When my family is camping, we cook a lot of things right in foil to make it quick and easy. I was thinking about this process a while back and wondered how campfire chicken would taste if it were cooked in the smoker. Imagine smoked campfire chicken with some sausage, potatoes, onion, corn and even carrots thrown in for good measure.
As it turns out, smoked campfire chicken is really good and it's also really quick and easy.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Smoker Temp: 240°F
- Meat Finish Temp: 170°F
- Recommended Wood: Pecan
- 4-6 Chicken quarters, skinless
- Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here)
- small potatoes
- baby carrots
- 1-2 large red onions
- 4-6 ears of corn (cleaned and cut in half)
- 2-3 links of smoked sausage
- 18-inch heavy duty foil
I wanted to use skinless chicken quarters for this recipe so I purchased the quarters and took the skin off myself.
Just get a good hold on it at the larger thigh end and pull it toward the leg and it will come clean off. I skinned four of these in just a minute or so.
Unfortunately, everything in the foil gets done before the potatoes and carrots get soft so you have a few options:
- Serve the vegetables crunchy
- Overcook the chicken while the potatoes and carrots get done
- Pre-cook the potatoes and carrots a little bit
Option number 3 is your best bet in my opinion and it's super easy and can be done while you are skinning the chicken, making up the rub, etc.
Simply fill a pot with your potatoes and carrots and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and let it boil for about 5 minutes for small carrots and potatoes.
Note: some folks boil the water first then add the carrots/potatoes but it is ok in this instance to start everything together.
Pour the potatoes and carrots into a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.
They are now ready to use in the foil with everything else and they've been given a sufficient head start.
Place the skinned chicken onto the center of a piece of foil that is about 18×18 inches square.
Pile some sausage pieces, potatoes, carrots, a quarter of an onion and a half ear of corn around the chicken.
Sprinkle some of my Texas style rub (purchase recipes here) onto the chicken, sausage and vegetables.
Normally I just use my original rub by itself on most things but, in my opinion, it needs some extra saltiness and the Texas style rub does the trick.
Now sprinkle about 2-3 tablespoons of Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here) onto the top of everything for amazing flavor.
Add a tablespoon of butter on top..
Roll up the edges of the foil around the meat and vegetables to form a bowl shape.
Be sure to leave it open for now to allow the smoke in
Set up your smoker for cooking at about 240°F although it would not be unheard of to take it on up to 275°F or so if you need to get them done faster. Chicken handles high heat quite well.
Be sure to have enough Pecan or other smoking wood for about 1 hour of smoke.
Note: if you need further help with your smoker, please see the following pages:
Place the foil “bowls” of chicken, sausage and vegetables into the smoker and let them smoke away for about 1 hour.
After one hour, pull the foil together at the top and pinch it closed.
Note: it is not important for it to be air tight. Close it the best you can and call it good.
I recommend placing a probe from a digital probe meat thermometer such as the Maverick ET-733 into one of the pieces of chicken before closing it up so you will know when it is done. Chicken is safe to eat at 165°F but I like to take these chicken quarters just a few degrees higher to make them a little more tender.
I shoot for 170°F on these.
You can also check the temperature periodically using the improved ThermoPop digital pocket thermometer which reads in 3-4 seconds (that's fast), is splash-proof and is being offered now for only $29. One of my favorite toys.. er, tools;-)
Have plates already setting on the table with a single paper towel on the plate (to protect the plate from grease from the smoker grates)
When the chicken is done, lay a foil packet on each plate and call Dinner!
- This could also be done with pork chops, meatballs, pieces of ham, etc. instead of chicken
- For even more flavor, brine the chicken for about 2 hours in a solution of 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of kosher salt and ¾ cup of brown sugar.