I just had to have a Smoker to cook in. Ever since we had dinner at Kristopher and Nora's house, where he made smoked salmon, I knew I had to have a smoker too. It was that good!! He also smoked a ham for Christmas which was also very good.
Kris and Nora gave me a smoker for Christmas. Oh man, I'm was excited about that. It was a black one that used charcoal. Which I hear is the best way to smoke. But than I started thinking that maybe for me, an electric smoker would make more sense. Especially if I was going to be the one to start the smoker, and get the meat on it during the day. I couldn't see me adding more coals if needed. So I upgraded to this electric one.
I spent an hour reading the how to do book, three times, and had Kristopher explain to me what to do, more times that I can remember. So I decided that New Years Day would be a good day to try it out. I bought a whole chicken and figured it would be something easy to start with. Well, I forgot how you have to pull all the icky parts out of the chicken, wash it, grease it, season it, and than have to sanitize everything in sight afterwards.
I forgot to soak the Hickory wood chips and had to wait 20 minutes for those. Finally got those on the Lava rocks that were already hot and the smoke started right away. I got the chicken on the grill and put the lid on. Than I remembered I needed to add more water to the water pan to keep the chicken moist. So I took the lid off the smoker and got a face full of Hickory smoke and about blinded myself. This is just after I showered and washed my hair. Now I smell like a campfire. Won't do that again. Ever. ha ha....I wonder if these fancy electric smokers have ever taken off like a missile?
I also bought a new digital meat thermometer with a long wire.
And now the star of the show!
It has been on the grill now for an hour and 20 minutes. I'm trying not to go out and take the lid off to get a peek. The temperature is now up to 139*...Waiting, waiting...I did peek in the little silver door to make sure the water pan was still full. Need to keep that chicken moist. It all looks like it is cooking slowly the way it should be. I figure if this is a bust, we are having tuna sandwiches. Plan B.
2 hours and 20 minutes and I had to peek....It seems to be going good. But temperature is at 149*..Needs to get up to 165*. Well, it actually dropped to 147* after I opened the lid to see what was happening. Reminder to me, don't take the lid off next time.
Ok, it is dinnertime and the temp is at 151. Time to put it in the oven.
It looks pretty good, but here is where I freaked out and came up with Plan C...I knew I had to get the temp up to 165*, so I decided to cut it up and put it in the hot oven. Good idea, but wrong method. Kris told me today to let it rest after you take it out of the smoker or oven, before you slice it up. So by cutting it up right away, I caused it to become dried out. The smoke flavor was good, although I have smelled like Hickory smoke all day from lifting the lid early on. I think I will give myself an A for effort, A for how it looked, and a C for everything else. Next time I'm trying smoked salmon. Maybe I should of started on something easier to begin with. Or listened to Kris about the resting part...Sigh