No, it doesn't get tough. Slow smoke it at about 210 degrees for maybe 1.5 hours. It's my favorite way to have it now. You do need to have a internal temp probe on the breast to watch the temp. I pull mine off as soon as it hits 160.Cool bird! Double beard and 1.5" spurs. Nice! How long was the main beard? And you smoke the breast? Doesn't it get tough?