As some people may have seen on Instagram, I spent my Friday afternoon/evening smoking a little something something on the good ‘ol Char Griller Akorn Kooker. I’m really enjoying this whole kamado cooker thing y’all. Anyways I smoked a chicken. I feel like I have a pretty good concept on how to grill and smoke meats, but I’m no master. After some research and recalling memories from my youth, I felt confident enough to smoke a chicken. So lets see what I did and what my biggest take aways were from this experience. Feel free to comment below on thoughts and advice!
A whole chicken is relatively cheap for how much meat you get. Due to its affordability I felt like the chicken was the best route for learning how to control low temperature. If I could not get the temperature low enough then I could just cook it at 350 degrees for an hour and a half. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.
After starting the fire in the Akorn and soaking the wood chips in water, I began the prep work for my chicken. Unfortunately I still do not have a smoking stone for my Kamado grill. The smoking stone prevents grease and other juices from dripping onto the embers which will just cause a nasty soot and smolder. Furthermore the smoking stone turns the energy from the hot embers into an indirect heat source, like a convection oven. For this project I used an injectable marinade called Tony Chachere’s “Creole Butter”. I used roughly half a bottle of Marinade in a 5 or 7lb chicken. After the marinade was added I was about half way done with my National Bohemian (Thank you Maryland) and put the beer can up the chicken’s “butt” and sat the chicken down on the cake pan. The beer helps the chicken stay up right and the meat moist.
After marinating the chicken I checked up on the grill to make sure it was stabilized at 225ish for at least 20 minutes. Before placing the chicken on the grate I drained the water from the wood chips and threw a few handfuls of wood chips on the fire. Placed the chicken on the grill, closed the lid, and then waited 4 hours before checking on the chicken and meat thermometer. I saw that the chicken was still not at 165 degrees so I let it soak on the grill for another hour and then waited another 30 minutes after that.
After pulling the chicken off of the grill I immediately wrapped the bird and pan in aluminum foil to slowly let the bird cool and trap in the moisture. After waiting a half hour I drained some of the juices out of the pan into a bowl which will prevent the bird from getting too soggy.
The bird turned out to be the best damn chicken I’ve ever cooked! It was warm, moist, the marinade was flavorful but did not over power the taste of chicken. As I pulled away from my first bite I couldn’t help but notice the pink smoke ring just underneath the skin.
Although the bird turned out fantastic, I am always trying to improve my skills. Next time I will hopefully have a smoking stone and can get rid of the baking pan. If a smoke stone is not available then I thought I will find a way to elevate the bird in the pan so that the bird does not sit in the juice. In my mind a dry bird is a happy bird.