Mysteries of the Smoker Revealed…

   For the next tricks, you’ll need one of these, or something similar.

….This is your introduction to smoked cooking. The best part about this cooking method is, it’s VERY forgiving. You can’t “Mess” (I altered the wording slightly) it up!

*You can get these from Amazon or your local home improvement store. I don’t have a favorite brand, but I do know that you should consider getting an electric unit. I have owned charcoal models, and propane models, trust me when I tell you, plugging in an electric smoker is infinitely easier than Charcoal and is less expensive than Propane, and not nearly as tedious as “wood pellets” that are sweeping the nation. But I’ll leave that up to you.

   🌫Most of these units include a water pan. That’s an important part of the smoking process. They virtually insure that you can not “Mess this up” So get yourself a smoker, and get ready to produce some incredibly tasty meats.
🐓One of the first things I tried with my consumer grade smoker was whole chicken. I have to tell you, I was not a fan of the “dark meat” of the chicken. That is until I learned how to smoke them.
Every piece of that bird was tasty!
…While at first glance, this may appear to have a few more steps in the preparation  department…it ultimately is still dead simple to produce an unbelievable bird that everyone will love.

    📌What you’ll need: a whole chicken, some onion, celery, and carrots (I use the baby carrots), favorite seasoning, and a couple of bay leaves(optional).  Some wood chunks to soak.
🐓You can buy a roaster(not to be confused with a “rooster”) or baking hen (usually a larger bird), or a fryer (sometimes labeled as Young Chicken, which I recommend), in fact, any chicken you choose will turn out to be tender and juicy. I usually cook 2 chickens. They heat up well later. When cooking a larger chicken (known as a Roaster or Baker) you may need to add some time, additional 30 min. to 1 hour. ( a digital meat thermometer is a great tool, internal temp, of chicken should be 165 degrees) Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken without going all the way into the cavity.
>>>Once you have chosen your particular brand of bird, it’s on to preparation. When you get ready to cook, understand, the cooking time for the average chicken is about 5 hours. So plan ahead. (If you should venture into the Smoked Turkey woods, look at the guide that came with your smoker, to see how many min. Per lb. to cook your Turkey.
🪵Planning ahead, also means, we need to soak some wood chips. I soak mine starting the night before I intend on cooking. (They need to soak a minimum of 2 hours). I put them in a gallon ziplock bag full of water. Be sure to have some extra chunks soaked to add later. Now, in my experience, cherry wood chunks, hickory chunks and mesquite chunks, work great. Soon you may want to experiment with other woods like apple, or pecan. (Never use pine!) I have even saved the pecan shells from the holidays and soaked them, they have a great smoke. The different woods add distinct flavors and the more you experiment with them, the sooner you’ll find your favs.
>>>Place your chicken on a cutting board you typically use for meats, or, just use a cookie sheet. We’re simply trying not to contaminate our countertops with raw chicken.
‼️Never use the same cutting board for meats that you use for the veggies, without washing it  thoroughly.
…Remove any neck bones or gizzards usually placed in a small bag inside the cavity of the chicken, sometimes they are not included. I’m not a fan of either, so they get thrown away. (Too many other “good parts” of the chicken to worry with the innards)…but that’s just me. I have included some pics of my process.
…Once you have removed the “extra” parts, and rinsed the chickens inside and out,  it’s time to season.     🧂What I do is dust the inside of the bird with salt and pepper, paprika and I may add a little cayenne and garlic powder. I apply the same to the outside. >This next step is what makes this method of cooking the most succulent chicken you’ve ever had.
🔪Cut into pieces, some onion, celery, and unbelievably…carrots, into large chunks, and insert them in the cavity of the chicken. Fill it up! I have found out, carrots produce a lot of moisture and flavor when slow smoked. (Optional)Adding some bay leaves and thyme into the spice mix for inside adds another layer of flavor. Once you’ve seasoned the entire bird, tie the legs together (shown in the pics) and tie the wings with a longer piece of string around the entire bird to hold the wings close to the body. This helps keep them from overcooking.
That was the hard part. (Not really hard was it?)             …Now we are ready to smoke our bird. The Smoker we recently purchased is now ready to prove itself. (And perhaps me!)



   Plug in your smoker. Some have thermostats, others are a one speed model. At any rate, usually something less than full blast on a model with a thermostat is the best choice. For a smoker without a temp. dial, just let it do its thing.
⏰The average chicken takes around 5 to 6 hours. The good thing about using a smoker is, you can put the meat or chicken on and walk away. The only thing you may want to do is check to see if your soaked wood chunks have burned away and you may need to add more, and possibly water. Usually smokers have a side door which allows you to add more chunks as needed.
>>>That’s it. Walk away, come back in five + hours and retrieve your bird. If this don’t make ya eat the whole bird, I don’t know what will.
…This next section, is a roadmap to what else you can do with a smoker. Again, for us Dads or boyfriends, or simply guys and girls who have been left clueless…I’m gonna be here for ya. Anybody who needs some simple go to recipes is welcome here. It’s easier than you think, to become proficient enough to come off as a badass cook. Heck, do two of the above meals…and you’ll be a rock star in the kitchen.👨🏻‍🍳
…Ya got to admit, it’s easier than you thought, and hopefully produces some great food to share with friends and loved ones…👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 👨‍👨‍👦 👩‍👩‍👧‍👦 👭👬



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