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Old 01-06-2013, 08:28 PM   #11
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The queuing mantra of low and slow doesn't really apply to fowl.

Chickens and turkeys can stand much higher temps while still absorbing plenty of flavorful smoke. Next time try it at 325 or so.

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Old 01-06-2013, 10:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by forty_caliber View Post
The queuing mantra of low and slow doesn't really apply to fowl.

Chickens and turkeys can stand much higher temps while still absorbing plenty of flavorful smoke. Next time try it at 325 or so.

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If it were in the oven, that would be possible, but it's an electric smoker. In the summer it could probably get up to 275-300, but it's cold outside.

I've made chicken sous vide, and it wasn't chewy. If you are aiming for a certain internal temp, why would you need the external temp to be so high? I'm genuinely asking here, because I feel like I'm missing something (although I still think it might be partially the chicken's fault)
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:24 AM   #13
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Not sure what smoker you have. A wood fired or my Traeger electric smoker are capable of higher temps. One key with smoking is to use temperature, not time to measure doneness. I use one of those digital remote read jobs. I generally pull the chicken at 155-160 and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

Cooking the chicken longer at a lower temp just means that it will absorb more smoke...maybe too much so that it turns bitter.

How was the chicken placed in the smoker? in a pan? Directly on the rack? How many times did you open the door to check on the bird?

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Old 01-07-2013, 10:09 AM   #14
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Not sure what smoker you have. A wood fired or my Traeger electric smoker are capable of higher temps. One key with smoking is to use temperature, not time to measure doneness. I use one of those digital remote read jobs. I generally pull the chicken at 155-160 and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

Cooking the chicken longer at a lower temp just means that it will absorb more smoke...maybe too much so that it turns bitter.

How was the chicken placed in the smoker? in a pan? Directly on the rack? How many times did you open the door to check on the bird?

.40
I opened the small door at the bottom four times to add more chips. I put the thermometer probe in before the chicken went in, and took the bird out when the digital read said 160. It's on a cord, so I could read the temp without opening the smoker. It was directly on the rack, right over the drip pan, which had water in it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:21 AM   #15
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I'm not finding anything obviously wrong. Maybe it was a bad chicken. Next time try it without the water pan. Maybe that would help.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:50 AM   #16
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I'm not finding anything obviously wrong. Maybe it was a bad chicken. Next time try it without the water pan. Maybe that would help.
Thanks- chances are it will be warmer when I get around to using the smoker again, so I'll make sure I let it get as hot as possible. I think maybe because the temp was so low, the dark meat didn't get hot enough, like Andy said. The white meat was ok, just sort of stringy and chewy. So I think maybe it was a combination of bad chicken, and temperature was too low. The temp was slightly higher for my perfect turkey, except I had a similar problem with the dark meat, to a much lesser degree. Maybe the dark meat's temp on the turkey got a little higher due to the higher temp in the smoker (only about a 25 difference, or less), which made it edible. If it was a tough chicken, it probably would have made the dark meat problem a lot worse, too. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:59 AM   #17
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I got my BIL an electric smoker for Christmas. At the suggestion of a member here who has used one, I went with a Masterbuilt because it is insulated. More common electric smokers like you find in Lowes and the like are notorious for not being able to get hot enough in cold climates. An insulation blanket or some type of wind break or shroud around the smoker will help. I use a shroud around my charcoal smoker just because I can close the vents more and make the charcoal last longer. Plus it helps in winter.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:10 AM   #18
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I got my BIL an electric smoker for Christmas. At the suggestion of a member here who has used one, I went with a Masterbuilt because it is insulated. More common electric smokers like you find in Lowes and the like are notorious for not being able to get hot enough in cold climates. An insulation blanket or some type of wind break or shroud around the smoker will help. I use a shroud around my charcoal smoker just because I can close the vents more and make the charcoal last longer. Plus it helps in winter.
When I did the turkey I put a big cardboard box around it because it was like 0 outside and windy. It made a huge difference. Didn't think I would need it yesterday, since it was pretty nice out (20). If I use it again before spring, I might just supplement with charcoal to get the temp up higher. I don't have a blanket I would use for the smoker and I have no where I would be willing to store a big cardboard box, just for the smoker. I live in a 600 sq ft house with no garage! Lol. When I do poultry again, I will shoot for 300. I looked at some smoker tips and tricks and everyone seems to be in agreement that too long and too low can equal rubbery.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:18 AM   #19
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By insulation blanket I meant one you would buy, not something you would have at home. They are fire proof. Sometimes they are called welding blankets.
Just so I don't confuse anyone
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:37 AM   #20
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By insulation blanket I meant one you would buy, not something you would have at home. They are fire proof. Sometimes they are called welding blankets.
Just so I don't confuse anyone
Oh ok, good!! I was thinking that I wouldn't want anything touching the smoker, because that would be dangerous, but I didn't want to push any buttons lol. I've never seen one of those- I'll have to look for one. I have a smoker cover, but it's to protect from the elements, not to use while hot. Plus I would want the top open to allow some air flow
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