This weekend I took my first shot at boneless skinless chicken breasts. They came out okay, but not as good as I had hoped.
I brinned them for about 1 1/2 hours in a basic brine from the brinning 101 page. Then I washed them and placed them in a zip lock bag overnight. I preheated my CS 008 for about 30 min at 225. Then added 2-3 oz of apple wood chunks to the woodbox. Added the chicken and placed my meat thermometer in the largest breast.
I was planning on a smoke time of about 1 1/2 hours to reach the 160 degree internal temp. As the temp rose on the thermometer it malfunctioned and began flashing about 375 as the temp. I knew this was an error, so I opened the smoker and attempted to adjust the probe. I could never get the correct temp to register. At this point I had no idea how much heat I had lost from opening the smoker, so I extended the cook time by about 20 minutes. This was my mistake and resulted in an overcooked and slightly dry meat. It was still very much edible and with bbq sauce you hardly knew the difference, but it was not the quality I like. I also would likely cut back to 1-2 oz of wood since the chicken seemed to really absorb the smoke. I have grown up being preached to about making sure the chicken is always done and without the thermometer, I took a guess and erred on the long side. I will know better next time. In the meantime, I need to find out why my new thermometer malfunctioned. At the very least, I need a back-up on hand.