We went with a whole chicken for the second smoker project. I used a commercial chicken rub on this bird and let it sit for about an hour before I put it into the smoker. I stoked the smoke box with some cherry wood that was handy from a limb fallen off of a wild cherry tree on the edge of the yard.
Still learning the ins and outs of the new smoker. I set the dial on the recommended temp (225) and didn’t open it for 4 hours when I stuck it with a thermometer. Alas, it was only reading 145 degrees. Hmm, this was going to take longer. I cranked the temp dial to it’s max setting of 250, inserted a remote thermoprobe into the breast, and poked the spike end of another meat thermometer into the vent on the top to get an idea of the actual temperature inside the box.
The repurposed meat thermometer showed a max temp of 235 inside the box which I think is ballpark for what I had hoped to see. The temps varied as the electric element cycled on its own remote bulb sensor. The reading from the middle of the chicken breast steadily rose, albeit slowly. By the time it read 160, after a total of 6 hours, we were tired of waiting and took it out. It appeared to be fully cooked, all of the juices ran clear and there wasn’t any of the raw tinge at the thigh joints. Another hour (or two!) would not have been too much, we will adjust our methods accordingly, starting with the dial maxed out from the beginning of the run.
Next project will be a beef brisket we have brining in the fridge. We are hoping for pastrami. I’m still researching rubs for it, tentatively it will be black pepper, coriander seeds, and juniper berries. I think it will be an all day affair – ten hours per the conventional wisdom.