what is too old?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by yyz0yyz0, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,
    So I have a wyandotte roo that is about 10mo old and he's gotta go. i tried craigslist but got no responses so I'm sending him to freezer camp.

    I'd like to cook him in my smoker which cooks at a very low temp and takes 4-5hrs for a chicken to cook.

    So is 10mo old too old for a low and slow roasting method?

    What age would most of you say that it's time to stew a bird instead of roasting it? Does it also depend on the roasting method, ie would low and slow in a smoker be similar to cooking it in a stew type setting?

    thanks
     
  2. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it matters, cooking in the smoker is a moist heat as there is a water pan between the heating element and the meat.

    The main reason I'm asking is because I normally just skin my older birds that are going into soup/stew but the younger birds I've processed I dip and pluck.

    So of course it's much less work to just skin the bird but if it's not too old to cook in the smoker then I'd like to pluck it. The ironic part of this is that when a chicken is smoker cooked the skin looks beautiful but it's actually pretty nasty, it's rubbery and tastes like a hotdog. So we never eat the skin when we smoke a bird but i wanted to leave it on for the self basting that might happen while cooking.
     
  3. Maeschak

    Maeschak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't been brave enough to smoke an older chicken, but I do know that skinning and pressure canning works great for older chickens! You do not have to wait for rigor to pass before cutting up and don't have to be careful about removing fat/skin/gristle as it makes fantastic stock right on the canning jar (with the chicken to eat).

    If you do smoke it, please share how it worked as I have been wanting to know as well.
     
  4. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From a chicken standpoint I think a 10 month old roo would still be good to cook on a smoker.

    It's not chicken but I have cooked turkey wild and tame that were over 4 years old on the smoker and they turned out fine.

    If I skin them and want to smoke em just wrap em in bacon and some butter in the cavity.
     
  5. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the feedback. I figured if the bird ended up being tough after smoking that's ok as we like the smoked chicken in pasta sauce and chicken salad. So I could just grind it and use it in one of those.

    I like the bacon idea, yum yum.

    I'll post back with my results, could be a couple weeks to have some aging time and also let the weather warm a little, plus the wife will be out of town for a week and I"d like to do it when she's here so she can try it also.

    my next step for old birds is to try making chicken sausage.
     
  6. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your bird should be ok for the smoker. If you let it get to a internal temp of around 140 deg, it will have all the smoke ring it's going to take, and plenty flavor. Wrap it in foil with a little more rub and a thin coat of butter. This will make it cook a bit faster, but don't up your smoker temp much... It takes time for the tough collagen fibers to unwind... As you say the skin will likely be rubbery either way, but the foil will steam it and tender it up. A internal temp of 160 will give you a bird that is done. But for a older bird I'd shoot for 190ish degs. This should be almost "pulling" stage. Good luck....
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    We were just talking about smoking chickens today. My son wanted to wrap them in foil, but my Honey said that would keep the smoke from penetrating the meat well. Have you done the foil? did the bird have a decent smoke flavor, or just tender?
     
  8. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good morning. Yes, I use foil on most meats at some point. However I dont normally use it on chicken. All should start out naked, but be wrapped as needed depending on the meat. In this case the birds age makes it a bit suspect, of possibly being tough. If foiled at 140/145 degs, the skin will be ruined but the meat can still be tender and juicy. The pink natural smoke ring has developed all its going to develop, by the time the meat reaches 140 degs or so. Naturally, this depends a lot on the fire and whats burning. A say "naturally" because you can also make a fake pink smoke ring by adding a nitrate to your rub like like "tender quick".... Chicken is such a mild flavored meat that its easy to get too much "smoke" on it. Next time you smoke one, put the left overs covered in the frig over night. It will smell of smoke so strong the next day it will nearly curl your hair! By the way.... "Fat Daddy" was actually the name of my BBQ team when we cooked in competitions years ago..... We also catered a good bit for wedding graduations and parties..... Now just for parties here on the farm!! Bill
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Thanks for the info. I'm not the one that mans the smoker, so I leave most of it to the guys. but I like to have an idea what's going on.

    Yesterday we smoked 4 whole chickens, grocery store birds. I think I might ask them to start using foil at some point. We don't really care about eating the skin, but it comes out completely black and doesn't look too appealing. Our meat is usually nicely tender, though, and that's what matters.

    We do have leftovers in the frig this morning, and I honestly like the smoke smell [​IMG]
     

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