Chicken Thighs in the Ugly Drum Smoker

I'm starting to realize that the month of March (when Steve helped me realize my dream of a completely assembled UDS) was a month that was heavy on smoked meat.  Sure, part of that was because smoked meat is delicious but I also wanted to really figure out how to get the best use out of my UDS and how to maintain different temperatures.

For example, if you have ever tried to smoke chicken or turkey in an ECB or other water smoker then you know how tricky it is to get crispy skin.  Usually you have to end up tossing it on the grill at the end to crisp up the skin.  Well, with my new UDS I knew that crispy skin chicken was a possibility.  I should be able to get consistent temps around 350F and that outta crisp up the chicken nicely.  So, I put on my lab coat and started experimenting.

As you can see from this picture, it was a little chilly outside, so that was already going to be a challenge.

Smoking Meat, in Montana, in March

Smoking Meat, in Montana, in March

I opened up all of the intakes on the bottom of my UDS and left the tops off of both bungholes (tee hee) and here's a picture of my results.  That handsome fella to the right of my remote grill temp receiver is an Eddy Out.  That's a real tasty beer made by our local Kettlehouse brewery, in case you aren't familiar with Montana micro-brews.

Hotter temps in the UDS

Hotter temps in the UDS

On this particular day, I wasn't able to get it much hotter than 291F.  But, I think that's due to two factors.  1) It was pretty chilly outside and 2) I think I capped the smoker a little bit too early and I effectively cutoff the air supply.  So, it never really got roaring in there.

But, the chicken thighs came out great.  They could have been a little crispier, but I've since been able to achieve that.  Don't worry, I'll post pictures of that as well.

Smoked chicken thighs in the UDS

Smoked chicken thighs in the UDS