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I am tossing a couple of yardbirds in the ST tomorrow at 7:00 AM and just realized I've "never" done a whole bird. It's always been pieces and parts or a whole turkey.

This is the plan, the cooker ready to go - got 1 oz pecan and a couple of briquetts in the wood box. In the morning the birds get a brushing of olive oil, a spattering of spicy chicken rub, salt & papper. Gonna use toothpicks to pin the skin down (srinkage). A very simple recipe.

Going to set the temp to 250˚ and insert the probe in the inner thigh and take it to 175˚. Thinking the birds will cook in 4-5 hours.

Does this sound like a plan or does it need to be tweaked?

Smoked four butts today. Going to serve them with the chicken to a group at church (appreciation luncheon).

Any and all input appreciated! Smiler
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Well, I did four 3 1/2 lb whole chickens this weekend (first time for me too.) Not happy with the result.

Brined for six hours in pretty standard honey brine with a recommended 1 ounce TenderQuick per gallon of water.

Rubbed with olive oil and CS Spicy Chicken rub.

Smoked at 250 for approx. 2 3/4 hrs 'til the thigh temps read 165. Used 1.5 oz cherry wood.

Reuslt: Very hammy taste and pretty rubbery skin. And certainly not the golden color that Donna had in her pictures awhile back.

Where did I go wrong?

Hook -- Mine turned out quite well. No brining here. Brushed with olive oil, dusted with spicy chicken rub, salt and pepper inside and out. Put the probe in the inner thigh and took it to 175˚. Used 1 oz of pecan. Got raves from the crew on it! My birds were 7% enhanced. Meat was falling off the bone tender and juicy. Skin was a bit rubbery but didn't feel like firing up the grill.

This was my first whole bird. I've done parts (legs, quarters, thighs) before. Some have complained about grey skin or spots. I have yet too experience the problem and hope I never do! My skin has always been golden brown. Rubbery if not finished on the grill.

I''ve heard of TQ causing a "hammy" taste. Maybe others will chime in.
Last edited by wheelz
Originally posted by Hook:

Reuslt: Very hammy taste and pretty rubbery skin. And certainly not the golden color that Donna had in her pictures awhile back.

Where did I go wrong?


Leave out the TQ.

Older Brine recipes (used for hams) had TQ in there for flavor as well as Food Safety. Somewhere on Brining 101 I mention leave out the TQ if you keep the brine cold, below 40.
Should have followed the experts more closely. Did read Brining 101, but must obviously missed the part about no TQ.

How long did your birds take, Wheelz? 2 3/4 hr seemed like a very short time. However, I saw somewhere that brined ones take less time so I wasn't concerned. Sounds like I should have gone to 175 on the temps too. Mine are definitely not as tender as yours. Oh, and I forgot to mention that they are a bit salty too.

Probably going to junk the legs and thighs and use the breasts in chicken salad or sandwhiches.

Other than those mistakes, I did a great job. Frowner
Hi, I smoked two wild turkeys that I had boned out, so I was doing just the breasts and thies. I used the 101 turkey brine overnight and rinsed it off in the morning. Then covered with olive oil and applied chicken rub and lemon pepper. Put into smoker (008) AT 215F and smoked to a internal temp. of 170f which took 3 hours to reach. Took it out and applied a light coating of warm honey. I THINK THAT IT CAME OUT VERY GOOD alone with others whom I shared it with.! Just wanted to share and hoping it will help some one in the future.
I put it on middle-lower oven rack and broil and watch through the glass oven door. Sometimes the top gets kinda burnt and the bottom is still not crispy, but they never take so long as to dry out. Maybe I should be putting them on the middle rack and regular oven temp of 400 or so, that way both upper and lower heating elements would be on and maybe crisp the whole bird. Either way, it ain't rocket science, by far, or I would have never figgered it out. Know what I mean?

Roll Eyes

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