Chicken Thighs, with rubber skin... help

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by cforand, May 27, 2014.

  1. cforand

    cforand Newbie

    So, I've tried smoking thighs on my MES30 at 235 for three hours and the meat is amazing but the skin is awful. Using Pecan chips and only adding for the first 1 1/2... any thoughts on what to try to keep the skin from going to rubber? Also, tried a whole turkey and got the same results.... The thighs are also on the top two racks if that matters...

    thanks guys
  2. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't have an MES, so not much help there but I can tell ya that to get a crispy skin ya gotta bump up the temp to around 300* to finish them off, some even go 350*+..... Ya could use a charcoal grill with direct heat for a few minutes to crisp them up that way or even if ya have a gasser !
  3. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is one of the most discussed topics on this forum, so when you get a chance, try searching "rubber chicken skin", ""crispy chicken skin" or just "chicken". You'll get literally hundreds of suggestions for solving the problem, everything from using a blowtorch to scraping the fat off the skin  to adding baking powder to your rub.

    The long and short of it is, chicken skin is hard to make tender and damn near impossible to make crispy in a low heat smoker. Many folks, myself included, just raise the heat to 325˚ or higher to solve it. However, your MES won't get that high, so you can sear on a hot grill once the chicken gets to an internal temp of 150˚ or so, or put in a HOT (400˚+) oven for the same effect.

    Keep at it! Chicken is one of my favorite meats to experiment with because it's cheap and almost always delicious.

    Hope this helped a little. You'll get there!

    EDIT** WHB and I were typing at the same time, he beat me to the punchline! :)
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  4. cforand

    cforand Newbie

    thanks guys, after doing some reading I think the big thing is getting the smoker hotter and less time... Finish on the grill is easy enough, thanks for the comments
  5. My MES gets over 300 & I can get crisp skin on it sometimes but if I absolutely want crisp skin then I finish on the grill as the guys above already stated...

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