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Smoked whole chicken- I think I have perfected it - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Smoked whole chicken- I think I have perfected it

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  • Smoked whole chicken- I think I have perfected it

    I have have my oven for about 6 years now 43 inch (diameter)and have tried and tried to get the meat thing down and I think I have now nailed it down to a science and I am ready to share for the group. I love the oven, but found it really takes a while to get to know your oven and how it works best with different cuts and types of meats. Pizza and bread are easy and spectacular which is what sold me, but slow cooking meat and smoking meat were not spectacular in the beginning. Definitely a slow learning curve for me with lots of dry, so-so and not so good stuff in between. Now that I really know my oven, slow cooking meat and smoking is a joy and now it is thankfully a rare occasion that Any meat we cook is less than spectacular. Family favorites are flash smoked salmon on hickory planks, smoked baby back ribs and smoked whole chicken - beer can style.

    I will start with the chicken because it is easy and delicious and I have pictures.

    Prep work: Brine 1 or more chickens in 5% salt brine for at least 2 hours. Add any other spices to the brine you desire. Prop up the chicken beer can style for cooking. I use a commercial beer can chicken rig and fill the tray with beer or brine solution. Use wire or cooking string to keep the legs and wings close to the body.

    The oven : burn a good fire for about an 60-90 min and then allow it to burn down to a heap of coals. Wait for the oven to cool down a while, but don't let the coals go dead. Push the coals to the back or side of the oven and toss on a few hand fills of smoking wood. Allow it to catch fire. This is when you put in the chicken and close the door to the oven to choke off the fire and make it really smoky. Oven temp should be around 300-350 if you fired it right.

    If the smoke stops then open it up and throw some more twigs or chunks of wood on to the coals until they ignite and then close the door again. Should take 30-40 minutes to cook. Check the thigh and remove when thigh is above 150. It is excellent. Family loves it very time and it is cheap and easy.

    If I think the oven is too hot initially, I cover the top of the chicken with foil so it doesn't get too crispy.

    I use this same method with ribs, but let the oven cool down much more and cook them for longer (2 hour)and baste more often. You just have to make sure you retain enough embers to smoke the wood that you periodically must throw in to keep the smoke and embers alive. Most important is that you have a good feel for how much heat your oven has and that is only something that comes with practice.

  • #2
    Re: Smoked whole chicken- I think I have perfected it

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I for one appreciate the value of hard earned knowledge and those who share. I will give it a try.
    Cheers ......... Steve

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    • #3
      Re: Smoked whole chicken- I think I have perfected it

      having just my oven for little more then 2 weeks, I am glad(and so is my family) that you have done this leg work and saved me from having the fire department coming over and putting the chicken fire out. I am thinking that this will be the weekends meal. Thank you........Would gladly take any other meals you have come up with in the last 6 years............cheers


      • #4
        Re: Smoked whole chicken- I think I have perfected it

        Good luck and your going to love your oven. Use it often. I use ours every chance I get. Takes a while to get the feel of cooking meats down. You will eventually have a feel for how much fire/heat your oven needs for each kind of meal you are preparing or for a batch of bread. I got discouraged for a while and ruined alot of good food. With experience it will be a low stress joy to use. I dont even use a thermometer anymore for bread. I just know when the oven seems right and test it with my arm and confirm with the sppon full of flour in the center of the oven which should turn nice and brown after a few minutes.