Building on my previous smoking experience I decided my next step would be a little chicken. Eventually I'll move on to ribs, boston butt, etc., but I figured chicken would be pretty simple and I know how chicken should taste.
First I brined the chicken with some salt (duh!), sugar and cayenne pepper for an hour. I dried the chicken with a paper towel and sprinkled liberally with my favorite rub. I didn't have a lot of time since I started late, so I only let it sit for an hour. Boy did it smell good when I pulled it out.
And that's pretty much where that story ends and the depressing one starts. The smoker caught on fire. Luckily I had my fire extinguisher on hand so it didn't turn into anything. Here's what I've learned.
- Wood chips should be soaked. I've heard of that, and in fact it's what I did for the salmon, but I didn't see anywhere that it was required or even strongly encouraged so I figured I'd experiment a bit. Lesson learned, it doesn't work.
- Fire extinguisher good, cardy-board bad. I'm going to be on the watch for something non-flammable to put my next smoker in. I still want to do the terra cotta, but I've more or less given up hope of finding a lid.
- Don't leave it unattended. I actually had stepped into the kitched to grab the fire extinguisher when the fire started. I wasn't gone long which was good, but I should have been all ready before I started.
- No smokers on the table. It left a funky film, which was easily cleaned up, but I think my wife would have killed me if I had ruined the table.