I am looking for advice in smoking chicken, most specifically chicken thighs. I have tried smoking them twice and the results have been sub par. I smoked them with my WSM, prepped them with a brine, applied a smokey sweet rub and wrapped the skin around the meat and secured the skin with a shortened bamboo skewer. The brine consisted of Sprite, Apple Cider, Fine Sea Salt, Pepper and water. The chicken soaked in the brine for almost 3 hours this time and several hours longer the time before. After the chicken soaked, I patted dry the chicken and applied the rub to chicken, then threw them on the smoker. My smoker, I maintained a temp around 225°F. I added mesquite wood chips about every half hour and smoked the chicken for about 2 hours. Then I removed the chicken, sauced them and put them back for another 15-30 min. The results were an almost rubbery skin, where when you bit into it, all of the skin would come off. The meat was moist, but had a salty taste, almost like ham or a smoked turkey leg you get at the fair. What I want is a chicken meat that isn't salty and a crisper or easy to bite thru skin. Also, I would like to know if anyone submits their chicken thighs in competitions with only the rub or is it a general practice to always serve them sauced? Thank you in advance for the help!