|3 chickens on their way to a smoky Nirvana|
For my birthday, I received a smoker. No, let me rephrase that. For my birthday, I received permission to buy a smoker. I chose the one above: an offset type. This means that the firebox is in a separate chamber from the cooking meat, rather than being directly below the meat. I like the design because of the separation of function, and because of the large cooking surface - 36" x 18". However the large size means more external surface to keep hot, so this smoker burns more charcoal than the more compact smokers, tho I'm not sure that would be true on a per-pound-of-meat basis if I always ran it with a full load.
And here is the result of the effort depicted above: 6 chicken halves, deliriously, deliciously smoky. Done properly, the taste is smoky, not acrid. And the flavor goes the whole depth of the meat; it's not just on the surface. Have you ever been in the South and stopped at a roadside BBQ joint? Yeah, that good.
They were smoked with alder wood - alder grows like a weed around here, and if you have any, you know that eventually the stems get big enough to just fall over. So we have lots to use for smoking.
Even tho this post is tagged with 'recipe', I'm not going to post a recipe here. Instead, I am going to exhort you to get a copy of what I now am calling the 'Smoker's Bible'. Truly everything you will need to know is in there. I started from scratch and followed the directions in the book (the chicken was Lesson 2) and the results have been unbelievably good. Really.
With the book, you can too.
So get smokin'!