Chicken Skin

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by vetmp, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Hey all,

    I was wondering what ways that any of you have found that are easy ways to take the skin off of a whole chicken before smoking it. I have always smoked it with the skin on and I have to be honest that, I'm not getting the results really that I am looking for. Should I cut it off, rip it off, not sure. Some help here would be great.....[​IMG]
  2. I wouldn't take the skin off, but if you insist, it slips off very easy.

  3. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ditto on martin

    But if you must. You can pour boiling water over the chicken.
    But save that skin for frying or stock for your gravy/soup/etc..
  4. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    leave the skin on. but i think the more important issue is figuring out what you mean by not getting the results you want? i am going to assume you are getting rubbery skin and want it to be more crisp? if that is the issue you can smoke at higher temp 275-300, use empty water pan and brine the bird first. if you are already smoking at a higher temp and still don't get crispy enough skin then when you are done smoking the bird pop it in the broiler for a few minutes and crisp up the skin that way.

    good luck.
  5. yardbird

    yardbird Meat Mopper

    I do a lot of poultry in the smoker. High heat... 350 or even better 375. No brine. When you cook them this fast they don't need it. NO WATER in the pan. You can foil a brick or fill your water pan with sand or gravel or those cute little decorative garden rocks, but no water. I just leave mine empty. :)

    Yes, they still come out of the smoker tasting like smoked chicken, but I'm finding the faster I can cook them the better the skin. My last ones had skin that actually was crunchy... not burnt at all, but crunchy. Instead of brining, leave it in the fridge over night UNCOVERED, after you've rubbed it under the skin with garlic butter, or massaged it tenderly with olive oil and applied your rub of choice. And juice-running-down-your-chin moist.

    I learned this faster cooking method from a friend who is a chef. He regularly cooks whole turkeys at temperatures above 450. At that heat you have to be more watchful that you don't burn them, but wow... moist and juicy and done perfectly. It goes against everything I was taught growing up. He's not smoking them at that temp. He's just cooking them. But we did throw in some chunks of apple once and even at the high temps he's using you could still taste that smoky goodness. It was milder, but really nice.

    So... lots of ways to throw a cat, just depends on what your expectations are I guess.
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  6. woodman3

    woodman3 Smoke Blower

    So yardbird. You smoke them at 350-375 range on smoker! Much hottrr temps I expected. Would this work with halves as well?
  7. yardbird

    yardbird Meat Mopper

    Yes, it works with whole chickens, halves, whole leg quarters, drumsticks and thighs. I've done them all at high heat. Well... high for a smoker. Now keep in mind that my wife doesn't like a really strong smoky flavor. So #1 I use apple or pecan and my TBS is running the whole time. It definitely takes the smoke even at the higher heat and shorter cook time. Turkey same as chicken. 

    Moist like you'd expect, tender to the bone, AND crispy skin without having to flop them on the grill. Win, win, win.

  8. woodman3

    woodman3 Smoke Blower

    Dito to the wife not in favor of strong smoke flavor. I am new here What is TBS?
  9. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    TBS=Thin Blue Smoke
  10. woodman3

    woodman3 Smoke Blower

    I haven't learned all of the acronyms here yet.
  11. macboogie

    macboogie Newbie

    when I started really researching how to smoke chicken i realized a few people recommended higher heat and swore by it so i tried it after having rubbery skin. HIGH HEAT WORKS! i do brine everything but separate thighs, even quarters. This is one of the reason i kind of want to go to a propane assisted smoker so i can quickly bring it way up, but i'm undecided on what smoker to upgrade to still. 
  12. johnb5

    johnb5 Fire Starter

    At this higher heat are you cooking skin side up or down? Do you flip them or just let them smoke? At 350-375 what is approximate cook time? 2 hours?
  13. skin side up or down??..?? huh? breast side up, let it smoke til its done. dont worry about cook time, cook til IT. an estimate for time should be somewhere around 1hr 30-45mins. at least in my experience.
  14. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    It is so easy to cook good chicken if cook at the right temps.

    Pieces can be cooked at lower temps like 250 and then high heat seared.

    If you want a good tasting whole chicken then it needs to spend at least half of its cooking time well over 300....325 is about prefect.

    If your smoker can't cook at those temps then I'd look for one that does. You don't need anything fancy, I turn out the best birds in my lifetime in m my little WSM mini.
  15. 325 is the magic number for me.

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