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Old 08-16-2008, 06:04 AM
sarah h's Avatar
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Default Birch-Smoked Chickens

I did up two chickens in the oven on Wednesday evening - dressed them fairly simply with a bit of olive oil, smoked salt, pepper and herbes de provence. I used birch wood for the fire and there were still lots of coals when they went into the oven so when I put in the door with just a bit of venting space, they got nicely smoked while cooking. Best chicken I've ever had! And who knew that birch was a good smoking wood? (Well, I didn't.)

That said, I'm still not there yet with heat management. The last time I tried to roast something, I ended up with my oven far too hot. This time, not quite hot enough at the end (had to microwave a few pieces after ). But I'll get there.
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Old 08-16-2008, 11:44 AM
Jed Jed is offline
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Default Re: Birch-Smoked Chickens

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Originally Posted by sarah h View Post
I did up two chickens in the oven on Wednesday evening - Best chicken I've ever had! And who knew that birch was a good smoking wood? (Well, I didn't.)
Oh Sarah!

These chicken look great ... I am inspired... It may be chicken for dinner at our house tonight.

JED
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Old 08-17-2008, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Birch-Smoked Chickens

those look great!

Did you try moving the pan to one side or the other for more heat? I had my chickens on the beer can holders in pie pans, so I could move them closer to the oven side- it was hotter there, and I got mine all the way cooked that way. I just turned them a couple of times.

At any rate, they look very appetizing and I bet they were superb.
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Birch-Smoked Chickens

Thanks!

Jed, did you end up cooking chicken last night?

Elizabeth, my infrared thermometer told me there was no place warmer to move it to - I got nervous after having too much heat last time and didn't let 'er get hot enough (or fire long enough) this time. I'm still not very far along the learning curve for cooking in my oven . The other thing is, I've got to get my door insulated - I know I'm losing heat too quick from the mouth of the oven in extended cooking situations.

Still, so far, I've enjoyed every thing that's come out of my oven so far and just expect it to get even better!
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Birch-Smoked Chickens

next time use an internal meat thermometer. poultry at 165f is safe to eat. from the look of the birds you could have extended cooking time wthout fear of burning or drying out. practice makes perfect. and when its time to eat microwave will finish the job nicely.
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:43 PM
Jed Jed is offline
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Default Re: Birch-Smoked Chickens

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Originally Posted by sarah h View Post
Thanks!

Jed, did you end up cooking chicken last night?
Hi Sarah,

I tried the 'birch smoked chicken' tonight, just finished cleaning up.

I had the same difficulty (still learning...) managing heat, and ended up giving the bird just a bit of time in the microwave to finish off the insides.

The outside of the bird was beautiful, and officially 'smoked' in the oven. We enjoyed the meal completely! We were pretty hungry by the time I pulled the bird from the oven, and forgot to get a picture... darn.

Thanks for the idea!

JED
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:36 AM
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Default Re: Birch-Smoked Chickens

with these slow cooked chickens it's nice to have patience...but tough when you have a hungry crowd! ( I would also move the pan once or twice since a new place on the oven hearth is likely hotter than the place you started)

Try putting in an extra chicken or two....they are great cold....smoked turkey for sandwiches or curried chicken salad...etc.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: Birch-Smoked Chickens

yall are making me hungry... tease a fat boy with food why dont ya


now another thought... smoke enters food until i think 209 f i could be wrong. after that the flavor builds on outside because pores in meat close. same as when searing meat. if at beginning you raised chicken in oven to be within more intense smoke, you would get an even better flavor. watch the draw/draft when cooking. very little smoke touches food in lower half of oven (nature of wfo). in conventional smoking the smoke is in constant contact with food. so with use of a high rack for start of smoking / roasting process would yield a tastier product. and it also seems that it would even out heat for better results.

any thoughts?
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Last edited by CajunKnight; 08-19-2008 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Birch-Smoked Chickens

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Originally Posted by CajunKnight View Post
very little smoke touches food in lower half of oven (nature of wfo). in conventional smoking the smoke is in constant contact with food. so with use of a high rack for start of smoking / roasting process would yield a tastier product. and it also seems that it would even out heat for better results.

any thoughts?
I agree. To really get smoke flavor into my briskets or other meats I place 2 bricks on the oven floor and then I place a cooking grate across them. (4.5 inches off the floor)
That keeps the meat off the floor and allows smoke to go under and over it.

I used to put it in a pan directly on the floor... not much smoke flavor from that.

If I am cooking on residual heat(from previous pizza bake) I usually make a small fire and get it burning well, then I place the meat in the oven, and then I put the door on.

The lack of 0xygen makes for plenty of smoke!

My 2 cents

dave

Those chickens look awesome BTW!
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Birch-Smoked Chickens

Jed, glad to hear your chickens worked out too (and that I'm not the only one to resort to microwave backup ).

As for the other kind comments and helpful suggestions ...
I never even thought of the meat thermometer - don't know why not now, guess it's just that I'm not used to using one - thanks for the reminder! I suppose too that leaving them for an extra half hour, even though the temp was fairly low and still falling, might have done the trick. Low oxygen = much smoke; that one I found out when I cooked these - think it's why they tasted so good! That's interesting info about the smoking temps and about raising the meat off the floor. I will definitely make a few adjustments next time I do this ... which will not be before I get rid of this stupid summer cold (I am NOT amused).
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