HICKORY & CEDAR: A BOLD BLEND

 

I’ve been grilling every single day now – it’s not just the BBQ parties I’ve been throwing – I mean, I’ve been coming home and turning the grill on like it’s instinctive or embedded in my brain to do it. I like to call it the “December Feels” – where you just gotta party like a boss, every day until New Year’s.

Anyway, I know it’s already the 29th, but let’s backtrack a little to Christmas. I had a special request from my dad to smoke an entire chicken on the grill. I’ve never done a whole chicken before, but…

Challenge Accepted!

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I call this dish – The Bold Blend
In one of my earlier posts, I discussed the different types of smoking wood. Hickory is usually used for red meats, and Cedar usually for fish – but I decided to put them together to see what I could get.

Since Hickory is the stronger flavour, I used the Hickory in a smoker cup, and placed it away from the chicken, and placed the chicken between the 2 XL cedar planks, so the smoke from the planks would be more concentrated around the meat.

While smoking, the wood gave off such a strong scent. My cousins who had just walked into the garden commented that it smelled like Canada. I have to agree.

The outcome of this process gives you a distinct smokey flavour on the epidermis of the chicken, while the inside is absolutely tender and juicy. I only smoked this for about 50 minutes, but I reckon if you smoked it a bit longer than that with just a smoker cup, and basted it every hour, you could get a more thorough flavor throughout the chicken.

Here are the Ingredients you’ll need:

  1. 1 whole chicken (cleaned out inside)
  2. Butt Rub (I use Bad Byron’s, but you can find similar seasoning from the Butcher’s Dog. The base ingredients of this rub is onion, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and chipotle)
  3. Coarse Sea Salt

Here are the smoking accessories you’ll need:

  1. 1 cup of Hickory Wood Chips (I used a full Axtschlag Smoker Cup)
  2. 1 Smoker Box (Or smoker cup / smoker tube)
  3. 2 x XL Axtschlag Western Red Cedar Grilling Planks

First things first. Soak the wood chips in water for an hour and place them in the smoker cup. I also soaked the 2 grilling planks for the same amount of time.

I used the latest smoker cup from German brand, Axtschlag. It’s wonderfully solid – 304 stainless steel and is made in Germany. Definitely NOT a buy and throw away kind of item.

After the wood has soaked, prop the chicken in between the 2 grilling planks and start rubbing the chicken all around with coarse sea salt and butt rub. Use enough to cover the whole chicken and leaving some on the grilling planks too.

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Place the smoker cup between the grill and the sear plate, on the far end of the fire box, and just above a burner. Place the grilling planks at first, closer to the middle of the cooking surface. Switch the burners on the side of the smoker cup on, as well as the middle burner (this is based on a 3 burner BBQ – here, I am using a Napoleon LEX485).

Once burners are on (medium to high heat), close the hood and allow the wood to start smoking. Turn the fire down to low-medium, and If the grilling planks catch fire and the fire is really big, shift them to the other side of the grill without the fire.

close the hood and wait for about 45 mins – 1 hour, checking on the meat once in a while, flipping it over at about 30 mins into the smoking process – cook until golden brown.

Enjoy!

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