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6 posts • Page 1 of 1
I would like to smoke some whole chickens. Rather than brining them before smoking, I was hoping to equilibrium cure them. I cannot find any information on this. Is it okay equilibrium cure chicken before smoking?
To be honest I have never heard of anyone EQ curing whole poultry. My thoughts are chicken always has a high bacterial count so the faster you get it cured and cooked the better. Brining is faster and probably the way to go with the added benefit of keeping the chicken moister.
I agree with Bob. Not a good idea to dry cure poultry. Brining is the way to go. Try an 8% brine for two days =, rinse, equalize overnight in the fridge, dry the skin with paper towels and hang iat room temp for a couple of hours and then smoke.
Thanks for the advice Bob and Red. I will forget about equilibrium curing for chicken. Red you recommended an 8% brine, but did not mention insta-cure. If it is not necessary, is there a certain temperature the bird must be finished without using insta-cure so that it is safe?
It's been a while since I smoked chickens, but the last time that I did, I used Cure # 1. What I do is prepare a mixture of 900g salt and 100g Cure#1. That becomes an equivalent of European curing salt which is .6% nitrite. This way when I make a brine it's fast and easy. All I do is add 80g of the mixture to each litre of water and I have an 8% brine. Nitrite is optional when smoking chicken as long as your smoker can reach a higher temp. You can make an aromatic brine, and then smoke at 200-2225F, essentially roasting the chicken with smoke added.
My 5 cents - sometimes I'm doing smoked chicken. I'm using 10 % brine (1 liter of brine = 1 kg of chicken). Depends on size of chicken it is 16-24 hours in refrigerator. Then around 1 hour chicken is hang for drip of excess of brine. During that time preparing pot plus water plus spices. Heating water to boiling point and I drop chicken (staffed with celery sticks, and parsley) for 5 min. Then I lower water temp. to 75-80*C/170-176F and poach until temperature inside thickest part (breast) reach 68*C/156F. Again I hang it (after removing greens) for dripp of water. Then I smoke for couple hours in 150-160F/65-70*C. Chicken is aromatic, and meat is moisture, juicy with nice hint of smoke.