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Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY #2228907 04/06/11 05:52 PM
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Jason B Offline OP
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Alright, I thought I would put together a little how to for smoked chicken smoked in a UDS. I borrowed some ideas from some other forums I visit and tailored this to what I wanted. As with anything, you can change this however you would like.

First off, the smoker that cost me all of $50 to build.

This is a direct heat/smoke smoker. The idea or principal of this smoker is based off a Big Green Egg or Weber Smoker. It's great for cheap skates like me that refuse to pay $1000 for a small smoker.

For this recipe, I use bone-in thighs with skin intact. I like to de-bone them myself so there is little waste and the dogs love the raw bones. So, this is what I started with.


First order of business is to remove the skin from the thigh. Some people do this later, but the skinless thigh actually creats a sticky suction to the cutting board making bone removal a breeze. You don't even need a knife for this part, just find the loose skin and start pulling (be careful with them though, you will need them intact later). Place the skin on a saucer and put in the refrigerator.


Now, flip your thigh meat side down so you can get to the bone.

I clean a ton of fish in the summer so I am pretty handy with a filet knife so that is what I used. Whatever you use, the sharper the better.

So, make a slit completely through the meat directly on top of the bone. Now just keep the blade against the bone and "filet" the bone out. It's really simple and takes about 60 seconds per thigh.

Here they are all done with the pile of left over bones (dog treats).


It's now time to put the thighs in the refrigerator and get the skins back out.


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Jason B] #2228918 04/06/11 06:00 PM
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food more please!


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Jason B] #2228921 04/06/11 06:02 PM
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You may ask why in the heck did we even take off the skins. Well it is pretty simple. When smoking, the skins tend to be rubber or chewy. That is due to the fat layer between the meat and the skin. I prefer a crispy skin on my chicken so I remove the skin to scrape the fat off. If you like chewy skin you are welcome to leave it on.

FYI - This is the most time consuming part of the process and takes a little learning to do efficiently with no screw ups.

Anyways you want to lay the skin out fat side up.


Next, you want to use a very sharp knife and score the fat. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN SCREW UP IF YOU GET IN A HURRY. YOU WILL END UP CUTTING ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE SKIN MAKING IT USELESS. When you score the fat, it takes very little pressure. It best to use too little and have to re-score it until you get a knack for the pressure needed.

Now that it is scored, use your knife blade just like you were scaling a fish and remove the fat. You want the blade angled away from the direction you are scraping or you will cut the skin. Here I have a de-fatted skin and one I have not worked on yet to give you an idea how much fat is on the inside of the skin.


Here they are all done. Look how much fat came off of only 7 skins. Kind of nasty.


Now you want to put your cleaned skins back into the refrigerator and get the thighs back out.


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Jason B] #2228950 04/06/11 06:14 PM
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It is now time to clean up the thighs a little bit. I like to remove some additional fat in this part. For competition guys, they keep the skins out, place them on the thighs and then trim the thigh to fit the skin. However, for home cooking that just waste a ton of meat. My chicken doesn't have to be 100% covered in skin.

So here is the thigh laid out and ready for fat removal.


I do not remove all of the fat, just the areas that are really heavy. Here is the lot all trimmed up and ready for seasoning.


Today I am using a new rub that taste and smell awesome in the container. I will give you more feedback on it in just a bit.


You want to coat both the top and underneath of the thigh with your choice of rub or seasonings.



Now it is time to put the skins back on. It doesn't matter which one came from where, just try and size them accordingly. These will fuse back on to the chicken during the cook, you just need to be gentle with them in the beginning of the cook. I season the skins as well with the same rub I used on the meat. If you want, you can play around and try different seasonings for the skin and the meat.


Now all you have to do is roll them up and put them in whatever marinade you want. Here they are getting ready for a 4 hour nap in the refrigerator.


more to come......


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Jason B] #2229308 04/06/11 09:05 PM
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I have always heard that chicken bones are bad for dogs because they splinter in their stomachs and intestines.


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: mattfox] #2229314 04/06/11 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted By: mattfox
I have always heard that chicken bones are bad for dogs because they splinter in their stomachs and intestines.


Cooked bones splinter. Raw shouldn't be as big of a problem.


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Justin T] #2229342 04/06/11 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: Justin T
Originally Posted By: mattfox
I have always heard that chicken bones are bad for dogs because they splinter in their stomachs and intestines.


Cooked bones splinter. Raw shouldn't be as big of a problem.


That is completely true. ONLY cooked bones splinter. We feed our dogs a raw diet. That includes raw chicken. They love it...




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Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Big Pa] #2229410 04/06/11 09:57 PM
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ok now you have my mouth watering food stir




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Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Big A] #2229561 04/06/11 11:21 PM
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Awesome


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Justin T] #2229884 04/07/11 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted By: Justin T
Originally Posted By: mattfox
I have always heard that chicken bones are bad for dogs because they splinter in their stomachs and intestines.


Cooked bones splinter. Raw shouldn't be as big of a problem.


100% correct. As long as bones (chicken, beef, pork) aren't cooked, they are safe for dogs. Cooking them is what makes them splinter.


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Jason B] #2229923 04/07/11 02:07 AM
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offtopic

Blah blah blah blah.. Too much talking and not enough pictures.


worthless


On to the rest of the story!!! grin



Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Longhorn95] #2230549 04/07/11 01:09 PM
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Sorry, here is the final pic.



Didn't get any more pics. As soon as it was done, we gobbled it up. Very tender and very juicy. It was smoked at 250F for 70 minutes over Kingsford and several pecan logs on to of that.


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Jason B] #2230611 04/07/11 01:35 PM
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Looks great!!! Thanks for taking the time to make the post.



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Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: bill oxner] #2230625 04/07/11 01:41 PM
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Nice can we get more pics of how the smoker you built looks like on the inside? Thanks for the great thread!


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: panch0] #2230648 04/07/11 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted By: panch0
Nice can we get more pics of how the smoker you built looks like on the inside? Thanks for the great thread!


x 2

The chicken looks awesome! Great maiden voyage for the smoker.



Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Longhorn95] #2230705 04/07/11 02:22 PM
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Here ya go. It's not rocket science or my idea. You can google UDS or Ugly Drum Smoker and get a ton of ideas on what you want to do with yours. I am starting a second one with some different design ideas.

First off you have to decide what you are going to use for a lid. Are you going to use the lid that came with the drum like most guys do. Or, do you want a kettle lid like mine so you can cook whole chicken, ham, large pork butt.....

If you want a kettle lid you have two options. First, you can buy a regular drum and put a Weber brand kettle lid on it (FYI the Weber lid is expensive and very hard to find used). The Weber lid is a perfect fit at 22.5" ID to the OD of the drum. Real nice seal. The other option is to buy a bottlenecked drum like mine and use a Uniflame or Char-Grill kettle top. I happened to have both here, so I went with the bottle neck drum.

When you buy your drum, try and find out what was in it first. I don't think you would want want with nasty chemicals in it. Mine had diced tomatoes in it.

Next, you want to burn your drum out. Most drums today have a painted liner, some have a polymeric liner. Either way, you want it out. You want to go ahead and have your bottom vents in for this process. It will make a much hotter burn and reduce your workload later. You want a hot fire. I used a ton of mesquite for mine. It burned hot for about 10 hours. After the burn, wash and inspect the inside of the drum. If you can still see liner, you need to get it out. Either use a wire brush, a grinder with a wire wheel or a torch with a rosebud to burn the remainder.

Enough blabbing, I will post some pictures below.


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Jason B] #2230712 04/07/11 02:25 PM
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I have to cooking racks, so I put a temp gauge at each rack .



Here is the air intakes. That is a 1" ball valve 2" from the bottom of the drum (this is what everyone recommends). The hole above it is 1" as well. I have both open for the lighting process. Once I am cooking, I cover the upper hole with a magnet.



Here it is with the lid open.




Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Jason B] #2230729 04/07/11 02:30 PM
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The 22" replacement grates at Wal Mart fit perfect. I used I-bolts for the rack. You should be able to spot my screw up here. I should have offset the I-bolts on the top and bottom rack. It works, but it is a pain to wiggle in the bottom rack. You want your top rack 24" above your fire basket (per the UDS Gods). The bottom rack goes 4" below your top rack.



Here is my fire basket. It is 14" ID by 8" tall. You want to weld on some 2.5" bolts to the bottom of your basket and use large expanded metal. This lets the ash fall out and keeps you from smother your fire.



And here is the basket loaded into the bottom of the drum.




Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Jason B] #2230746 04/07/11 02:36 PM
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With a full basket of Kingsford, I can smoke 9 hours on one load at a temp of 250F. If you choked it down, it would last longer. If you get it hotter, it wont last as long.

I plan on using Royal Oak lump charcoal for my next cook. I should be able to go 12+ hours and have a little better flavor. We shall see.

A note about these smokers. Each build is a little different as it relates to how they cook. For instance, mine loves 250F. It just sits there. Even with all the air intake shut off. Another guy I know, his loves 235 and never moves.

The beauty of one of these little boogers is that you can set it and forget it. Mine is ready to cook in about 20 minutes. Once I have the temp at 250, it will hold it for hours and hours and hours. Just chugs along.

Hope this helps.


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Jason B] #2230995 04/07/11 04:46 PM
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Thanks! up

Trying to figure out what the valve was for was giving me fits. I definitely see one of these making an appearance at the deer lease in the near future.



Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Longhorn95] #2231194 04/07/11 06:46 PM
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This thread has been super helpful. I plan on making one of these real soon. Did you do two racks for the sake of more cooking area?

Just to be clear, the bottom rack is 24" from the bottom of the barrel?

And you're using the ball valve for the air intake? Thats all it needs?


Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: RobertY] #2231217 04/07/11 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: RobertYuras
This thread has been super helpful. I plan on making one of these real soon. Did you do two racks for the sake of more cooking area?

Just to be clear, the bottom rack is 24" from the bottom of the barrel?

And you're using the ball valve for the air intake? Thats all it needs?


Robert,

I put two racks in mine so that if needed, I could have more cooking area. But the main purpose was to hold a water tray. I will tell you that just the 4" between the 2 racks is about 15-20 degrees different.

The top rack is 24", the bottom rack is 20" from the tip top of the fire basket.

Yes, for smoking, you should only need that 1 ball valve. If you are wanting higher temps for say grilling, I would add 2 more.

Hope this helps.


Last edited by Jason B; 04/07/11 07:02 PM.
Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Jason B] #2231494 04/07/11 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: Jason B
Originally Posted By: RobertYuras
This thread has been super helpful. I plan on making one of these real soon. Did you do two racks for the sake of more cooking area?

Just to be clear, the bottom rack is 24" from the bottom of the barrel?

And you're using the ball valve for the air intake? Thats all it needs?


Robert,

I put two racks in mine so that if needed, I could have more cooking area. But the main purpose was to hold a water tray. I will tell you that just the 4" between the 2 racks is about 15-20 degrees different.

The top rack is 24", the bottom rack is 20" from the tip top of the fire basket.

Yes, for smoking, you should only need that 1 ball valve. If you are wanting higher temps for say grilling, I would add 2 more.

Hope this helps.

My webber is like that smoker, Jasonís looks bigger. That is my go to smoker, love it.

My middle rack has a slot underneath it so it can hold a water pan, but I never use that water pan, just too much trouble/mess. I use top rack all the time, and I will put charcoal on the middle rack with meat on the top rack. Charcoal on the bottom and meat on the top rack, meat is too far from the food. If I have a big wood burring fire, meat on top rack, fire on the bottom. And I will put foil on the middle rack if needed so there is indirect heat. Or I may put a pan on the middle rack to catch all the dripping juices to base my meat.

Nice smoker Jason!



Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Guy] #2231503 04/07/11 09:41 PM
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pics of my smoker...








Re: Crispy Skinned Smoked Chicken (AKA-Trash Can Chicken) PIC HEAVY [Re: Guy] #2238408 04/11/11 06:00 PM
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Jason,

How do you add wood during the cooking process? I don't see a door or anything.

What are ya'll using the water pan for? Just to catch drippings or to add humidity for moisture?


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