Wood Smoked BBQ Chicken
I have always loved real, southern barbecue. I own a Big Green Egg, which I've used for pizza and other high-heat cooking. I've always said I'd do some smoking on the EGG, but in the eight or so years that I've owned it, I never have. Well, that's shameful.
So, I began by cleaning out the egg. First i lit whatever charcoal was in there and let it burn off on very high heat until it was done. That took about a day. Then, I cleaned out the EGG. removing everything, cleaning it and putting it all back - making sure that it was properly aligned.
Now, I had a machine that was ready to smoke. The first item on the smoking menu would be chicken.
I began by soaking the wings and thighs in a brine. I used:
I cooked the brine and then set it over an ice bath to cool. Then I stuck it in the fridge for about two hours until it was totally cool.
I buy my chicken from a local farmer named Peg's Eggs at the Warwick Farmer's Market. The chicken came with the legs and thighs attached, so I needed to clean and butcher them while my brine cooled. I then put the chicken and the brine into a gallon sized freezer bag and put them back in the fridge for about 4 hours.
About two hours in, I filled the EGG with Charcoal and apple wood chips and lit the grill. I covered the deflector plate with foil and set it with the feet up. I put the grate on top and then a pizza stone on that. I let it get hot at first - around 500F degrees for about an hour, and then I cooked a pizza on it with some dough I had in the fridge.
Once the pizza was done, I closed the top vents down and brought the temperature to around 325 degrees.
At this point, I took my chicken out of the fridge, rinsed it and dried it throughly. I used a spicy rub that I made a long time ago that consisted of ground mustard, paprika, celery seed, kosher salt, corse ground black pepper, cayenne, thyme, and marjoram with a touch of brown sugar.
I put the chicken on the grill and came back about 45 minutes later with a barbecue sauce. I didn't make the sauce. There is a brand that I really love called Bone Suckin Sauce. The sauce is sweet, tangy and really delicious. I liked using a spicy rub and a sweet sauce because the spice really cooks into the meat and the sauce balances out the flavors.
I brushed the chicken on the skin side up with the sauce and covered it for about 8-10 minutes. Then I turned the chicken and brushed the opposite side and cooked it until it's internal temperature reached 180F degrees. Then I took them off the grill and we were ready to eat.
This cooking method gives you a tender, juicy meat with big bold flavors that is really just outstanding. You don't need the Big Green EGG to make this, you can do it in any smoker or charcoal grill.
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I'm a home cook with a lifelong passion for learning, exploring and experimenting in my kitchen. You can find me at @Debs1 on Twitter and @Debs121212 on Instagram.
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