Burnt or Split Skin - Help!

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by 3 j's b smokin, May 29, 2009.

  1. 3 j's b smokin

    3 j's b smokin Fire Starter

    I've been working on my chicken for sometime now and usually have one of two problems. The skin gets either burnt or is splits halfway through the cook. Here is my process for cooking them. Hopefully someone will be able to tell me what I can do to avoid either issue.

    Night before - brine chicken with usually turbinado sugar, salt and a few other spices. Once the chicken has been in the brine for about 4 hours, I take it out and rinse it off for 30 seconds and then put it in the fridge overnight.

    Day of cook - pull the chicken out and put my rub on the outside, inside and under the skin as much as possible. Rub contains turbinado sugar, salt and a lot of the other basic ingredients (paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, etc). Then I put it on the smoker at 225 and let it go. By the time the 4 hours mark comes, I either have burnt skin or lately, split burnt skin.

    Any help you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated.
  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I love burnt skin on chicken!!! are you sure your temps are right... as in calibrating your thermometers?
  3. 3 j's b smokin

    3 j's b smokin Fire Starter

    Yep, that was the first thing I did. Checked the thermometer and it is dead on.
  4. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well I'd have to say that the burnt skin is the sugar caramelizing and maybe making the skin split? Anyone want to correct me? Just a guess on my part cause I don't do chicken often.
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would have to agree with Dan. Sounds like excess sugars, they will burn at a much lower temp than most other rub ingredients.

    I would suggest that the sugar not be aplied to the skin until about half-way through the smoke. I've done that on beef roasts, pork butts, and spare ribs, with good results.

    I also find that if I leave the sugar off until later on, I get better smoke penetration into the meat. Then, after I apply the sugar, it begins to melt/carmelize and seals the surface of the meat. This may help retain some of the natural juices.

    Hope this helps you out.

    Good luck, and happy smokes!

  6. isutroutbum

    isutroutbum Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    What kind of smoker are you using? If you are using wood, or char and chips or something, I'm wondering how you position the coals and wood? If the heat source is too close to the birds could that be part of the problem? I'm new to this, but someone w/more experience might be able to help?

  7. slanted88

    slanted88 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    No sugar in the rub. Brine is Rock On!
  8. tn_bbq

    tn_bbq Smoking Fanatic

    I would agree with the others.

    Brine in the sugar solution, but don't use as much sugar in your rub.

    Brining overnight might help infuse more sugar in the bird. That might help with the flavor.
  9. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Try adding 1/4 cup olive oil to your brine, I always heat all of the ingredients to about 190° to infuse the flavors and then add the hot brine to ice water, before I started doing this I had the same problem.

  10. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Eric has nailed it. Good job sharing your knowledge, sir! [​IMG]

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