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**The Sauce Blog**
June 2nd, 2015, 8:25 am
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: June 1st, 2015, 9:03 am
  • Posts: 1
  • Location: Minnesota

This is a double topic post, because I wanted to ask about the effects of drip pans on the smoker.

I have a 480, and I decided to make some beer can chicken for my first run. I looked at a lot of forums to see what temperature and how long people cooked the chicken.

I saw "low and slow" doesn't matter for chicken. Most seemed to use temps anywhere from 280-375. Times varied from 90 minutes at the high temp to four hours at the low temp. All said target 160 degrees in the thick of the breast. Higher temp for at least part of the cook to get crispy skin.

I purchased a stand that could hold two chickens.

The type A in me wanted to be a neat freak and not get my new smoker dirty, so I decided to put an aluminum drip pan underneath. This is the type of pan they sell in the supermarket for turkeys.

The story ends well, as the chicken turned out ok, and had a nice smoke flavor to it.

The issue I had was the cooking time. I used 350, and it took about 3 hours to get the chickens up to 160. The bottom half skin of the chickens never crisped up. Just a hunch, but I am also guessing that the beer never heated up as it should and achieved the desired effect since the drip pan may have insulated it.

Did I make an error using the drip pan? Did the pan cause the cooking time to increase? What should a "normal" cooking time be for a temp of 350?

Any other tips are greatly appreciated.

June 2nd, 2015, 4:30 pm
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  • Joined: April 18th, 2014, 3:12 pm
  • Posts: 2405

Drip pans do affect the radiant heat, air and smoke in the cooker. The cooker was not designed to be used with pans, and as such, the functioning performance of the cooker will be negatively affected.

You might want to consider ditching the beer can chicken, and try doing your poultry "spatchcocked". It's the only way I do poultry now. I went the same way as you in the beginning, but I have 4 beer can stands that I never use now.


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