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new amerique will be here in two days, i have found a lot on the net about smoking whole chickens but not about half chickens, im new to this and want my first experience to be a good one, is there anything i should be careful of or should you only smoke whole chickens cause halfs dont smoke well or something, any help would be greatly appreciated
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I smoke half chickens all the time now - buy em whole & cut in half. I think it gets both the white & dark portions done better at the same time than cooking whole. Heat/smoke gets to inner portion of breast better than trying to get into cavity of a whole chicken. Yes it does take more rack space than whole ones do.
Using a temperature probe in breast, I remove when breast just reaches about 165*. Yes go light on the wood. Usual smoke at 250* or 275* for 3 to 3-1/2 hours. For good looking skin which is usually rubbery unless you crisp it on grill, coat skin lightly with mayonaise before smoking. I add the rub to mayo and brush it on. Can add more rub if desired. Comes out looking great.
For me, the biggest challenge in 1/2 or whole is the whole white/dark doneness issue.

I like to brine mine (go figure).

But when I do that, I take the white out at 155 (no more than 165). The dark will be at different temps, but it's typicially around the same temp. I prefer to eat dark that's up in the 180 range.


For 1/2 and whole, I put the dark towards any hot spot. That's one of the things you need to learn about your smoker, is where are the temps, both on each shelf and where front to back. Learn to use those locations to your best.

And if you buy whole, cut in 1/2, it's pretty simple then to separate the breast from the dark 1/4 with one more cut.

How long do you brine your chickens? I used to brine my chickens (cut in half) for 4-6 hours using your brine recipe, but found many times the very inner portion of the breast meat often was a little mushy. So I have stopped brining now and find the breast meat is still moist. I only smoke fresh chickens, not frozen ones. Using a FEC100 now, Amerique previously.

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