First Real BBQ: Smoked Chicken

Having watched a lot of America’s Test Kitchen it’s become clear that just grilling meat and veg on skewers isn’t what American’s would call barbecuing…

So today’s we’re fixing that! We’re going to smoke some chicken. I’m starting with chicken thighs, as they’re the most forgiving of overcooking. They get brined for half an hour before being coated in oil and seasoned with pepper. And that’s the easy part…

Preparing the BBQ is the hard part. A third of the coals go on one side, with water in a pan on the other side.

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The rest of the coals are then started in a chimney starter.

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Once they’re all white on the outside, they go on top of the other coals, which will gradually catch during cooking to extend the cooking time. Soaked wood chunks then go on top of the coals, which will smoke during cooking.

The chicken then goes skin-side up on the water side of the BBQ, and the lid is put on with the vent over the chicken, so the hot smoke form the wood chunks is drawn over the chicken.

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This process takes 75-90 minutes, until the chicken gets to 80C internally. We checked after 75 minutes and the chicken was all registering over 80C.

Once the chicken is smoked it stands for 5 minutes under foil to rest. While it’s resting we’ll grill up some sliced courgettes to go with it. It then gets served with some jalapeno cornbread I knocked up earlier.

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For pudding I used the residual BBQ heat to make some banana boats. This is just a banana sliced down the middle, banana split style, with marshmallow chunks and chocolate chips, wrapped up in foil.

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These go on the BBQ for 10 minutes until everything inside becomes a gooey mess!

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