When it comes to preparing delicious meat, there are many secrets worth trying out in order to enhance the finished meal and give your taste buds a real treat. One of those “secrets” that is often left out of lists of cooking perks is, of course, the electric smoker. Smoking has many benefits when it comes to preparing meat.
Why Do We Even Smoke Meat?
The most obvious reason is the wonderful aroma, but there is more to it than just the wonderful taste. When meat is undergoing the smoking process, the flesh is dried out and you are only left with the most necessary nutrients.
Many may not know this, but the main cause of spoiled meat is the liquids inside it. When you smoke your chicken, you can keep it in the freezer for a longer time, or continue preparing it in order to enjoy the smoky aroma right away.
Combining Chicken and Smoking Can Lead To Magical Results
Now, one of the biggest dilemmas when it comes to smoking chicken is, of course, the temperature and duration of the smoking process. Does it depend on the size of the chicken?
Does the temperature differ amongst the different parts of the chicken? Those are just some of the questions we took time to answer in order to help you smoke your meat like a pro!
Out of all the poultry, chicken is deemed as the toughest piece of meat to smoke, according to most professional chefs. This is due to the different structure of different parts.
That’s why different temperatures should be implemented, according to the part you’re working on. Excess smoking or a lack of smoke on your chicken can greatly influence the outcome of the meal.
Preparing the Whole Chicken At Once
First of all, we have the whole chicken. It can take a long time to cook because it’s composed of so many different types of tissue; it requires frequent turning and flipping in the smoker.
This is to get the most balanced smoking level out of all sections.
The temperature you should aim should range between 250 and 275 F. The recommended cooking time suggested for cooking the chicken is 3 to 4 hours.
After that, you should have a ready chicken, with multiple options for further preparations. You can also further barbeque it with maple sauce and many other herbs and spices. The options are infinite.
The Distinct Delicacy of Smoked Chicken Legs and Thighs
Next, we focus on chicken legs and thighs, the most resilient part of the chicken and the hardest to smoke. Due to this reason they are exposed to a temperature of approximately 270 F.
The difference between them and the whole chicken is the size, of course.
Being much smaller in size, you should cut the smoking time by half, in comparison to the whole chicken. So, two hours should be just about enough to have yourself a killer meal.
You can administer bacon, spices and many other additions after the smoking. Some people like to experiment and cut the thigh into pieces and create a chicken salad. You should really try it out.
Wings and Smoking – A Match Made in Heaven
Chicken wings should be the next item on our smoking checklist. They are small and delicious but require a high temperature during the smoking process.
This is mostly because of the flesh composition of the flesh and amount of bone included. So, anywhere between 250 and 280 F would be fine in order to get the best out of your tasty chicken.
The time should be around 1.5 hours, give or take a few minutes. Chicken wings the softest part of a chicken can be improvised with the most, by far.
The favourite activity of many gastronomy enthusiasts is smoking the wings and then frying them right away, while they’re still hot from the smoking.
This can lead to a unique combination of tastes and a real treat that should impress your family and friends. Honey barbeque wings are especially wonderful if you do the smoking, the grilling and the honey coating.
Pecan smoked wings are another famous specialty. The whole point of experimenting with smoked chicken wings is letting your imagination roam free in order to satisfy everybody’s taste buds accordingly.
Chicken Quarters- A Wonderful Addition to the Table
The often forgotten part is, of course, the chicken quarters. They are especially famous for being a good combination with lots of different sauces and additions.
For them, you might have to employ a little longer time for smoking. Four hours at approximately 250 F is required to achieve the ultimate combination of tastiness and aroma.
Given the fact they are small, you can also cut them up and serve them in the form of a salad.
Another form of smoking your chicken is cutting the part which you intend to smoke into small bits and pieces. Even many professional chefs omit this option and really crazy that they do.
By dipping the chicken, every muscle fiber and piece of flesh gets highly exposed to the smoke. It can soak in the taste better. In fact, if you’re not obliged to serve a certain meal with chicken parts, it is advised that you smoke chicken in small separate pieces.
That’s what they did sometimes when the old school smoking methods were implemented. If you haven’t tried it yet, we encourage you to do. Trust us, you will be amazed.
Don’t Miss Out a Chance to Smoke Your Way to Gastronomy Heaven
All in all, smoking is an important part of the meat preparation and shouldn’t be so easily disregarded. By administering smoke you can add a unique facet of taste that just may be the deal breaker in an important situation.
A well-smoked chicken can taste even better when combined with other preparation methods. Smoking can also be used as the only means of preparing the meat. Although the meat may be rough in that case, you should be in for a unique sensation for your taste buds.
By adding this preparation method to your arsenal, you will gain access before unimaginable taste combinations. The only things you have to look out for are the composition and the size of the meat.
Respect those and you’ll be able to get your desired level of smokiness. Now that you know the appropriate room temperature to smoke chicken, the kitchen can become your playground.