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After much much reading all over the internet; I have come to the conclusion that the FEC100 is at the top of the heap for smokers. I was alarmed on a couple of issues with fires going out. But Cookshack has resolved the issue. So I took the plunge. I am already confident I made the most informed decision and I don't even have it yet (it two weeks for them to build it, then ship). Can't wait to get it. Question is, how long will 40 lbs of pellets last with this unit?
I gotta get a good source for them here in West Chicago area.
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How does this FEC really do on Chicken, reason I ask is because the Cookshack website has pictures of chicken with a very subtle smoked look to it. Don't get me wrong, the chicken looks good but very delicately smoked (guess I;m used to that mahogany color from stick burners aka OK Joe vertical) Does it crisp well?? I believe I used to oversmoke my food at time and became used to it, but my chicken would be excellent even as 2 day old leftovers. Hoping this FEC will deep smoke like I'm used to when I want it to.
I can offer you several approaches:

More smoke/rubber skin: a straight smoke at 225o

Even more smoke/rubber skin: Start at 170-180 for a couple hrs. Kick the temp up to 225 until proper internal temps are achieved.

Less smoke/tender skin: start to finish at 325-350.

As crisp as you're going to get/little smoke: wrap a shelf with aluminum foil. Place it in the 2nd slot from the bottom. Place chicken on the bottom rack position. Cook at 375-400. The foiled shelf traps the heat. I've tried this method with thighs with good results. Not really crisp skin but very bite thru.

A word on high heat in the FEC100. Always start it at 300 or below and wait for it to come up to temp. Once it does, bump up the temp to whatever you desire. If you go for max heat from the gitgo, you may trip the high limit switch, resulting in a shut down. It's easy to reset the switch but it's also a PITA.

Your smoker will ship with CS Spicy Chicken Rub. It's great in chicken or turkey but tends to be a wee bit salty so use discretion.

I've found that crisp skin is best achieved on a grill but the FEC turns out superb poultry...juicy and tender.
I think the results from teams like Pellet Envy shows what kind of chicken can be produced in the FEC. the best we have done was a second against Mike Davis and Lotta Bull.

There are several ways to get bite through chicken. I start at 275 and then take it up to 300 to finish. No it will not be crispy, but it will have a bite through skin.

I have taken several classes, and there are other ways, but this one has worked for me.

If the archives are there.The Dixie Chicks[Bill and Nina] were dominating chicken with their FECs ,fast cooking.They also used CS Chicken rub at the time.

Many folks are concerned that chicken is very easy to oversmoke and not taste like chicken.

Some folks want color,Smokin' and a lot of good poultry cooks might use cherry wood.

We had a couple recent discussions about cooks that wanted crispy skin and grill marks tended to carry small Weber grills with them.

I think the judges on here that see good/winning chicken are seeing bite thru skin.There are many types of cookers that do that,as well as FECs.

As Randy says,many comp cooks pull their ribs out,strip the dirty foil,and then turn the temp up-while getting the comp chicken ready to go on.

We may be answering questions/crossing bridges that won't be necessary after the cooker arrives and is used awhile. Smiler
Last edited by tom
I did a load of thighs and took first at our small competiton. The chicken was smoked all the way thru, not just baked with a thin layer of creasote on it. I had them on the bottom rack from start to finish because I had ribs above. I started with normal thighs, peeled the skin back and scraped all the fat off, then rubbed them liberally with a mixture of mayo and CS Spicy chicken rub. They were great and yes, bite thru skin, as I cranked the heat at the end.

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