Sunday, April 1, 2018

EARLY MORNING SMOKE - Brined Chicken on the Smoker

For the past several years I have been messing around with the Char-Griller Super Pro 2121 smoking meats and as much as I keep thinking that I want a fancy pellet fed smoker, the results from this inexpensive barrel grill and smoker are so impressive that I keep putting it off.  I improvise a second level by using four small bricks and then placing the cast iron grates atop.

Yesterday morning my father-in-law and I prepped the smoker and made up a mess of smoked chicken pieces for an Easter meal with our family.  The chicken had been brined for eighteen hours and from lighting the wood charcoal pieces to ready to eat we had just over three hours involved in the process.

  • 2 Gallons Water
  • 1 1/2 Cup Canning Salt - Adjust in half for chicken pieces over whole bird
  • 3 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
Combine ingredients in a food safe container, mix and then add a whole bird or pieces.  Store in a refrigerator. 

A rule of thumb that we use is 12-24 hours for chicken and up to 48 hours for a whole turkey.

When ready to place the chicken on the smoker, remove from the brine and pat dry.

Light charcoal and when ready, place coals on one side of your grill as you'll be cooking with indirect heat.  Close grill and let the heat come up to 225 degrees.  Place pre-soaked in water wood chips on the coal pile for smoke.

Place the chicken pieces on the grates evenly, close lid and monitor temperature of the grill.  Add charcoal and wood chips as needed.  Maintain 225 degrees throughout the smoking season.

The chicken pieces are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  Remove, wrap in foil and place in a cooler to keep warm.

You can remove the skin and add sauce if desired for barbecue chicken.  We're going to try that next time with my mother-in-law's yellow mustard barbecue sauce and then place them back on the smoker for 20 minutes or so to cook it in before removing again to the foil.

Fellow meat smokers, what tricks and techniques am I missing here?  Let me know by email.

Want more smoked meat talk?  Check out the Thanksgiving turkey I did last year.


Chris Webster said...

Awesome! I will be checking that recipe out tomorrow, putting one on to brine today!

Chris Webster said...

Oh and you can't talk about your mother-in-law's mustard BBQ sauce without a recipe. HAHA

Mark K said...

I have that exact same smoker, only I am less than happy with it and the company.
You must have a better copy than me. Whoever they source it from has next to no quality control. The bottom barrel on mine was not rectangular. More of a parallelogram. So there was a huge gap on the left side on the lid sat on the right side. It would not close completely. After taking a bunch of pictures (hassle)illustrating the problem, They sent me a new bottom barrel, that helped but it turned out need more parts as one of the legs was longer than the other. They were nice enough and sent me another leg, which turned out to not fit at all. Apparently a later edition- or new supplier!!?? Finally I got the right part and that straightened out the discrepancy. Keep in mind, I took this thing apart and reassembled at least 3 times.
When all is said and done, though there were still big gaps in the sides so I screwed 90° angle aluminum to the lid sides. That sealed it off there, but I still have a gap on the back. I also purchased the offset smoke box- it has large gaps on the lid and the paint is way too low temp- gone the first time you use it.

Cameron Mortenson said...

Chris... How did yours turn out? Recipe? They are not going to trust a Midwest Yankee with that kind of information. It's yellow and tastes unreal good. That's about all I know about it in over 18 years of living here in South Carolina.

Mark... Thanks for the information and the follow up email. Much appreciated.