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Old 01-20-2009, 09:10 AM
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Richtee Richtee is offline
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Default Basic poultry smoking info

Poultry requires some special considerations when smoking. Some are personal preferences, and some are saftey issues you must be aware of. This is by no means an exhaustive study on all the different methods and such- just something to keep you from poisioning yourself :{)

First off, a "low and slow" approach with poultry is a saftey issue. All uncured meats must go thru the 40 to 140 temp range within 4 hours per USDA protocol to be safe. Due to the insulating airspace inside poultry, and it's inherent possibility of salmonella contamination this is extremely important.

I aim to get thru the "Danger Zone" in about 3 hours, just for saftey's sake. This requires that pit temps must be at least 275. Many go to 300-325. This also limits max. bird size to 14 lbs TOPS! I keep mine to 12, and my temps at least 275. The MINIMUM recommended internal temps for poultry are 165F measured in the deep breast/thigh. I go to 170 myself.

The personal opinion part comes in here too... smoking at the lower temp ends will produce the dreaded "Rubber Skin" on your bird. If you do not care, then fine. But I like a golden brown skin on my poultry.

Another rule is poultry ALWAYS on the bottom rack. You do not want the raw juice dripping on anything else you may have below it in the smoker. Think about it... a chuck roast below being pulled at 140 for slicing with 140 bird juice all over it. BAD.

It IS possible to smoke larger birds using a method called "spatchcocking"- essentially cutting the spine out from rear thru the neck and "flattening" the bird out on the grate. This allows much better heat conduction thru the meat, and shortens cooking times significantly.

Last edited by Richtee; 01-20-2009 at 01:29 PM.

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