So the smoker we bought earlier this week has had a lot of love. Cod, cheese (cheddar and jarlsberg), and just yesterday: chicken, jalapenos, salmon. Our balcony was fuming hickory chips and eye-watering jalapeno smoke all day. Our new neighbors love us.
We started today with a whole chicken and put it in the smoker for an hour. I rubbed a mixture of salt, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, paprika (and I think chili powder today) inside and outside and under the skin. And I trussed it up as well so that it would fit comfortably on our small smoker.
After an hour in the smoker, we put the chicken in our cast iron dutch oven which was half loaded up with roasting veggies (potatoes, onions, carrots). In the oven at 450 F, we browned the underside for 20 min, then flipped it over and browned the breast side for about 10-15 minutes. Then we put the lid on, and turned the oven off. 1.5 hours later, it was ready (checking that the internal temperature was 175F+ first).
I love this dutch oven method for cooking chicken – not only does it give us a super moist bird, it lets us go out without worrying about leaving the oven on. Since we’re just taking the chicken apart for sandwich meat, we don’t really care (in fact, we love) that it’s falling off the bone. I was in too much of a hurry to start eating that thing, so I forgot to take an after-picture. Maybe next time.
I saw these at the store yesterday and couldn’t resist. We sliced open the green jalapenos and slipped them into the smoker. They sat in the smoker for almost four hours now and dried out quite a bit. The one thing about smoking chili peppers it that the smoke is acrid as the seeds toast, so I found myself wondering why my eyes were stinging as the smoke wafted inside.
Our smoker has low temperatures, we finished it off in the oven and let them air dry as well.
The plan is to crush these and use them for seasoning. We are growing ancho peppers this summer, so I’m really excited about smoking and drying those too!
This salmon was marinated in a much lighter marinade than the brine we used for the cod (which I just lifted from an online recipe against my better judgment as I dumped in a ton of salt… never again). I used 3 T. of Miso paste, 1.5 T. of brown sugar, a dash of rice vinegar, some minced onion, and a little bit of soy sauce. We marinaded the salmon for an hour and let it dry in the breeze on the windowsill for another hour. This helps it form a sticky pellicule which helps with smoking. This is what the smoking gods of the internet forums tell me.
Then we laid it below the jalapenos to smoke for around 4 hours:
The thin section of the filet cooked in about 3-4 hours in our low temp smoker. We finished off the thicker pieces in the oven.
It is lightly sweet and savory, like teriyaki, and will be super delicious in a salad or on some fresh bread.