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Oct 18, 2013 02:55 AM

Cooking a whole cold-smoked chicken

I received a cold-smoked whole chicken from the CSA, but I don't know how to cook it. I've found lots of information on how to smoke a chicken, and how to use the meat, but very little on the cooking process. Do I need to cook it until its internal temperature is 165? Should I rub melted butter or oil on it? Put lemons and herbs or anything else in the cavity? What oven temperature? Cover with foil? Thanks in advance for your guidance.

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  1. You're thinking too much. Cook it. 165.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mcnam003

      Right, because people get into so much trouble when they try to think out solutions instead of giving in to impulse and emotion.

    2. There are no instructions that came with it? Any smoked product (turkey, pheasant, trout) I encounter (with the exception of bacon) is ready to eat. Does the breast meat appear white and solid? If so, I'd say you just need to heat it under foil to not dry it out.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Chefpaulo

        The chicken came without written instructions, but the CSA worker told me it was not cooked. I just emailed the CSA for more information.

        1. re: MrsBridges

          Smoked but not cooked. Interesting. i was thinking this was more like a Greenberg's Smoked Turkey (excellent!) or a Ducktrap Farms smoked trout which are both ready to eat. If not cooked, please do!
          BTW - what is the CSA?

          1. re: Chefpaulo

            It's cold smoked, which means the meat is smoked to give it flavor and is raw unlike hot smoking, such as in a smoker with wood or charcoal, etc. which tends to cooks the meat all the way. Cold smoking just gives a smoky essence to the product and still has to be cooked.

      2. It had to have been brined or cured prior to cold smoking. Any ingredient list?

        2 Replies
        1. re: scubadoo97

          No list. I've requested more info from the CSA.

          1. re: scubadoo97

            It actually doesn't have to be brined or cured if cold smoked at below 90F and only for 1-2 hours.

          2. I contacted the CSA. The coordinator explained that the chicken must be cooked because they did not use nitrates. She told me to cook it at 325 F for 2 hours.

            18 Replies
            1. re: MrsBridges

              Unless your bird is about 8 lbs, you're looking at a chokingly dry chicken if you follow that path. I'd also take cooking advice from a CsA staffer with a grain of salt. -- they mainly want to make sure you don't get sick & sue them, so they'll have you cook everything to death.

              fWIW, I've never heard of cold smoked poultry -- fish, yes, birds no.

              1. re: rjbh20

                You can pretty much cold smoke anything (beef, pork, chicken, fish, oysters, mussels, cheese, nuts, etc). We were recently gifted cold-smoked pork chops from a chef friend. He suggested we grill or pan fry them.

                Cook it like you would any chicken. Personally, I'd cook it to an internal temp. of 150, probably high heat roasting. 450 degrees (a la Thomas Keller).

                1. re: lynnlato

                  Were those brined? Or just plain cold smoked?

                  1. re: JMF

                    I'm pretty certain they were just cold smoked.

              2. re: MrsBridges

                Good lord ! 2 hours?

                How big is it?

                That's likely very bad advice.

                1. re: MrsBridges

                  Even if they did cure it you would still need to cook it but since they didn't I worry about the safety of even the raw bird and how much bacterial growth could occur in the time it took to cold smoke. Can't imagine they cold smoked below 40F

                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    Cold smoking is generally at about 90F.

                    I'm wondering if a smoked bird is somewhat safer than a raw one. And both are supposed to be cooked.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      And how long would you want an uncured raw chicken held at ~90 degrees and feel safe? Even if it was going to be cooked a few days later

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          Cold smoking is not new, it has been around as long as fire.

                          Cold smoked meats are usually only smoked for an hour or two for flavoring. They are not in the danger zone for long enough to worry about.

                          1. re: sedimental

                            I'm curious, why not heat smoke it and be done with it? Smoked pheasant and duck is a nice treat, even served cold.

                            1. re: Veggo

                              I am not sure what you mean? Low and slow...or on a grill?

                              Lean meats and more delicate meats suck when cooked low and slow, IMO. The texture is bad, they get over smoked and they are dry. That is why pork butt and fatty pork ribs work fine for that. Duck is nice and full of fat and is good heat smoked, chicken....not so much. Only the legs and thighs are even edible to me for a heat smoked chicken.

                              When they are grilled (maybe using a smoker box) they are rarely smoked much at all.

                              1. re: sedimental

                                Thanks. I'm unfamiliar with cold smoking.

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  I have noticed there are few people here on CH that cold smoke much at all, even on the new BBQ board.

                                  It is a really nice technique for meat. I smoke my hamburger grind before grilling...mmmmmm.

                                  1. re: sedimental

                                    We come here to learn :) I like the idea of cold smoking the burger and all manner of other things that really aren't candidates for hot smoking. Plus the OP isn't asking how to cook the chicken but rather what to do with it knowing it's cold smoked. I think s/he is getting the picture.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      OP here, and yes, I am learning more than I expected!

                        2. re: c oliver

                          Actually cold smoking means a max. temp. of 100F, but preferably a max. temp. of 90F or less. Less being the key word.

                          I only cold smoke when the outdoor temps. are lower than 50F and I can keep the smoker at low temp. using an offset so that the heat from the smoke doesn't raise the smoker temp.


                      From this forum post, it sounds like the cold smoking is for flavor. It doesn't cook the bird.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: c oliver

                        In that thread what Gizmo and Habanero Smoker say, is what is relevent.

                        1. re: JMF

                          Yes, and with the caveat that it is very American style BBQ centric.