Smoked Grilled Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Smoked Grilled Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Pulled chicken sandwiches are a tasty treat that is easy to make and full of flavor. With this recipe we brine our chicken overnight to add moisture and flavor. Then we smoke it low and slow for several hours and finish it on grill for a kiss of fire. And of course you can build your sandwiches any way you like or you can follow our quick and easy sandwich recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 whole chicken
  • 4 cups apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons plowboys yardbird
  • 12 burger buns
  • 1 jar sliced dill pickels
  • 1 package sliced baby Swiss


First thing to do is to cut out the backbone of the chickens and snip the breast plate so that the chicken will lay flat. This will allow for the chicken to cook evenly so that you are not drying out the breast meat while waiting on the thigh meat to reach proper temperature. Next you should brine your chickens overnight so that they stay moist during the smoking process. For this brine we will place each chicken in a gallon zip seal bag, then add 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, dried thyme, and dried rosemary. Finally add 2 cups of apple juice to the bags, seal em up and put them in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Every few hours you should flip the chicken bags over to allow each side to soak in the brine.


After your chicken is brined, wash off the brine and herbs then place the chickens on a cooling rack. Next you want to cut the skin down the center so that you can pull the skin back and season the exposed meat. Heavily season the breast, thigh and drum meat. Flip the chickens over and season the back side. Flip the chickens back then pull the skin back in place to cover the meat. The skin will keep the meat from drying out, and because this is pulled chicken, we really don’t need to worry about keeping the skin all pretty for slicing into. So season the skin and these chickens are ready for the smoker.


Get your smoker running between 240 and 260 Fahrenheit using pecan wood. You can also use hickory or mesquite but avoid using apple if you decided to brine with apple juice. That’s just too much of the same and you should try and layer the flavor instead. Place the chickens on the smoker and let them go for several hours until the temperature in the breast reaches 150 F. At this point get your grill fired up and transfer the chicken to the grill. Place the chicken skin side down and close the lid. Cook for at least 10 minutes keeping an eye on the grill for flare ups. Flip the chickens to back side down then cook until you reach 165 F in the breast and 175 F in the thighs. At this point remove the chickens and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.


When the chickens have rested, put on some heat gloves and start to hand shred the chicken. When it comes to heat gloves, we are talking about a liner glove with a nitrate outer glove. These offer the best movement and touch while blocking heat from your skin. Pull the chicken being very careful not to include any bones or cartilage. When you are done, make a second pass looking for bones. It is very easy to overlook bones when pulling chicken meat. And when it comes to skin, this is up to you, but it will add a nice flavor to shred up and include the skin.


Okay sandwich its time! This is a simple sandwich we are making, it’s just a burger bun with a slice of baby Swiss. Then we add the pulled chicken, some dill pickle chips and some BBQ sauce. Of course you can make whatever sandwich you like, but we hope you give this one a try and let us know what you think.





Pellet Smoked Scalloped Potatoes

Pellet Smoked Scalloped Potatoes

Cheese, bacon and potatoes. So what part of that is not delicious? This recipe brings a ton of flavor from your pellet smoker or stick burner and compliments every meat that you smoke. No lie there is a bit of effort involved for this recipe, but it can be split into multiple days if needed.

Ingredients

  • 4 russet potatoes (about 3 pounds)
  • 12 oz bacon
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • ½ pint heavy whipping cream
  • ½ pint regular whipping cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 16 oz (block not shredded) cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour


First, remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. While this is in progress, slice the bacon into bits and fry it a skillet on medium heat. While the bacon is cooking, dice the onion and jalapeno pepper. After the bacon has cooked for about 8 minutes, drain most of the grease and leave about 2 – 3 tablespoons in the skillet. Add onion and jalapeno, then continue to cook until the onion becomes translucent. Next add the flour and stir for several minutes. Next, slowly add the heavy whipping cream followed by the regular cream. Continue to stir on a medium heat, and add a few slices of cream cheese. Stir until it melts into the sauce, then continue to add more until all is incorporated into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and stir occasionally as you work on the potatoes.


Wash the potatoes then use a mandolin with a thin blade and slice the potatoes. Add the slices to a large bowl filled with water to prevent them from turning brown. When the potatoes are all sliced up, use a stick of butter or vegetable shortening to grease up a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Next, remove the sauce from the burner and lightly cover the bottom of the 12 inch skillet with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of potatoes to the skillet until the skillet is fully covered. Next cover the potatoes with some of the sauce mixture followed by shredded cheese. Repeat these steps until all the ingredients are used. Smoke at 275 for 3 hours (do not stir) then cover the skillet with heavy foil and cook for another 30 minutes. Check the potatoes for tenderness using a toothpick and continue to cook if needed. The toothpick should pierce through the potatoes with little resistance. If the potatoes are still too firm, cover and cook another 30 minutes.





Smoked Grilled Turkey Breast

Smoked Grilled Turkey Breast

Smoked grilled turkey breast is a great weekend meal and you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to make it. But if you are looking for a small easy holiday meal idea this can be your delicious meaty main course. For this recipe we are using a pellet smoker but you can definitely adapt this to cook on your stick burner or drum smoker.

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds turkey breast
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 tablespoons Plowboys Yardbird


For this recipe, we are making an injection and skipping a brine. You can always do a brine but we found that the injection is enough to keep this turkey breast very juicy. To prepare the injection, start with 4 cloves of garlic and give them a rough chop. Next add 1 – 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary. Next, add 1 teaspoon of Plowboys Yardbird BBQ rub. Finally, add 1 stick of salted butter. Cook this mixture on a medium heat for at least 10 minutes then allow it to cool down. Next, heavily coat all sides of the turkey breast with Plowboys Yardbird BBQ rub (or you can use the rub of your choice). It’s also a good idea to loosen up and pull back the skin around the neck area. After you do that, apply some rub directly to the exposed breast meat. Next use an injector to draw in the melted butter and inject it into various areas on the turkey breast. Use up all the butter leaving behind the garlic and herbs. Allow the turkey to rest on the counter for 20 minutes while you fire up the smoker.


For this cook, use pecan wood pellets and set the temp to 250 F. When the smoker reaches temperature, add the turkey breast to the smoker and insert temperature probes if you have them. The target temperature for the smoking phase will be between 150 F and 155 F. This should take around 3 to 5 hours depending on the weight of your turkey breast. When the temperatures are close to the target range, it’s time to fire up the grill. Let your grill warm up then set it to low 300 F – 350 F. Transfer the turkey breast to the grill and place it skin side down. Cook the turkey breast with the lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes minutes then flip it to skin side up. Continue cooking with the lid closed for another 10 to 20 minutes until the meat reaches 165 F in the thick areas of the breast. Pull the turkey from the grill and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. Slice up and enjoy!





Smoked Grilled Dry Rub Wings

Smoked Grilled Dry Rub Wings

Smoked grilled chicken wings are by far the best tasting wings you can make in your back yard. When you combine smoke flavor along with the fire of your grill it’s truly heaven. People that hate grilled wings have eaten these and love them. If you have a pellet smoker and a grill, give this recipe a try and you might never go back to plain old grilled wings again!

Ingredients

  • 8 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 qt apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sage powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Lawry’s Lemon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Goya Adobo
  • 1 tablespoon Killer Hogs AP Rub
  • 1 tablespoon Plowboys Yardbird
  • 1 tablespoon JCS Caribbean chicken
  • 1 tablespoon JCS Boston dry jerk
  • 1 tablespoon Everglades Heat
  • 1 tablespoon Badia sazon caliente


First thing to do is to separate the flats from the drums. If you need to save space on the smoker or the grill, go ahead and remove the wing tips from the flats. The next thing to do is to brine the chicken wings at least 8 hours or overnight so that they stay moist during the smoking process. So to keep things simple, add the chicken to a 1 gallon zip seal bag (1 bag per 4 pounds of chicken). For the brine we are going to use apple juice as the base liquid, and this will add a nice background flavor to the chicken meat. Start by pouring roughly 2 cups (more if needed) of apple juice into each bag. Next add 1 -2 tablespoons of kosher salt, then optionally 1/2 teaspoon of powdered sage, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary. The herbs are optional but they also add a nice background flavor directly into the chicken meat.


When the brine is complete and it is time to cook, you should wash off the herbs from the wings. The next thing to do is to lay out the wings on cooling racks for seasoning and cooking. If you are not familiar with cooling racks, they are an inexpensive way to move your food from the kitchen to the smoker and back again. And when you are dealing with a bunch of chicken wings their usefulness becomes obvious. So the next thing to do is to apply a coating of dry rub on all sides of each wing. Here are 4 recipes that we recommend you to try.

Flavor ~ Lemon pepper
Lawry’s lemon pepper
Goya adobo

Flavor ~ BBQ
Plowboys yardbird
Killer Hogs AP rub

Flavor ~ Carribean
JCS Caribbean chicken seasoning
JCS Boston dry jerk

Flavor ~ Miami Heat
Everglades Heat
Badia sazon caliente


After the wings are seasoned, fire up the smoker at 175 with hickory or pecan pellets. You can also use a pellet tube with hickory or pecan pellets to add more smoke flavor. When the smoker reaches temp, place the cooling racks of wings into the smoker. Smoke for 1 hour then remove the racks and flip the wings. Place the racks back in the smoker in different positions so that wings in a hot zone move to a cooler zone. This step is not required but it can enhance your cooking process. Continue to smoke the wings for 1 more hour then check the temperature of several flats and drums. Because we will finish these wings on the grill, the target temp will come in about 15 degrees less than 165F. So shoot for 150F as your done temp on the smoker. When the wings are getting close to 150F, fire up the grill and get it preheated on low 300 – 350F. When the wings reach the target temperature, transfer them to the grill and cook them roughly 5 minutes per side. Pull the wings when they reach at least 165F. If you have made several flavors you can wrap each flavor in a sheet of foil to keep them seperate and warm.