Posts tagged: raw

Chicken Quarters in the BEESR

Continuing our endeavors of  trying things in the Big Easy Electric Smoker and Roaster (BEESR), we decided to try out chicken quarters.  No, we weren’t stealing change from chickens, chicken quarters are what they call the leg and thigh still connected to each other.

We bought a package of 6 of them from the grocery store and brought them home to try.   We left them in the refrigerator for an hour or two until we were ready.  We took them out and put them on the counter while we got things ready with the BEESR.  We wiped down the inside of the BEESR with vegetable oil using a washcloth, added some pecan wood chips from the grocery store and set it on 15 to get it to start smoking.

Went back to the kitchen and took the plastic wrap off the chicken so we could separate them and get them ready.  STILL FROZEN! NOOOO!  Turned off the BEESR, re-wrapped the chicken with plastic wrap, then put them back in the refrigerator.

Note to self: If you’re planning on cooking chicken from the grocery store soon after bringing it home, make sure it isn’t frozen solid.

We decided to have the chicken for lunch the next day instead.  Next day comes along.  I turn on the BEESR, get the chicken out of the refrigerator, remove the wrapping, and discover it’s STILL FROZEN!  This chicken is really putting up a fight!  This time, we decide to shake things up a bit.  The chicken quarters were in the packaging pretty tight with the legs and thighs interlocking with each other and making it more difficult to thaw.  We put three of them in zip lock bags for the freezer and three of them back in the fridge to thaw.  Again.  🙁

Note to self: If you’re trying to thaw chicken in the refrigerator quickly, don’t leave it tightly packed in the original packaging.

The next day, we finally had thawed chicken and could begin.  Turned the BEESR back on again.  Added more pecan wood chips since we had managed to burn through a whole box just starting and stopping it while playing with frozen chicken.  We turned the BEESR on 15 and let it start smoking.  Then we put kosher salt and pepper all over the chicken and put two of  them in the basket on the half shelves placed half way up from the bottom.  We used a second shelf that came with the accessory kit for the third chicken quarter placed a couple of shelves up from the first one.

We put the temperature probe into the thickest part of the biggest chicken thigh and put the basket in the BEESR.  We lowered the temperature setting to 12 and set the target temperature to 120 degrees and waited.

Once the temperature reached 120, we changed the setting to 12 and set the target temperature to 165.  Once it hit 165 we removed the basket, removed the chicken and put it on plates.  Here’s what it looked like:


We cut into them and started eating and discovered the chicken still had red parts near the bone.  What?  We cooked it to 165 in the thickest part of the meat, so what gives?  That’s what I’d always heard to do and it’s rarely worked.  One of those frustrating things that nobody bothers to mention.  Well the folks over at one of the BBQ forums had some help for me.  So simple once they said it.  The last part to cook on a chicken is the part right next to the bone.  So putting the thermometer in the thickest part isn’t going to measure whether or not it’s done next to the bone.  But putting the thermometer next to the bone isn’t going to work either because the bone is going to be hotter than the meat.  So what we should be doing is letting it go to 170-175.  That will give the parts next to the bone time to cook and should eliminate the red.

Note to self: Cook chicken to 170-175 since you can’t put the probe at the right place to judge the temperature of the last part to finish cooking, next to the bone.

Learned a lot this time.  Hopefully I’ll come back and read this before trying again so I can put some of this to good use.   OH, and by the way, the parts of the chicken that WERE cooked were really tasty.  Going to have to try this again soon.

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