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Hi Everyone,
I have done four whole chickens in my original Smokette but we are having a bunch of people over this weekend and I need to do six whole chickens to feed everyone. Has anyone done this many? I don't think three will fit on one of the original Smokette (not the new wider one) but it doesn't look like I can stack three shelves with two birds on each in my smoker because it is not tall enough. Has anyone does this before? Any others would be appreciated.
Thanks !
P.S. Yes, I know I should have bought a bigger smoker !!
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Now, to answer the question. SIZE. Ir really depends on the size of the chicken. If you put roasters or something large in there you'll max at 2 per shelf.

You might cook in batches and hold (they should be fine if you wrap in foil, a tower and put in the smallest cooler you can find). Then cut those up for "eating" and the new cooked ones for presentation.

Problem with whole chicken is they just take up a lot of space.
To tag onto Smokin's always good advice,you can save the one best chicken to present .Section out the rest into pieces[that people would rather handle].Freeze the backs,wing tips,etc that would be waste for stock.

Cook and cooler all the dark meat,then cook all the white to lower temps,then cook the whole chicken to present.

Whole could be cooked first,then try to get all the rest onto shelves and pull the white pieces first.[Doubt they would all fit]

Just one more option ,I've tried.
Oh Pags! I'm all confused. LOL!

Too me a spatchcock chicken has the backbone removed and is just butterflied?...and a split chicken will have the backbone removed and then the breastbone(center) removed, hence split chicken?...but hey you West coast folks call tri tips BBQ instead of grilled it's not hard to confuse me,ya know???

My buddy at the lake has a small cabinet propane smoker and the shelves are small and narrow, so he buys his chickens frozen at the local store and has the meat cutter run them through the band saw. He then can or does stack them back to back a little off set. He seems to get a good smoked flavor on the chicken and they fit in the smoker.
Not wishing to cater ,but having worked with a bunch of good caterers,certain sizes work better than others.

Ladies may steer towards thigh,or leg sized pieces,so we find ourselves needing to cut to serve.

Pieces cut before cooking,seem to present better than those cut,as served.It also frees the cook to do other things.

Not a direct answer to the original question,but aids in ease of cooking and serving.

Just a couple of thoughts.
The half chicken should cook a little quicker, but as you stated, opening the door will prolong the cook. When I dump moisture from mine, I try to wait until the cook is over half done and then I will open the door only a couple inches for 3 seconds. My 020 does a good job of recovering, but your original smokette may struggle a little more on this.

Lots of things to think about, for sure!

Good luck!
Your brined chicken will cook faster than unbrined do to the fact that the moisture in the bird will conduct heat more easily. Of course that depends on the amount of time the bird was in the brine. Some brine for a few hours, I prefer overnight. After looking at my log, I found that I did 17 fryer halves approx. 2 lbs. each for 36 hours and they were wonderful. One thing that you may have to tell your guest if you aren’t familiar with brining is, they may find pink around the joints thinking it is not done. Inform them, this is caused by a chemical process due to the brining. Just insure that the meat has hit your minimum target of 165° and you will be fine. Wink
Basic brine, ½ cup kosher salt and ½ cup brown sugar ½ gal water.
(Ph 6.2 – Sal 30%)
Originally posted by SmokinOkie:

Talk to me, how did you determine this. sounds high for salinity for 1/2 cup in a gallon.

I use a precision salometer to determine the salinity in my brines along with the Ph.I do this for consistency. The reading that was posted was with sugar added. The salinity without sugar was 27% @ 60°. If you would check the recipe again you will notice that it was for ½ gallon of water. We’ll blame it on the deck fumes. LOL.
Anxious for some pics.
Thanks for all of the good advice. I wound up removing the backbone and then the breast bone for spatchcocking the birds. However, I then decided to just go ahead and quarter the chicken because I needed to fit 1 1/2 chickens on each of the four shelves.
I brined the 1/4 chicken in the brine but there was already salt in the packaged birds so I cut the receipe in half. I let the chicken brine for about four hours and then rinsed well. I used some SBR with McCormick Chicken Rub and rubbed the chicken. I let it sit in the refrig for about an hour and then put it in my pre-heated Smokette.
The chicken kept filling the bowl I put underneath the smoker...never had that much juice before. I let the chicken cook for three hours and then opened the door. The amount of smoke/steam that came from my smoker was astonishing. I let the chicken stay in the smoker for another 30 minutes and then threw them on a hot grill for about one minute per side.
The chicken was great. Seriously good food. Everyone was raving and going back for more. I really appreciate the advice I received from everyone. The Cookshack Forum is the best.

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