One of my oldest and dearest friends, Chris From Colorado, responded to my account on the superiority of pork spare ribs.
He mentioned in the comment section that he had recently acquired an electric smoker.
Due to his comment Dan invited Chris to “guest blog” about the newest addition to his backyard kitchen. To me, one can never have too many backyard cooking device options,
While Chris had no photo documentation of the chicken he smoked, he provided me with images of his smoker being used with salmon.
The following is a guest blogger entry courtesy of Chris From Colorado.
Smoked Chicken Leg Quarters
As an avid year-round griller and barbecue enthusiast, I was surprised to receive an electric smoker for Christmas last year, a gift from my wife.
What I am I going to do with this I thought? I already have a charcoal smoker, a gas Weber Genesis grill, a Weber Smokey Joe, a gas Coleman Road Trip grill and a hibachi.
Ah yes, the classic hibachi.
Years ago while living in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, I went out my back door to turn over the T-bone steak that was grilling on my hibachi during a late Friday night to discover that it was gone. Fortunately, living close to a grocery store a replacement T-bone was grilling within 15 minutes.
I highly suspected the local skunk had a nice meal that night, and found the bone the next day. That skunk probably had garlic breath for days.
I've been eating chicken cooked outdoors as far back as I can remember. As a kid, my mother prepared her own home-made barbecue sauce (I still make her recipe on occasion). Once my dad got the charcoal grill going, she grilled pieces of chicken to perfection.
In the Q & A section of Steven Raichlen's 'The Barbecue! Bible', he is asked 'What do you think of electric smokers?'. Raichlen answers that they work like a charm, but the only drawback is they're too darned easy to use. Gee, I like easy and too darned easy is even better.
What would we be cooking in the new electric smoker? How about ribs (pork and lamb), beef brisket, a whole turkey, hams, bratwursts, hot dogs, salmon and chicken. The smoked brats last Mother Day sure were a big hit.
On Mothers Day the brats smoked away unattended in the smoker while I grilled a dozen burgers on the Genesis. I'll admit my charcoal smoker is not easy to use at times, but I'm keeping it since we'll need a backup cooking option if the power ever goes out.
The electric smoker is not a replacement for my other outdoor cooking equipment, just a welcome addition. We still really enjoy a marinated leg of lamb on the rotisserie and cooking anything over charcoal and grilling when camping can't be beat.
Up until last Sunday, I had only smoked whole chickens, beer can style. We decided to buy some chicken leg quarters and try the rub Gerry from Valpo wrote about in his recent 'Myths About Babycue Ribs' blog. Since chicken leg quarters were on sale to boot, I was in business.
Here’s what we smoked last Sunday. I set the temperature on the smoker to 225 and got the rubbed chicken quarters out of the fridge. Once it hit 225 the bird legs went in the smoker, and it was officially beer thirty.
Due to the ease of use of this smoker, and being provided with an excellent rub recipe, I can't really take a lot of credit, but the smoked chicken leg quarters were perfection. Maybe it was the grape wood, I normally would have used apple or cherry.
They came off the instant they hit 180 degrees. The chicken melted in our mouths. 'Best chicken I have ever had' said my wife. Our 3 dogs inhaled the skin.
Even though we had a bottle of Uncle Yammy's grilling sauce (smuggled into Colorado from North Carolina) sitting in front of me I never put a drop on the chicken or my plate. Since the chicken was so good, it did not need Uncle Yammy's or any other BBQ sauce altering the flavor.
A bottle of red wine from La Chiripada, an excellent New Mexico winery complimented an outstanding smoked chicken meal. Mercy!
Smoking salmon in Aurora Colorado.