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Sunday I smoked 12# of chicken on my series 50 and the skin came out bad. I use 6 oz of apple instead of 4 oz. ooked the chicken for 2 1/2 hrs at 200 and pulled with temp at 168 in the breast. Here in west Michigan we had wind gust at 35 mph and 25 deg. temp.

I have done it this way in the past and it comes out very good. Any ideas what went wrong, also what do you do to keep skin nice on chicken?
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i'm curious about the time versus the temp. i dont use a cookshack, however i cook chickens at nearly 300, for almost 4 hours. course i smoke them whole..... but 200 seems very low. you want to hit them birds with hot hot hot! that will crisp them up some and give them what you are looking for.....
I think you have a good idea as for the cheeze cloth and I like the idea of soaking it in butter.

I cover the bottom with foil and above the the burner. When there is a little build up I pull it and replace it, and I make sure to put a new hole in the bottom. I have had this smoker since Nov. 2003. The sides look good I used a plastic scraper three weeks ago, do you think I should clean it better?

Thank you for your ideas.

I use my smoker on average once or twice a week, twelve months a year. I usually smoke 20.lbs to 50.lbs of meat each smoke. I usually scrape any loose build up weekly. Once a month I give it a good thurough cleaning, soak the grills and grill brackets in hot soapy water, scrape the inside top, corners, drip deflector, and probe with a plastic scrapper, then wipe down with a damp cloth. I never try to clean to the bare metal, the seasoned coating protects the inside of the smoker. Same principle as seasoned cast iron pots and pans. I keep the inside bottom of my smoker shiny as new, with every load I smoke. I never allow grease to build up. Always new foil lining with each smoke. I usually double wrap the fire box lid, and half way through a smoke I remove the top layer. With the large amount of meat that I usually cook Ive noticed that the drippings build up a quarter inch or more on top of the fire box, and during a long smoke the built up drippings would start to burn and give off a nasty burnt smell. By double wrapping the fire box lid its easy to just open the door half way through and pull the nasty top layer of foil off.
Some people may think Im going a little overboard with my cleaning procedures, but I beleive the most critical rule of good BBQ is cleanliness. Plus I keep this smoker in my kitchen when not in use, so keeping it clean is a must.

My wife complains that its too big and takes up to much space,

(Im 6 foot tall and 400lbs, so at times Im not sure if its me or the smoker shes talking about!!)

I just have a problem with leaving a $3000.00 electric smoker out in the elements. I know these things are built really durable, but I still baby it. I plan on passing this smoker down to my great-grandkids some day, and you would never believe by the look of it that its already 15 years old!!!!

These COOKSHACKS have really spoiled us, and its easy to take for granted just how great these smokers are. Im from the old school of BBQ, and have spent countless sleepless nights tending to fires, monitoring temps, and learning the hard way what works and what doesnt...BLAH-BLAH-BLAH... I could go on and on.

In closing, Id like to leave you all with my own corny little personal BBQ mantra,


BIG'N thank you for your ideas as the drip deflector and replacing the bottom foil every time. I don't do as much heavy cooking as you do, most of the time I run about half of what it can hold. I am sure this will change as we get more into the grillin season.

I am planning to gill two more chickens this week end and I will take your avice and Toms by going to 250deg. I will let you guys know how it came out.


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