up Steven Raichlein's book on BBQ'ing. Very informative. Lots of rubs and sauces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well the one I did yesterday was a flop. The fire must of gone out, because the temperature kept dropping. With no way to control the fire or air flow in this old brinkman, I wrapped it in foil and finished it in the oven. Very little smoke flavor on the same amount of wood as the last one that came out OK. I think I'm about to be in the market for a new smoker, maybe the weber smokey mountain.

But I've been thinkin about getting a new IWB probably a VM2 or tucker the answer. So now I've got choices to make, sucks.

I read on bbq.about.com that 165 was ok for chicken, but it was a little underdone for me.
 

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Originally posted by The Pontificator
Chicken: better smoked than choked. :supergrin:
Of course that's a matter of opinion.
 
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