Chicken in the Smokehouse

We have had our smoke house for three years. We have smoked our fair share of sockeye salmon every July that we catch dip netting in Kasilof. We have done chicken wings and a beef brisket on a Super Bowl Sunday but we had never tried a full bird.

We decided that we would give it a try while we used the smoke house for this year’s fish catch.

We went with a maple sugar brine and it turned out great. Here is how we did it.

We picked up a box of Hi-Country custom formulated seasoning for making game birds at Sportsman’s Warehouse. It cost just $7.99 and includes everything you need. In the package is the brine solution, two cure packets and detailed instructions. We deviated a little from the instructions since we were using a smoke house instead of one of those portable metal contraptions that most people use.

We used the immersion method. You can also use the brine pump method but our fish had to be the the fridge for three days anyway so we thought we would get better results using the immersion method.

1. We mixed the brine and 1 1/2 cure packets into one gallon of water.

2. we placed the chicken in a jar pot so that the water and mixture covered it completely. We placed a small plate on top of the bird to keep it from floating to the top and put on a cover.

3. We placed the bird in the fridge for the next 72 hours, stirring occasionally.

4. On day three we removed the bird from the solution and flushed (do not soak) in fresh water to remove excess brine. Always discard the brine solution after use.

5. We allowed the bird to drip dry for 30 minutes.

6. We used a beer can stand and a can of Denali Brewing Company Ale as our beer of choice.

7. Our smokehouse reached a temperature of 190 and we used hickory pellets.

9. We left it in the smoke house for 6 1/2 hours.

10. When the bird was done it was a beautiful golden brown. We let it rest for 30 minutes before cutting it up.

We served it with a slab of ribs and some crusty bread. It was wonderful!

Follow Robert on Twitter @robertforto

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